The Know-Nothing Party, also called the American Party, was a U.S. political party active during the 1840s-1850s strongly opposed to immigrants and the Catholic Church. The party had a power base in the North, especially in Ohio and Massachusetts, but lost steam when it “refused to take a stand on slavery,” according to the Ohio Historical Society.

“Does everybody remember the Know-Nothing Party? They hated immigrants, they didn’t like Catholics, they didn’t like Jews, they didn’t like anybody,” said Dean. “They didn’t like gay people, but they didn’t believe gay people existed.”…

“You know, I think it was President Ahmadinejad in, back those days in 1850,” said Dean, referring to the anti-American and antisemitic rhetoric of the Iranian president.