What exactly is GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s deal? He’s probably not going to be president, considering the continued, huge lead enjoyed by former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary, but Ramaswamy is certainly making a name for himself.
During a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he responded with a bizarre, ignorant-sounding segue to a question about what Mike Pence did on January 6 in shepherding through the orderly certification by Congress of the 2020 election’s results. Ramaswamy told host Chuck Todd that he’d have orchestrated the enactment of changes to election policy if he himself was in the position Pence held, which is not realistic.
The proceedings that were transpiring on January 6 did not, in general, constitute a large enough process to force changes to the handling of elections that some might argue were legally in areas that state governments were meant to handle, anyway. (One of Ramaswamy’s ideas was confining voting to Election Day, ending early balloting.)
Ramaswamy also appeared on CNN, where he seemed to initially misrepresent his own comments he’d made just days prior. He had been critical of Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who’d characterized Ramaswamy as not in line with the actual interests of brown communities. Ramaswamy resented the assumption of a connection between his skin color and his views… and compared Pressley to the historical Ku Klux Klan. “You know, I’m sure, the KKK was responsible for more than a century’s worth of horrific lynchings, rapes, murders of Black people,” CNN’s Dana Bash said. “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 replied. That does not accurately represent what he said. “You didn’t just say they would be proud,” Bash replied. “You said, ‘These are the words of the modern Grand Wizards of the modern KKK.'” “It is the same spirit,” Ramaswamy alleged in reply.
Watch footage of the exchange below, as flagged by journalist Aaron Rupar:
here’s Vivek’s KKK comment for those curious about what exactly he said pic.twitter.com/uPyVTAX1MC
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 27, 2023