February 4th, 2010
05:17 AM ET
5 years ago

Palin aide: Perry adviser's remark 'crude' and 'disrespectful'

Sarah Palin is set to campaign with Texas Gov. Rick Perry this weekend.
Sarah Palin is set to campaign with Texas Gov. Rick Perry this weekend.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin is criticizing a Rick Perry campaign adviser accused of using the word "retarded" - but she isn't demanding that the aide be fired.

The accusation - made against top Perry consultant David Carney on Wednesday by Kay Bailey Hutchison's gubernatorial campaign - is of note because Palin is heading to Texas this weekend to campaign for Perry as he seeks a third term as Texas governor.

On Monday, Palin called on President Obama to fire his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for using the very same word in a closed door meeting about health care negotiations.

Hutchison's campaign manager Terry Sullivan told CNN Wednesday that Carney repeatedly said "retarded" during a recent conference call between the gubernatorial campaigns to plan logistics for their Jan. 14 debate in Denton.

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

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.

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

Perry's campaign did not respond to a request to comment on the conference call.

Palin spokesman Meg Stapleton condemned the language as "disrespectful," but did not say that Carney should lose his job.

"While it seems few can comment on the veracity of the conversation, Gov. Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful," Stapleton told CNN in an e-mail.

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 last week, was "heartbreaking" and merited his dismissal from the president's inner circle.


Filed under: 2010 • Kay Bailey Hutchison • Popular Posts • Rick Perry • Sarah Palin • Texas
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. RICO

    Well lets see if she calls for this guy to be fired, if not it would be double standard wouldn't it? But of course she's not, because he's a fellow Repug. I think this whole issue is stupid wether it be coming from a Dem, or a Rep. People are allowed to use words in this country. This country is becoming to P.C. Soon I won't be able to order crackers with my soup, because I might offend a white person. Get real people....

    February 4, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  2. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "It's not a firing offense for Republicans" Palin is reported to have said, "Republicans are generally mentally challenged lately."

    February 4, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  3. txleadhead

    This coming from a Party that rigged elections so a retard could serve 8 yrs. in the WhiteHouse.

    February 4, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. Realist

    From Random House Dictionary:
    Retarded: to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede. (verb form)

    Then there is one defintion of the noun form: a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.

    Yes, it can mean something Disparaging about a person with disabilities but that definition is not the only one. If Mrs. Palin is that oversensative about a word maybe she should seek counseling.

    February 4, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  5. joe dokes

    My God, I actually have some sympathy with Sarah Palin. Generally, people stop using the word "retarded" in sentences by the time they grow up. She's right to be upset - although firing people might be an overcorrection.

    February 4, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. Reggie

    I wish Palin would endorse Kay Bailey Hutcheson. She's a better choice than Perry.

    February 4, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  7. LW

    Gee how come Sarah hasn't said anything about Rush Limbaugh's use of "the R word" at least 4 times on his show in the last couple of days.....

    February 4, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. Justin

    I don't like the "r" word, but come on these guys have no idea of the pains a special needs family goes through. Or even waht damage taht word has on families dealing with special needs! I like the fact that Palin spoke out aobut this, but loosing his job for it, come on!!! I think she realizes this now and that is the reason she took the appropriate approach with Perry's aide.

    February 4, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. John Gundersen

    While Gov. Palin excoriates Mr. Emanuel for using the R-word, she seems oblivious to Mr. Limbaugh's use of the same word. Is the R-word worse when used by a Democrat than by a Republican? I heard on TV this morning that Mr. Limbaugh had used it several times on his radio show.
    Well Gov. Palin, could you explain the difference?

    February 4, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. SA

    Amazing . . . does Sarah Palin only want Dems fired for using the "R" word? And what does she have to say about Rush's rampage yesterday when he used the word over and over and gave her a back-handed slap about being too PC?

    February 4, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Moderate

    Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, we add hypocrit to your long list of failings. Honestly, it's your stupidity that keeps the news media around because you really have nothing to give to the national debate.

    You might think about quitting, oh right you already have that on your resume".

    February 4, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. LADYMARY

    Why isn't she calling for Rush's firing. He used the word retarded several times in his broadcast yesterday. Guess it doesn't count since he is her boss.

    February 4, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. Dave

    Funny how Palin demands that Emanuel be fired, but when an aid to a candidate that she supports says something stupid in insensitive, the standards seem to change. Why does this not surprise me? It's just another indication that this self-righteous, hypocritical opportunist is using these issues merely for her political advantage. It's pathetic how transparent she is and her idiotic supporters, who share her traits, suck it right up.

    February 4, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  14. Lisa in FL

    Bhwaaaaa...ha.ha...ha.haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaaaaaaaaaaaa.........

    There really is nothing more to say when it comes to Palin and her level of hypocricy and partisianship she portrays. Truly stunning and transparent in every way. How ANYONE can take this numskull seriously is absolutely amazing! Can't wait for Levi to release the video/audio he has of Sinnister Sarah coming home from a hard day at the office and calling for her "little retard" Trig.

    Bhwaaaa...ha...ha..haaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    February 4, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. chill

    Nothing like consistency.

    February 4, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  16. sue

    When is she going to take Limbaugh to task? He used the word "retard" 4 times on his show yesterday.

    February 4, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  17. nomorepoliticsplease

    wow! the nit picking that we have come to is amazing! Actually, Princess Palin, the word retarded is not a slur against any group of individuals. check your dictionary if you own one. As a matter of fact, I received post operative instructions yesterday, after my son had a tooth extracted, that used the word retard. it was referring to certain things retarding the healing process.
    in conclusion..........get over it, folks.

    February 4, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  18. Honestly....

    This woman is like a nasty boil that just won't go away.....a pain in the....and utterly sickening. Now....I guess Americans should watch what they say so as not to offend her when she can't even speak proper, intellectual English.... just help me grow. It's all just so....retarded!

    February 4, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  19. rfk

    When I depress the brake pedal in my car I am retarding the vehicle’s acceleration. This is the same context that Carney was using the word. It has nothing to do with people with learning disabilities or Down’s Syndrome. I think someone needs to buy Palin a dictionary. Maybe she can look up ‘rogue’ too.

    February 4, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  20. Randommuse

    If I don't like being referred to as 'short', can we start referring to that as the "s" word? Crude, tasteless comment with a term that, while common is becomming less and less acceptable. End of story, time to move on.

    February 4, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  21. waggs

    did Palin NOT hear Rush Limbaugh use it repeatedly the other day? oh come on, you sanctimonious hypocrite, dont hide from that one.

    February 4, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. V. Ellis

    I thought this word meant slowed down/held back, as in "flame-retardant". Why is this word offensive when it's not being used to directly label a person? Please explain someone. Or is this another storm in a teacup?

    February 4, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. John B. From New Hampshire

    just an observation... while i applaud CNN "Fact Checking" everything our president says, i agree they should be held accountable. I'm wondering where this same amount of due diligence "Fact Checking" was during the Bush years. Who knows. Perhaps we could have avoided an unnecessary war if we had the REAL facts about, say, i dunno..... WMD?????? Just sayin'!

    February 4, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. Max

    So if you're a Democrat and use the word then you should be fired. If you're a Republican and use the word you're just a meanie. That's retarded.

    February 4, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Well... retarded means "mentally slow". I'm not surprised the GOP feels a sensitivity to it. I think pretty much 90% of the population uses the word to refer to retarded mental development in terms of an adjustive. It just does not mean the same thing as the N word. No more than "crazy" is offensive to all people with a mental illness. Seeing as how most people are in some way both retarded and on medication for mental unbalance... it's hardly a slam to one single group. Both retarded and crazy are a description that fits the majority.. some more than others but all to a degree.

    February 4, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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