Vivek Ramaswamy slammed a former Democratic National Committee chairman after he “deliberately” mispronounced his name and said he should “go home.”
ABC News political strategist and commentator Donna Brazile made the comments while appearing on Real Time With Bill Maher — and was called out for apparent “racism.”
In a clip of an exchange with Maher, released online, Brazile says “Vivek needs to shut up and go home, I'm sick of him.”
After Maher corrected her on her pronunciation of the Republican presidential nominee's name, Brazile replied, “Well, whatever…” and proceeded to mispronounce his middle name as well.
Maher said, “There's something wrong with everybody refusing to learn to say his name,” later adding, “I just feel like there's a little bit of racism here.”
Brazile replied: “No racism.”
Maher said: “I know we don't like it, but, you know, say his name right…. I heard him rap and he said it rhymes with cake.”
Writing on X in response to a user who had shared the clip, Ramaswamy later wrote: “I wonder what they would do if a white Republican deliberately mispronounced Donna's name and then told her to go ‘home'.”
Mr. Ramaswamy continues to be a polarizing figure in the ongoing race for the GOP nomination.
On Sunday, he sparked outrage online after pledging to fire half of federal workers on his first day in the Oval Office if he were to be elected president.
The biotech entrepreneur wrote to X on Sunday that he would “immediately fire 50 percent of federal bureaucrats” on “day one.”
“Here's how: if your SSN ends in an odd number, you're fired,” he added. “This cuts the government in half. Absolutely *nothing* will break as a result.” The comments drew derision from other X users.
Ramaswamy also recently engaged in a heated on-air spat with CNN anchor Abby Phillips when asked about his opinion on alleged “neo-Nazi rhetoric” used by former President Donald Trump.
Trump used the term “vermin” when he recently addressed a crowd in New Hampshire, telling his supporters “We're going to root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and radical left-wing thugs living like vermin within our county lines.”
Instead of answering the question directly, Mr Ramaswamy attacked Phillip, calling her question “a classic move by the mainstream media”.