Alex Tabet and Katherine Koretski, NBC, August 6, 2023
Vivek Ramaswamy suggested canceling Juneteenth, calling it a “useless” holiday in a conversation with Iowa voters Saturday.
Less than two months ago, however, he posted a video on social media celebrating the day.
Breaking down his plan Saturday to institute a national voting holiday, Ramaswamy, a GOP presidential candidate, proposed making space for the new holiday by canceling an old one.
“Cancel Juneteenth or one of the other useless ones we made up,” Ramaswamy told an applauding crowd gathered at a welding company here.
Asked by NBC News to clarify whether he thought Juneteenth was a “useless” holiday, Ramaswamy said, “I basically do.”
Less than two months ago, on Juneteenth itself, he spoke differently about the celebration.
“We don’t just look back and flog ourselves,” Ramaswamy said in the video June 19, which was posted to his account on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.
On Saturday, Ramaswamy called the Juneteenth holiday “redundant,” saying it overlapped with other holidays, like Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day.