GOP congressman decides it's totally cool to mock Biden for having a stutter

6546
Advertisement

Pennsylvania's Mike Kelly, who is 72, also suggested Biden was too old to be president.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) reportedly mocked Joe Biden's stutter on a Tuesday Trump campaign conference call and launched an ageist attack on the former vice president.

According to multiple reporters on the call, Kelly affected a fake stutter while quoting Biden. "He kind of stumbled: 'We-we-we, we'll work it out, we'll work it out,'" the five-term congressman said. "Let him go ahead and mumble and bumble wherever he wants."

"Drop off some tapioca and let him make his way through that," he then suggested, an apparent reference to Biden's age.

Advertisement

Biden, who is just five years older than Kelly, has been very open about his lifelong efforts to overcome his stutter. "It has nothing to do with your intelligence quotient. It has nothing to do with your intellectual makeup," he explained at a CNN town hall earlier this year. "You know, stuttering, when you think about it, is the only handicap that people still laugh about. That still humiliate people about. And they don't even mean to."

At the August 2020 Democratic National Convention, self-described 13-year-old "regular kid" Brayden Harrington of New Hampshire also recounted how Biden had helped him learn to speak in public, despite also having a stutter.

Neither Kelly nor the Trump campaign immediately responded to requests for comment for this story.

It's not the first time Kelly's comments have gotten him into trouble.

At a 2012 press conference, Kelly decried the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, comparing it to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. "I want you to remember August 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom," he said. "That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."

In 2014, he likened the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of power plant emissions to terrorism, saying, "You talk about terrorism  —  you can do it in a lot of different ways. But you terrorize the people who supply everything this country needs to be great ,  and you keep them on the sidelines , my goodness, what have we become?"

In early 2017, Kelly baselessly accused former President Barack Obama of running a secret "shadow government" to undermine Donald Trump and "upset" his agenda.

In May 2018, he cited Martin Luther King Jr. to defend the auto industry against loan discrimination charges. "The color of a person's skin has nothing to do, but the content of their character does. That is Martin Luther King, not me," he claimed, while saying the best way to make the nation great was "to stop taking about discrimination" entirely.

He went on to suggest that even acknowledging the existence of racism was un-American. "I had 30 minutes of Democrats coming down and talking about how bad automobile people are because they discriminate against nonwhite buyers," he told Fox News. "I said that’s not America. We don’t talk about those things.”

Last July, while defending Trump's racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color, Kelly claimed that he too is a "person of color" because he is "white" and "an Anglo-Saxon."

And in December, he again used the Pearl Harbor analogy — this time while railing against Trump's impeachment. "On Dec. 7, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States and it is one that President Roosevelt said this is a date that will live in infamy," he told colleagues on the House floor. "Today, Dec. 18, 2019, is another date that will live in infamy."

Kelly faces a potentially close reelection race next week against Democratic public school teacher Kristy Gnibus.

This article was updated to correct the spelling of Kristy Gnibus's name.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.