A California Democratic House candidate is under fire after he appeared to mock the accent of his Korean-born opponent, Rep. Michelle Steel (R.).
At an April 7 campaign event, Democrat Jay Chen joked about how difficult it is to understand Steel.
"She just had another town hall the other day. And it's tough. Like, we've transcribed it," Chen, who is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, said. "You kind of need an interpreter to figure out exactly what she's saying. The more she speaks, the better for us."
Steel moved to the United States as a young adult and speaks English as her third language, after Korean and Japanese.
The Steel campaign slammed Chen's "despicable, racist comments" in a statement to Fox News. The campaign also cited a Washington Free Beacon report detailing Chen's record of working to bring the Chinese Communist Party-sponsored Confucius Classroom program to California schools when he was a school board member.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told Fox News the Democratic Party should disavow Chen over his 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. "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."