CNN’s Dana Bash had a fiery battle with Vivek Ramaswamy — pressing the Republican presidential candidate for calling Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) one of the “modern grand wizards of the modern KKK.”
Ramaswamy spoke with Bash on Sunday’s edition of State of the Union — where he faced questions about the racially-motivated shooting that left three Black people dead in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend. The interview escalated when Bash turned to Ramaswamy’s recent event — at which he claimed Pressley spoke “the words of the modern grand wizards of the modern KKK” back in 2019 when she said, “We don’t want any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t want any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice.”
“You know, I’m sure, the KKK was responsible for more than a century worth of horrific lynchings, rapes, murders of black people,” Bash recounted. “How, in any way, are the views you’re talking about comparable to the views and atrocities committed by the KKK?”
“What I said is the grand wizards of the KKK would be proud of what they would hear her say,” Ramaswamy answered, “because there’s nothing more racist than saying that your skin color predicts something about the content of your viewpoints or your ideas.”
“You didn’t just say they would be proud,” Bash retorted. “You said these are the words of the modern grand wizards of the modern KKK.”
The clash went on as Bash continued to ask Ramaswamy “How on Earth is [Pressley] a modern grand wizard,” of an organization known for oppressing and committing violence against Black people.
“Let’s be intellectually honest,” Ramaswamy said, prefacing his retort. Bash, though, remained quite skeptical of the presidential candidate’s take.
“The whole thing about the KKK, it wasn’t just about rhetoric,” Bash said. “They lynched people! They raped people! They murdered people! They burned their homes…”
“And that was obviously wrong,” he responded.
“Okay. So if you want to have an intellectual discussion, do you think that maybe comparing her to the grand wizard and the notion of what she said to being a modern leader of the KKK was maybe a step too far? Or do you stand by what you said?” Bash asked.