MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski said Monday that South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian’s vow to send Indian-American Gov. Nikki Haley “back to wherever the hell she came from” would be a much bigger deal if a Republican had said it.
“Let me just say, fair enough, that if a Republican did this we’d be covering it like crazy, so we’re covering it because it was wrong and those statements were absolutely wrong,” Brzezinski said.
“I don’t care what he meant. He should just say he regrets it,” she added.
Harpootlian vowed Friday to send Gov. Haley, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Amritsar District, Punjab, India, “back to wherever the hell she came from.”
When asked what he meant by this, Harpootlian said he was referring to -- Lexington County.
“[S]he was born in Bamberg [South Carolina] and lived in Lexington,” Harpootlian said in an email, swearing that he never meant to attack or impugn her race. “Anybody implying anything different is attempting to feign insult.”
Although co-host Willie Geist agreed with Brzezinski, wondering whether this story would be a bigger deal if a Republican had threatened a female minority governor, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle laughed off their speculations, saying that they would have “led with it.”
Harpootlian has a long history of using “colorful” rhetoric against his political enemies.
Last year, he likened Gov. Haley to Eva Braun (Adolf Hitler’s mistress). The South Carolina Democratic Chairman even once predicted Republican congressional candidate Mark Sanford would end up dead “like the folks at the Alamo.”
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Featured image Getty Images. This post has been updated.