October 27th, 2012
12:10 AM ET
2 years ago

Coulter stands by use of controversial word to describe Obama

(CNN) - Conservative commentator Ann Coulter stood by her decision to call President Barack Obama the "r word" in a tweet, and questioned whether the word is indeed offensive.

"Maybe [Vice President Joe] Biden should be upset with me calling the president a retard but not an actually disabled person," she said Friday in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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Coulter was addressing a tweet she sent following the third presidential debate between Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

"I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard," she posted to the social networking site.

She said in the interview she chose the word "because it's a synonym for 'loser.' " She professed to have used the word since.

Among the reaction to her post was a slew of critical tweets, as well as a blog post addressed to her by Special Olympic athlete John Franklin Stephens that went viral.

"Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren't dumb and you aren't shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?" he wrote in the letter. "I'm a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public's perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night."

Stephens appeared separately on "Piers Morgan Tonight" Friday.

"The word retard is offensive, and that I should not be a symbol for someone who is dumb and shallow," he said. "If they wanted to use me as a symbol, use me as a symbol for someone who fights adversity."

Coulter said "language police" were dictating what words should and should not be used, and denied the term was offensive at all.

"It's offensive according to whom? Moron, idiot, cretin, imbecile, these were exactly like retard, once technical terms to describe people with mental disabilities," she said. "Changing the word doesn't change the definition. I was not referring to someone with down syndrome. I was referring to the president of the United States."

In addition, those who are offended by the word have little ground, she suggested.

"No disabled people are saying it, the spokesmen for the disabled," she said.

Pressed on whether the word bore a stigma similar to another offensive word - the n word - she said, "I wouldn't use the n word because it's a curse word."


Filed under: 2012 • Ann Coulter • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Yeahona

    And we're listening to this hate monger for what reason?

    October 27, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Liberal

    While we have freedom of speech here in the us, some low life like this ones are misusing it. At the end of the day we could frankly say that coultrer is just so sick. She a gorgeous lady but her behaviour stinks.

    October 27, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. nick

    Coulter is an unhappy hateful person. I just don;t understand the media giving her all his attention with her past record of disgusting comments.
    She has no sense of civlity.

    October 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Bruce

    Ann Coulter has never had any real ideas in her entire life, accomplished nothing and is of no consequence. She has not had an intelligent thought or idea ever. If you took her brain and put it together with the other idiot,Sarah Palin, they would be lucky to equal the brain power of a retard. How do morons like her get to speak on national television?

    October 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Ray Christensen

    America is in serious decline if Anne Coulter is representative of the kind of "leadership" in store should Romney and Ryan win. She is a disgrace.

    October 27, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Carol Parker

    Why does anyone even listen to this woman? She's nothing but a mean-spirited, condescending conservative who no matter what, never apologizes for herself or any of the people she endorses. I think the best thing we can all do is to totally ignore her and maybe she'll go away!

    October 27, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. RamboJohnJ

    That is one really stupid and hypocritical woman...

    October 27, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Marcie

    This is what Coulter does. Says something offensive, makes the tour of the talk shows defending what she said, then writes a book and makes lots of money, gets scads of attention. Laughing all the way to the bank, in line behind Rush Limbaugh.

    October 27, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. mike

    Regardless of her political leanings, Ann Coulter is not a person I would have to my home for dinner, nor would I tell my children to emulate her. I find her to be rude and obnoxious. She is also an intellectual snob.

    October 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. MichiganNan

    Sorry, Ann, "retard" is not and has never been a "technical term" used to refer to mentally disabled individuals.

    October 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Ray Christensen

    Note to Anne: Your roots are showing !

    October 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Paul in Alexandria

    Why haven't the "lame stream media" gone for a response to this from former VP candidate Sarah Palin? Palin may want to duck this opportunity to stand up for this community by the media should be hounding her to condemn this. If not, what does that say about our fourth estate?

    October 27, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. GOP=The cancer of America

    A certain C-word comes to mind, and were I to be of the same mental capacity of this waste of human genes, I would utter it here. I however, respect all the other women who would feel insulted and demeaned by that word, so I will not use it. I guess there are no words to describe what kind of person Coulter is. Hell, I wont even use the B-word....I'm a dog lover and I don't want to insult them either.

    October 27, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Paul in Alexandria

    Why hasn't the "lame stream media" sought a response to this from former VP candidate Sarah Palin? Palin may want to duck this issue, but the media should be hounding her to condemn this given her prior history. If not, what does that say about our fourth estate?

    October 27, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. tinykhan

    Two points here...1. even though I disagree with Ms. Coulter on almost all her beliefs, I must admire someone who has a backbone, 2. where is the lambasting from Sarah Palin over the use of this word that she would definitely give if someone from the other side would have used it? Hypocrisy knows no bounds...

    October 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. florida815

    Vile women.

    October 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. joe

    Why does anyone care what Ann Coulter does? She has to pull stunts like this to try to stay relevant, since she brings nothing else to the table.

    October 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Bill Peterson

    She wouldn't use the 'n-word' because it's a curse word. That's apparently the only problem she has with it. So, if it hadn't been a curse word, then she would have no reticence in tweeting that she approved of Mitt Romney being "kind and gentle on the [n-word]."

    October 27, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. vincent

    Your either with us or against us - George Bush Republican ex president

    October 27, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Dr Matrix

    The only way this woman can stay in the public eye and generate income for herself is to continually come up with more and more outlandish and offensive comments. At least Sarah Palin had a reason to be in the news. Ann Coulter has done nothing to deserve her place among political pundits. If you stop giving her publicity, she will have only Fox to go to and maybe an occasional endorsement from the country's greatest offender Rush.

    October 27, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Jeff

    Why does anyone pay attention to this woman? She has nothing useful to say, ever. As soon as the public starts to forget her, she makes some asinine comment simply to regain attention. Next time, just don't react.

    October 27, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. tony

    "Takes one to know one". And don'y you love her "family values". I don't think "she" has got as far as actually understanding what "synonym" means though.

    October 27, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. studentofhistory

    come on folks.....her book is tanking and she needs to stir the pot to get some attention......plain and simple

    October 27, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. John

    During high emotions or the heat of the moment one can say things that are inappropriate and insensitive that they regret later. I hope Ann Coulter's objectivity and intelligence return sooner rather than later.

    October 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. john

    CNN: This is news and a US President lying about the source of the Benghazi attack for two weeks isn't? US administration that tells potential protectors of our ambassador to "stand down" isn't? I'm ok with that because you deserve him to be your president for 4 more years, but I don't.

    October 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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