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Senator's Treatment of Name 'Kamala' Gives Boost to Rival

David Perdue jokingly mispronounces it, and Jon Ossoff sees increase in donations
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2020 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 19, 2020 6:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – David Perdue's perceived mocking of Kamala Harris's name worked out well ... for his political rival. The Republican senator repeatedly mispronounced the VP nominee's name while at a Friday rally for President Trump, a move decried as racist, and it spawned a trending hashtag on Twitter: #MyNameIs, in which users tweeted about their names and slammed Perdue. At the rally, Perdue referred to Harris and said, "KAH-mah-lah? Kah-MAH-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever," per Fox 5. Meanwhile, Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is running against Perdue, said that since the moment went viral he had raised more than $1.8 million by Sunday night.

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Ossoff called the incident "bigoted mockery," but Perdue insisted to reporters Saturday he meant "absolutely no disrespect" to Harris and did not intentionally mess with her name. WJCL has this statement from a spokesman: "Senator Perdue simply mispronounced Senator Harris' name, and he didn't mean anything by it," it reads. "He was making an argument against the radical socialist agenda that she and her endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff are pushing, which includes the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all, raising taxes, and holding up COVID-19 relief for the people of Georgia." Real Clear Politics has the race as a toss-up. (Read more David Perdue stories.)

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