February 3rd, 2010
08:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Top Perry aide used 'R' word, Hutchison campaign alleges

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for a third term but faces two Republican opponents.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for a third term but faces two Republican opponents.

Washington (CNN) – Sarah Palin caused a stir this week when she demanded that President Obama fire his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for using the word "retarded" to describe Democrats opposed to the administration's health care plans.

Now that Palin is headed to Texas to campaign for Gov. Rick Perry in his re-election bid, the campaign manager for Perry's rival Kay Bailey Hutchison is alleging that a top Perry aide used the very same term during a recent conference call.

Terry Sullivan, Hutchison's campaign manager, told CNN that Perry consultant Dave Carney dropped the "R" word repeatedly during a recent planning call between the three gubernatorial campaigns to walk through logistics for their Jan. 14 debate in Denton. The third candidate in the Republican primary is former Wharton County GOP chairwoman Debra Medina.

According to Sullivan, Carney became "bombastic and agitated" when he learned that one of the candidate holding rooms would be in a separate building from the debate venue. (Perry's team eventually got the holding room they wanted.)

"That's just retarded," Carney said when he learned about the holding room location, according to Sullivan. "That's the most retarded thing I've ever heard."

Sullivan said Carney used the word once again minutes later as the camps discussed how the debate footage would be used after the forum.

A spokesman for Perry did not respond to a request for comment on the call, nor did an aide to Palin, who is heading to Texas on Sunday to appear with the governor.

The executive producer of the debate, Rick Thompson of public television station KERA, would not comment on the conference call, telling CNN that "all pre-debate discussions and negotiations are confidential."

Sullivan said he was not under the impression that the call was confidential.

Palin, whose youngest son Trig has Down Syndrome, wrote on her Facebook page Monday that the word "retarded" is "a slur on all God's children with cognitive and developmental disabilities." She said Emanuel's use of the term, first reported in a Wall Street Journal article, was "unacceptable" and "heartbreaking."


Filed under: 2010 • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Popular Posts • Rick Perry • Sarah Palin • Texas
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Brian

    Oooh, delicious! Let's see what a hypocrite Palin is now!

    February 3, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Bob in VA

    Let's see how quickly Palin demands that this guy be fired.

    February 3, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. gary davis harbor oregon

    PALIN NEEDS AN AID ALRIGHT FOR SHE IS A RETARD nothing to do with a disablility . its her brain it is retarded from being a snake butt witch that can't fly on her own broom . . LOL :)

    February 3, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Future expat

    The Sarah Palin that inhabits the Teabaggers' pathetic dreams does not exist. She is not some devout, caring, intelligent frontierswoman, but rather a dumb opportunist looking to make a quick buck.

    Like Milli Vanilli, she is a lie built on top of more lies sitting on an even bigger pile of lies. Anyone who's grown out of adolescence knows that this is unsustainable. She will eventually fall, and her fall will be spectacular.

    February 3, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. No Incumbents 2010

    Texans will do whatever Queen Palin asks of them. Of course, it is Palin who knows the candidates better than Texans. If Perry needs Palin to campaign for him that shows you how desperate he is.

    February 3, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Palin herself called her own son retarded, does that make it right, no. But anyone else using the R-word Palin wants them fired. This woman and every thing she represents is truly not fit, she continues to put her kids in the spotlight and then wants others to keep hands off. I feel sorry for her children because she only uses them for her benefit and is also teaching her children it's okay. Palin isn't a roll model I'd want any where around my family.

    February 3, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Felonious Monk

    Let's see if Palin calls for this man's resignation. Or will she just call for resignations of those she disagrees with?

    In Texas we have no "good" choices for Governor. None whatsoever. Republicans get to choose between a crook (Perry), a professional washington insider who votes the party line or not at all (Hutchinson), and a nut who does not believe in any form of gun registration (Medina). It's good to be a Texan, or it used to be.

    Note: Palin funneled (laundered) $63,000 of her pac money to her personal bank account. She did it through unethical book sales.
    Anything for a buck, isn't that the republican/conservative moral/ethic?

    February 3, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Reagan raised taxes and tripled the debt.

    Turn Texas blue and make them really cry.The Corporate Fascists own this state,lock,stock and barrol.EXXONMOBIL,HALIBURTON AND THE DEFENSE SPENDERS.

    February 3, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Jane/Seattle

    And Let the Fights Continue while Rome Burns! This would be laughable were it not so terribly tragic! By the way, I have a grandson with Downs Syndrome! He has more love, more sense, and more intelligence (of the spiritual kind) than all of these folks combined.

    The terms used by these folks went out a long while ago. Differently Abled is one I favor. One must look more closely to see the deeper meanings. When will Americans stop arguing for EGO, Money, Power and all the rest to get down to Fixing this mess? So tired of it! Aren't You? There you go again, CNN: Promoting the dumbing down of Politics with Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and the Texas crowd!

    February 3, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Independent

    If Palin continues to support Perry after the same poor choice of words, wouldn't that be hypocritical and a double standard? You betcha!

    February 3, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. B

    Someone tell this – person- to get back into her box..

    February 3, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Gisele

    Sarah Palin is retarded.

    February 3, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Michael

    Yes, always check for glass walls before throwing stones.
    Of course, Palin is a poster child for selective memory, knowledge & perception.

    By the way, another headline reads "GOP hopes to harness steam at TEA party".
    (Meanwhile the rest of the world has harnessed electricity and is working on nuclear fusion and other alternative sources of energy.)Just thought that was a well-worded piece of news.

    February 3, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. Mike

    Can't we all just agree that there are certain words that you simply should not say due to their offense nature? Whether it is the "R" word, the "N" word, or whatever word is offensive to a race or class of people it doesn't matter. Wise up and simply have more respect for others. It is that simple.
    It doesn't have to be a political thing but certainly needs to be a moral thing.

    February 3, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Well I expect Sarah Palin will want this person fired too, right? NOT!

    February 3, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Obsessed with PC?

    This is hilarious. Does Kay Bailey Hutchinson not know that "retarded" is an actual word with a definition over than slang for a person with disabilities? Doubtful. Just another dem trying to turn the tables ... but instead she just looks stupid.

    Rahm was referring to people - Perry was referring to a situation. Rahm = FAIL when it comes to the use of the word "retarded." Perry = WIN

    February 3, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Reagan raised taxes and tripled the debt.

    This guy Perry has a chiseled piece of wood for a head.

    February 3, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. Dale

    And I thought the 'R' word referring to mentally challenged people was "Republican". ;)

    February 3, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. valwayne

    I like Gov Palin, but nobody should be fired for using the R word. Retarded is not a 4 letter word or even close. We should be sensitive, and we need to get rid of double standards, but let stop the insanity!!!

    February 3, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. D.D.

    Oh, Sarah, have you read this? How are you going to respond? When are you going to respond? Hurry, now, tell those big headed and big hat Texas folks they can't use the R word and add the F word would you, please?

    February 3, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. eww

    The double-standard Palin at her finest!

    February 3, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. RushSlimeBull

    The definition for "retarded" in the dictionary is: limited in mental or physical development.

    Sarah Palin needs to move on and not act so retarded.

    February 3, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Florence

    CNN give me a break the "R" word. This whole story including the story maker is RETARDED. Palin is the biggest RETARD on this planet. She better watch out because karma is a Biatch.

    February 3, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Preston kk

    Pwm i believe he maf a mistake saying the r word but i do think the rups have to be a llttle slow in mind when the let thousands of poor people that can not go to a doctor when they have know way to pay the doctor

    February 3, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. aubrey

    Everyone says it every day. Enough already.

    February 3, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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