CNBC’s Jim Cramer called Nancy Pelosi “Crazy Nancy”—Donald Trump’s preferred moniker for the House Speaker—during an interview Tuesday morning.
After playing a clip of Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claiming House Democrats are frustrated with Pelosi over covid-19 relief bill negotiations and that she is simply trying to hurt Trump, Cramer asked Pelosi to set the record straight.
Pelosi brushed off McCarthy’s allegation, saying, “[My colleagues and I] are committed to staying here until we have an agreement, an agreement that meets the needs of the American people.” She went on to accuse the Republicans of not wanting to help state and local governments
“But we have to ... because it’s about jobs,” Pelosi said. “The fiscal soundness of state and local government is very important to the fiscal soundness of our country.”
Cramer asked why the Democrats won’t simply accept a “skinny deal” now and a larger deal later. “There is no ‘later,’” Pelosi said.
“What deal can we have, Crazy Nancy?” Cramer eventually asked. “I’m sorry, that was the president. I have such reverence for the office. I would never use that term—”
“But you just did,” Pelosi said, forcing out a laugh. “But you just did.”
“Oh come on,” Cramer said. “You know what I mean.”
Pelosi, eager to move on, said, “I know what you meant, I do.”
Cramer’s intent might have been playful, but Pelosi appeared unamused. And why shouldn’t she: She’s been on the opposite end of this childish, demeaning nickname from Trump for nearly a year. Trump’s tendency to depict adversarial women as unhinged and mentally ill is sexism 101, and Cramer simply mainstreamed it.
The flub has sparked amusement in right-wing Twitter circles with others are calling for Cramer to be fired. Cramer, meanwhile, has published several tweets defending his comment.
“It disgusts me that she is called ‘crazy Nancy,’” Cramer tweeted. “She has spent her whole life in public services. My critics didn’t listen to why I mentioned it—because it is horrifying.”
The official Time’s Up Twitter account tweeted, “Whether @JimCramer meant to insult Nancy Pelosi or simply refer to Trump’s disparaging attacks, the harmful effects are the same. We’re calling on journalists to stop circulating sexist labels that betray women’s skills, insights, & lived experiences as leaders. #WeHaveHerBack.”
Cramer replied, “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.”
But if his critique was lost on Pelosi herself, and every woman who has ever been called crazy, it flopped. Maybe Cramer should just take his L in stride.