Illinois’s Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, sat by as a Chicago pastor compared his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner and his supporters to the Ku Klux Klan, according to audio from WBEZ, a Chicago radio station.
At an event at the Lakeshore Hotel, Reverend Walter “Slim” Coleman stood next to Quinn and reminded the audience of the time when the “cruelty of Reaganomics was starving the cities,” warning of similar circumstances if Quinn doesn’t win.
The kind of movement that could mean a Rauner victory, he said, “began way back in 1961 and ’62 with the Ku Klux Klan, that grew up through the militias, that came out of the militias and came in to call themselves conservatives, and then came in to call themselves Republican,” Coleman said to cheers and applause from the audience. “That’s a movement that brings an evil that we have got to stop.”
“Our fight is not with flesh and blood; our fight is with powers and principalities, and there’s an evil that a candidate may seem that he’s harmless is going to raise up in this state and we’re not going to let it happen!” he continued.
WBEZ reports that Quinn stood next to Coleman throughout the pastor’s remarks. A spokeswoman later told the radio station that the campaign did not invite Coleman, and Quinn does not support his comments.
Afterwards, Coleman clarified that he was not implying Rauner or his supporters resemble the KKK, but rather speaking specifically to the Tea Party’s “hatred and prejudice and white supremacy.”