Rep. Grayson blasted over anti-Tea Party email showing burning cross

Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, who is known for lobbing over-the-top rhetorical bombs at his political foes, once again is being accused of taking things too far -- after his campaign sent an email that compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan while depicting a burning cross.

The email showed a large image of the flaming cross, with the letters "ea Party" etched in to the right of it. The caption read: "Now You Know What the 'T' Stands For."

The email included "pointed analysis" from Grayson in which he said, "The Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan," blasting the conservative organization for its role in the showdown that resulted in the two-week partial government shutdown.

Republicans on Tuesday accused the Florida congressman of stepping -- way -- over the line.

"There's no excuse for the hateful words and imagery used by Congressman Grayson," said Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "This hate-filled rhetoric has Americans fed up with Washington."

He called on House Democrats to "swiftly and strongly condemn him and return the money he has raised for them."

Grayson, though, was unapologetic and defended his Ku Klux Klan comparison.

In a written statement provided to, he cited a litany of examples where the "Tea Party" attacked President Obama by citing his race, including the recurring claims that he is a Kenyan and Muslim "despite all evidence."

The statement, as an example, included a doctored image of Obama in tribal garb, one of many offensive images of the president from the bowels of the Internet.

"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," Grayson said.

Grayson has a history of inflammatory comments. During the debate over the health care law, he infamously said Republicans want Americans to "die quickly."

He was defeated in 2010, but returned to Congress in 2012.