Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) claimed Tuesday that he meant to type 'she's ridiculous,' not 'she's retarded.'
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) tweeted and then deleted a slur against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. When asked about it, he claimed autocorrect caused the use of what he called the "offensive" word in the tweet.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, Cramer responded to a Daily Caller tweet about Pelosi with the words, "she's retarded." About 10 minutes later, he deleted the tweet.
Cramer blamed "fat fingers" and claimed that his phone had autocorrected his attempted "she's ridiculous" response. He claimed he does not use the "offensive" term "because of its historical use toward people with disabilities."
Not everyone was buying his excuse.
North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Chair Kylie Oversen told local news outlets there's "not a shot that [Cramer] is telling the truth" as autocorrect would only have suggested that term if it was one he used often. "I have no idea why anyone would use that word, let alone a sitting U.S. senator," she said. "It's offensive and hurtful and unacceptable."
This is not the first time Cramer's comments have gotten him into hot water.
- In June 2014, he opposed President Barack Obama's executive order protecting LGBTQ federal contractors from discrimination, arguing, "I'm not sure that this is a problem... I have to be honest, I don’t get many, if any. I don’t know that I’ve ever received a phone call in my office from somebody that says they’ve been discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.” That same month, he argued that same-sex marriage caused an increase in crime.
- In March 2017, he complained Democratic congresswomen wearing white outfits in honor of women's suffrage were "poorly dressed" in "bad-looking white pantsuits."
- That April, he received national attention for defending comments by then-White House spokesman Sean Spicer about Adolf Hitler. Spicer had criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying, "You had someone who was as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons." Though Spicer called his gaffe "inexcusable" and apologized, Cramer opined that the analogy was "not without some validity," as Hitler — who killed millions in gas vans and chambers — did not use chemical weapons on the battlefield.
- In September 2018, he argued that even if Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted people, that should not disqualify him from confirmation to a lifetime Supreme Court appointment. After calling allegations against the nominee baseless, he suggested that if they were true, "It certainly means that he did something really bad 36 years ago, but does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?"
- Last July, he argued that the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who was black, could not have faced racism because he was a successful member of Congress. Cramer, who is white, added that he could call himself a "victim of racism" because people "snicker" about his home state.
Asked Wednesday about the tweet and whether Cramer had apologized to Pelosi, a spokesperson forwarded a link to a wire story reporting that Cramer had said, "I’m really sorry it happened.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.