Sen. David Perdue’s (R-GA) disdainful mocking of Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) first name during President Trump’s campaign rally on Friday appears to have worked in Democratic rival Jon Ossoff’s favor. By Sunday evening, Ossoff raised more than $1.8 million from at least 42,000 donors since Perdue’s controversial and viral moment, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
During his appearance at Trump’s rally in Macon, Georgia on Friday, Perdue — who sits on the Senate Budget Committee with Harris — appeared to mock the California senator by referencing to the Democratic VP pick as “Kamala, -mala, -mala, I don’t know, whatever,” to jeers of laughter from the crowd.
Perdue’s butchering and “whatever” dismissal of Harris’ name swiftly drew backlash given how Harris’ parents immigrated to the country.
Shortly after Perdue issued his remarks at Trump’s rally on Friday, Harris’ press secretary, Sabrina Singh, swiftly condemned the move to mock Harris’ name calling it “incredibly racist” and called for Georgia voters to support Ossoff in a tweet.
In a statement released Friday, Perdue’s campaign dismissed the backlash by saying that the lawmaker had “simply mispronounced Sen. Harris’s name, and he didn’t mean anything by it.”
Perdue, who has served in the Senate with Harris since 2017, further brushed off the controversy on Saturday by telling reporters that he meant “absolutely no disrespect” to Biden’s VP pick, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Perdue then slammed his rival Ossoff and argued that his role is to point out the differences that Democrats have in their agenda.
“My role in this is to point out the differences in what their agenda is and what our agenda is,” Perdue said, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A lot of Democrats will do or say anything right now to hide their radical, socialist agenda.”