Jeanine Santucci USA TODAY
Published 5:52 PM EDT Sep 15, 2020
WASHINGTON — A CNBC host took to Twitter to defend himself after facing backlash for referring to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as “Crazy Nancy,” a derisive nickname President Donald Trump has frequently used.
Jim Cramer, who was interviewing Pelosi on television when he uttered the nickname, said he was pointing out the president’s use of the name, not using it himself.
“What deal can we have, Crazy Nancy?” Cramer said during the interview Tuesday, questioning the speaker about negotiations with Republicans on a coronavirus aid deal.
“I’m sorry—that was the president. I have such reverence for the office I would never use that term,” Cramer immediately added.
“But you just did,” Pelosi responded.
“Oh, come on, you know what I mean,” Cramer said.
Pelosi seemed to give Cramer a pass in the interview, saying she knew what he meant. She also said Trump’s remarks attacking others are a “projection of his own insecurities.”
“Crazy Nancy” is one of the nicknames Trump has given to his opponents, many of them women, to insult them.
“The reverence that I have for the office is so great that I think it’s a travesty to ever call—look, you’re—you spent your whole life in public service,” Cramer continued.
As he was closing out his interview with Pelosi, Cramer told her he was being “facetious” and the speaker said, “Don’t worry about that.” In a series of tweets later, Cramer doubled down on his defense that he was actually denouncing the nickname, while critics said he appeared to deliberately use it and then backtrack.
“Did anyone bother to listen to the whole interview?” Cramer tweeted. “It was about how horrendous it is that the president calls Speaker Pelosi Crazy Nancy. It is so unfortunate and ill-advised. The people criticizing me must not have realized the point! NEVER should she be called that.”
“you know what i love? the president goes unchecked, calls her Crazy forever. I call it as as horrible and i am called out for doing so here. What a travesty…”
Cramer’s defense didn’t go without backlash from those who said the comment was sexist and inappropriate from an interviewer.
“1) @jimcramer would never say this to a man 2) @SpeakerPelosi slays Cramer’s chauvinism with her dignity,” tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said Cramer should be suspended from the network.
“What gives Jim Cramer, a news commentator, the right to call Speaker Pelosi ‘Crazy Nancy’?! And then he tries to apologize by saying the President calls her that. HE called her that pejorative name. HE needs to be suspended immediately, if not fired outright,” she tweeted.
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Time’s Up, an initiative to combat harassment of women in the workplace that started with the entertainment industry, said it made no difference whether Cramer intended to use the name as an insult.
“Whether @JimCramer meant to insult Nancy Pelosi or simply refer to Trump’s disparaging attacks, the harmful effects are the same,” Time’s Up tweeted. “We’re calling on journalists to stop circulating sexist labels that betray women’s skills, insights, & lived experiences as leaders. #WeHaveHerBack”
Cramer responded to Time’s Up: “When you criticize the president by mentioning what he calls the Speaker of the House, you should not be criticized for mentioning the terrible name he calls her.”
Meanwhile, the Trump War Room, an official Trump campaign Twitter account, tweeted about Cramer’s remarks, “He’s not wrong!”
Published 5:52 PM EDT Sep 15, 2020