A California Democratic House candidate is facing scrutiny after he mocked the accent of Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) — a Korean-born congresswoman.
What are the details?
During an early April campaign event, Chen — who is running against Steel — mocked the congresswoman for what he said was her lack of articulation.
“She just had another town hall the other day,” he said, referring to Steel, “and it’s tough. Like, we’ve transcribed it. You kind of need an interpreter to figure out exactly what she’s saying. The more she speaks, the better for us.”
In a statement on Steel’s criticism, a spokesperson for Steel said that the congressional candidate’s remarks were nothing short of “despicable” and “racist.”
“America is a country built on immigrants,” the spokesperson said. “Michelle Steel is a first-generation Korean American who speaks English as her third language, and these despicable, racist comments from Jay Chen have absolutely no place in our community. Chen owes everyone an explanation, particularly following recent reports he continues backing the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institutes in our educational system.”.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also spoke to Fox News about the incident, and said that the Democratic party ought to disavow Chen for the remarks.
“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee needs to immediately disavow and remove Jay Chen from their ‘Red to Blue’ program in light of his racist attack on Rep. Michelle Steel,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Disgraceful remarks like those uttered by Jay Chen have no place in our nation’s political discourse and the DCCC must act unless they approve of these racist remarks.”
“Michelle Steel is an inspiration to first-generation Americans and I look forward to serving with her in the People’s House for many years to come,” he continued.
Chen says he needs an interpreter to understand Steel