Republican Sen. David Perdue mocks Kamala Harris’ name

David Pedue
Sen. David Pedue

Georgia senator cut work in India from bio, says The Hill.

Georgia Republican senator David Perdue mispronounced Indian American Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ name at an election rally for President Donald Trump leading to accusations of sounding a racist dog whistle.

“Kah-mah-la or Kah-ma-la or Kamala-mala-mala, I don’t know, whatever,” he said speaking in Macon, Georgia, on Friday as he rattled off several Democratic lawmakers, including its presidential nominee Joe Biden, the Hill reported.

Democrats were quick to call for an apology from Perdue for mocking the name of a Black and Asian woman and the first woman of color to be on a major party’s national ticket.

Some also noted that Perdue and Harris have served in the Senate for three years, suggesting people who work together for that long often know each other’s names.

The Georgia Democratic Party, as cited by the Hill, said Perdue was using an “intentionally disrespectful and a bigoted racist tactic” and warned “Every Georgia Republican has to answer for this.”

“Senator David Perdue has served in the Senate alongside Vice Presidential nominee and Senator Kamala Harris since 2017. He knows her name and he knows how to say it.”

“His disgusting performance today is nothing more than a desperate dog whistle from a losing politician.”

The Perdue campaign denied that the senator had intentionally mocked Harris’ name, saying instead that he misspoke.

“Senator Perdue simply mispronounced Senator Harris’ name, and he didn’t mean anything by it,” a Perdue spokesperson told The Hill.

Meanwhile, The Hill back in 2014 reported that Perdue worked for an Indian company between his time running Dollar General and his decision to run for the Senate then.

This period was removed from his business website’s biography shortly before he announced his campaign, it said in an October 2014 report.

Perdue had a senior consulting role at Indian chemical textile conglomerate Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd. (GHCL) between 2007 and 2009, helping the company, as it looked into creating retail operations in India, The Hill said.

“He rarely if ever brings up his work for that company on the campaign trail, and his time with GHCL has not previously been reported on,” it said then.

Perdue’s official website biography for Perdue Partners, a firm he co-owns with his cousin, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, once alluded to his work with GHCL, The Hill’s 2014 report said.

His 12-paragraph campaign biography also doesn’t mention the time in India, and he has made little to no mention of it on the campaign trail, it said.

It’s unclear exactly how much of Perdue’s time was spent on GHCL during those years, The Hill said in 2014.

But is also cited Perdue as telling Global Atlanta in an interview in 2011, “I’ve spent the better part of the last three years in India helping people there start a retail operation.”

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