Donald Trump mocked the spelling and pronunciation of Rep. Peter Meijer’s last name at a rally in Michigan on Saturday.
Meijer, a Republican representing Michigan’s third congressional district, has been a target of the former president since voting to impeach him in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, just days after being sworn in in Congress last year.
At the Washington Township rally, Trump urged the crowd to oust Meijer in the August primary.
He then seemed to take the tangent on what he considered the odd spelling of the congressman’s name.
“A guy who spells his name MEIJER but they pronounce it Meyer,” Trump said. “Kind of spelling hell, right?
He continued: “I said, how the hell do you pronounce this guy’s name? Nobody knows if he didn’t do anything in Washington…I said, how do you pronounce his name, is “That MA-GER, MY-GER? They said it’s MY-ER. How the hell do you get out of it MY-ER?”
However, most Michigan residents are likely familiar with the spelling and pronunciation of Meijer, whose family founded the Michigan-based supermarket chain Meijer, which is popular in the Midwest.
Meijer is the grandson of store founder Frederik Meijer, but has never worked for the family business outside of stocking shelves and picking carts, according to Forbes.
Twitter users were quick to accuse Trump of being out of touch with the Michiganders.
“Just wait till he finds out we’re calling the store ‘Meijer’s’ and not Meijer,” tweeted Michigan State Rep. Mari Manoogian, a Democrat.
Jennifer Mercieca, a historian of political rhetoric, wrote, “Every person in Michigan knows how to pronounce Meijer. Meijers is Michigan’s HEB, everyone loves him. Ad hominem failure.
“How disconnected do you have to be from Michigan not to know how to pronounce ‘Meijer’?” writes journalist Brad Polumbo.
Priti Kothari, who works in TV production, wrote: “It’s pronounced MY-ER and the Meijer family are practically royals in West Michigan. They have created a grocery store empire and have beautiful botanical gardens, a state park and hiking trails in their name. How completely embarrassing to Trump and his idiot public. Sorry @RepMeijer.”
Todd Hagopian of the Libertarian Party added, “Meijer is Michigan’s 5th largest employer, and possibly the best grocery store in the Midwest. That’s probably why no one laughed.
Journalist and author James Surowiecki wrote, “Not only has Trump never been to a Meijer supermarket. He doesn’t even know what it is. Hell, he’s probably never even been to a Walmart. But he is the tribune of the people.”
Others pointed out that Trump’s German ancestors were Drumpfs before changing their last name to Trump. “Kind of a weird review from a guy whose last name was originally spelled ‘Drumpf’,” wrote author Jonah Blank.
“Says descendant of man who changed his name from Drumpf to Trump,” MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan wrote.
Peter Meijer’s office has been contacted for comment.