Perdue mispronounces first name of Democratic vice presidential nominee
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
MACON, Georgia (CFP) — In the middle of a close re-election race, Georgia Republican U.S. Senator David Perdue is under fire for mispronouncing the name of Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris during a rally with President Donald Trump Friday in Macon.
“KA-ma-la or Ka-MA-la? Ka-MA-la-ma-la-ma-la? I don’t know. Whatever,” Perdue told the crowd of cheering Trump supporters, creating a video that has since gone viral–and drawn rebukes from critics who are calling the mispronunciation deliberate and racist.
Video at end of story
Harris is the first woman of color, and only the third woman, on a presidential ticket.
Perdue has served alongside Harris in the Senate since 2017. They also are both members of the Senate Budget Committee, which has just 19 members.
A spokesman for Perdue’s campaign, John Burke, responded on Twitter that “Senator Perdue simply mispronounced Senator Harris’ name, and he didn’t mean anything by it. He was making an argument against the radical socialist agenda that she and her endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff are pushing.”
President Trump also mispronounces Harris’s name during rallies to draw a response from the crowd.
Less than three weeks before the November election, Perdue and Ossoff are locked in a tight race, with polls showing no clear leader. Trump also appears in danger of losing Georgia, which prompted his visit to Macon.
A Democrat hasn’t won the presidential race in Georgia since 1992 or a Senate race since 2000.
The effect Friday’s viral moment might have on the outcome is unclear. Nearly a third of the state’s voters are African American.
In 2006, in a U.S. Senate race in Virginia, the Republican incumbent, George Allen, created a firestorm after being captured on video calling an Indian-American supporter of his challenger “Macaca.” Allen lost.