Politics

Alan Grayson Ties Tea Party to KKK (Updated)

Grayson sent a controversial fundraising email. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:11 p.m. | 

On Monday, a Grayson fundraising email sent to supporters features an image of two KKK members in full regalia looking at a flaming cross, which is used as the "T" in tea party. "Now You Know What the 'T' Stands For," reads a title under the image.

Grayson goes on to write that, "At this point, the tea party is no more popular than the Klan."

The Florida Democrat was known for insulting Republicans during his first term in Congress, which ended in 2010. He came back to Congress via Florida's 9th District in 2012. But more recently on Capitol Hill, Grayson earned plaudits for changing his style to work with his counterparts across the aisle.

Republicans have called on House Democrats to condemn the imagery Grayson used in the email.

"There’s no excuse for the hateful words and imagery used by Congressman Grayson," NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman said in a statement. "House Democrats should swiftly and strongly condemn him and return the money he has raised for them. This hate-filled rhetoric has Americans fed up with Washington.

Florida's 9th District is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. President Barack Obama carried the district by a 23-point margin in 2012.

Updated 1:11 p.m. | 

"Tea Party members have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a 'n***ger,' and Rep. Barney Frank a 'faggot,'" Grayson wrote verbatim in a written statement. He continued, "One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the shoe fits, wear it."