Ayanna Pressley

Vivek Ramaswamy Likens Rep. Ayanna Pressley To A ‘KKK Grand Wizard’ At Campaign Stop

During a campaign stop in Iowa on Aug. 25, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) a “modern KKK Grand wizard.”

As Politico reports, Ramaswamy made the comment in response to a question about critics potentially blaming him for supporting white supremacy. He also took aim at Ibram X. Kendi‘s book How To Be An Antiracist, lumping the two figures together and calling Pressley and Kendi grand wizards of the modern KKK. Kendi’s book has become a popular target of conservatives who think it promotes critical race theory.

Pressley’s team responded to Ramaswamy’s attack in a fundraising pitch, underscoring their concern with the presidential candidate’s attack.

“We typically don’t engage in these bad-faith attacks but yesterday a line was crossed. A GOP candidate referred to Ayanna as ‘a modern grand wizard of the KKK’ because she speaks out against racial injustice. This is backwards and harmful, but that is the point,” Pressley’s representative said.

Ramaswamy’s campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin released a statement to Politico indicating that the Ramaswamy campaign believes in the concept of “reverse racism.”

“There is nothing more racist than to assume the color of someone’s skin dictates something about the content of their viewpoints, which is what Ayanna Pressley peddles to Americans,” McLaughlin said. “What’s really stunning, is that now she is trying to make money off of it.”

After the campaign event, Ramaswamy talked to reporters and doubled down on his earlier statement, NBC News reported.

“The fact that we’re taught to see each other on the basis of our genetic attributes is something that would make the old wizards of the KKK proud,” he said.

This is not the first time that the Republican candidate, who has no previous political experience, has made inflammatory remarks. He previously referred to Juneteenth as a useless holiday.