WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. David Perdue mocked Kamala Harris, his Senate colleague and the Democratic vice presidential nominee, on Friday by repeatedly mispronouncing her title at a Georgia rally for President Donald Trump.
Perdue was wrapping up his remarks at an occasion in Macon when he referred to Harris as “KAH’-mah-lah? Kah-MAH’-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. No matter.” The viewers laughed.
A spokesperson for Perdue stated the first-term senator “did not imply something by it.”
Harris’ political opponents have repeatedly mispronounced her title since she turned the primary Black girl and first particular person of South Asian descent on a nationwide ticket. Democrats say the mispronunciations smack of racism. Her first title is pronounced “KAH’-mah-lah” — or, as she explains in her biography, “‘comma-la,’ just like the punctuation mark.”
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are among the many high Republicans who’ve repeatedly mispronounced it. Just a few Democrats, together with former President Barack Obama, have stated it incorrectly, too.
Harris’ spokesperson, Sabrina Singh, responded to Perdue’s comment in a tweet: “Properly that’s extremely racist. Vote him out.” In a second tweet, she wrote, “He has been her Senate colleague for over Three years. 3. Years. THREE. Do higher.”
Casey Black, a spokesperson for Perdue’s marketing campaign, tweeted that the senator “merely mispronounced Sen. Harris’ title.”
“He didn’t imply something by it,” Black wrote. “He was making an argument towards the unconventional socialist agenda that she & her endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff are pushing.”
Jon Ossoff, who’s operating towards Perdue in November, tweeted that his opponent “mocked Sen. Harris’ title,” including, “We’re so significantly better than this.”
Ossoff, who staged an unsuccessful bid for Congress in a 2017 particular election, additionally tweeted a fundraising message over video of Perdue’s feedback and stated in one other tweet, “Senator Perdue by no means would have carried out this to a male colleague. Or a white colleague. And everybody is aware of it.”
Georgia’s Democratic Occasion demanded that Perdue apologize.
“Senator Perdue’s deliberately disrespectful mispronunciation of Senator Harris’s title is a bigoted and racist tactic straight from President Trump’s handbook,” Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Occasion, stated in an announcement. “He owes Georgians an apology for his offensive show.”