Ryan challenger defends racial meme
© Paul Nehlen Campaign

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire Trump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world MORE's (R-Wis.) primary challenger Paul Nehlen defended himself on Twitter on Sunday after tweeting a controversial racial meme. 

Nehlen on Saturday tweeted an illustration showing three Christian crosses with signs reading "No it's not," "It's okay to be white," "No it's not." The cross in the middle represents Jesus Christ.

The meme originated on the messaging board 4chan, a forum known in part as a space where neo-Nazis converse. 

Nehlen swiftly faced backlash from critics on Twitter. 

  

“Jesus is my Savior. I'm filled with the Holy Ghost,” he tweeted in response to a critic on Sunday. “I say you are wrong.”

Nehlen tweeted a similar message earlier this month. 

The wild-card congressional candidate has courted controversy in the past. 

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He told a New York Post columnist earlier this month to "eat a bullet," after the writer told him his brain needed nourishment. 

Nehlen challenged Ryan last year and lost by 68 points.

He accused Ryan of having "hijacked this great country of ours" during the 2016 race and has expressed support for a surveillance program for Muslims in the U.S.