Washington: Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has slammed Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for mocking an Indian call centre worker during an election rally this week, saying it shows disrespect towards the community and is reflective of his divisive rhetoric.
"Donald Trump mocking Indian workers is just typical of his disrespect that he has shown to groups across the spectrum," said John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton Campaign.
"He has run a campaign of bigotry and division. I think that's quite dangerous for the country when you think about the fact that you need friends, allies. The kind of campaign he is running breeds disrespect across the globe and breeds division and danger here at home," he told reporters in Germantown, Maryland after formally launching 'Indian-Americans for Hillary', an effort by the community to rally behind the Democratic presidential front runner.
Podesta was reacting to Trump's apparent use of a fake Indian accent to mock a call centre representative in India during a campaign rally in Delaware this week.
The real estate tycoon said that he called up his credit card company to find out whether their customer support is based in the US or overseas.
At the same time, he described India as a great place, asserting that he is not angry with Indian leaders.
Meanwhile, an Indian-American entrepreneur also hit out at Trump, calling his comments "demeaning".
"When Donald Trump fakes the accent of an Indian at the help desk, it is demeaning and demonising to me personally," said Frank Islam, a top Indian-American bundler in the Clinton campaign who has helped raised more than $100,000 for her. A resident of Maryland, Islam is part of the newly launched 'Indian-Americans for Hillary'.
He also disagreed with the remarks of Republican Governor from Maine, Paul LePage, who had said that Indian workers are "worst" and "hardest" to understand. "I do not know, where he got that impression. I consider Indian-Americans very hard working and they aim high," he said.
"I consider Indian-Americans to be thoughtful, constructing, hardworking and resilient. So I do not agree with him," Islam said, adding that the community played a key role in strengthening the country.