NEW YORK – CNBC's Jim Cramer apologized Tuesday for calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “crazy Nancy” during an interview, saying he was trying to make a point about Washington intolerance that fell flat.
The fast-talking former hedge fund trader, one of CNBC's leading personalities for two decades, was interviewing Pelosi on negotiations on a relief bill for those hurt financially by the pandemic.
“What deal can we have, crazy Nancy?” he said during the interview.
He immediately indicated that he was channeling President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly used that derisive nickname for Pelosi. “I have such reverence for the office I would never use that term,” he said.
“But you just did,” Pelosi said.
“Oh, come on,” Cramer said. “You know what I mean.”
When he received criticism on Twitter, Cramer defended himself and suggested his intentions were obvious.
“I challenge anyone to listen to the interview and think I wasn't imitating what the president says and how repulsive I find it,” he tweeted.
On his show “Mad Money” later, however, Cramer said that he had made a very stupid comment.
“It was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to make a point about the harsh tone of negotiations in Washington,” he said. “But it fell completely flat and I apologize for that. ”
Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of the group UltraViolet said Cramer's “patronizing and condescending bile” has serious consequences for the country and women who choose to run for political office.
“It's time that CNBC takes steps to remove toxic misogyny from its airwaves, and that starts by firing Jim Cramer,” Thomas said.
There was no immediate comment from CNBC.