Rep. Keith Ellison seemed to be on cruise control in his campaign to be the next head of the Democratic National Committee. The Minnesota Democrat had won endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer for the job and had emerged as the liberal favorite in a party that has become increasingly controlled by its progressive wing in recent years.

Then last week his past came back to haunt him.

Ellison has a long history of controversial remarks, many of which he has disavowed. Like the time he compared George W. Bush to Hitler. Or his defense of the Nation of Islam. Or his characterization of his 2012 opponent as a "lowlife scumbag."

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