North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer apologized last week and blamed autocorrect for calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “r——-” on Twitter, but not everyone bought the explanation.
Cramer, a Republican, had responded to a tweet sent out by The Daily Caller, a conservative news site, about Pelosi’s comments on the latest coronavirus relief bill.
“She’s r——-,” Cramer, 59, tweeted
He deleted the post about 10 minutes later, according to The Grand Forks Herald.
Cramer told the paper he meant to write “she’s ridiculous,” but he maintained his “fat fingers” and his phone’s autocorrect function were to blame.
He said his original term was “offensive because of its historical use toward people with disabilities” and said he wouldn’t have used it intentionally.
“How often do you use the ‘r’ word that auto-correct replaced ridiculous with it?” one Twitter user asked the senator on Thursday.
“There is no possible way auto-correct would turn ‘ridiculous’ into the ‘r’ word,” another user tweeted. “This is offensive in the deepest sense. You do not deserve to be representing America or its values.”
Susan Walsh/AP/Shutterstock House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (at the podium)
Cramer blames his “fat fingers” for the now-deleted tweet. He told me he would not use that word, which is “offensive because of its historical use toward people with disabilities.”— Jeremy Turley (@jeremyjturley) March 25, 2020
Cramer told the Herald on Wednesday that he is “really sorry this incident happened” and insisted that it was a technical error on his phone’s part.
Kylie Oversen, who is the state’s Democratic–Nonpartisan League Party chairwoman ,told the Herald there’s “not a shot that [Cramer] is telling the truth.”
“I have no idea why anyone would use that word, let alone a sitting U.S. senator,” Oversen said. “It’s offensive and hurtful and unacceptable.”
Congress began weeding out the slur from federal legislation over the past decade, starting with Rosa’s Law in 2010 which changed “mental retardation” in federal laws to “intellectual disability.”
“Advocates for individuals with intellectual disability have rightfully asserted that the term ‘mental retardation’ has negative connotations,” another 2013 law read, which further amended federal wording regarding disabilities, adding that the word “has become offensive to many people, and often results in misunderstandings about the nature of the disorder and those who have it.”