October 27th, 2012
12:10 AM ET
8 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. Michael

    The republican party sure has its share of trashy women. These women will never attain the dignity of Mamie Eisenhower, Pat Nixon or Nancy Reagan. Yes Sarah, you are included but at the bottom of the list with the airheads.

    October 27, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Rick Lawson

    Ann Coulter – a cartoonish buffoon, a nasty person, no one takes her seriously. Why does the media continue to humor her? Are there sick people out there who agree with her? I feel sorry for her soul, it must be terrible to be that nasty.

    October 27, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Paul

    Coulter has been steadily losing her audience (I call this the Rush Limbaugh effect) so you say something disgusting so that more people will check you out. Sorry, Ann, you are just not making it.

    October 27, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. jeb

    consider the source. nothing to see here. move along people.

    October 27, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. Gerald McCleery

    What a sickening human being. Deliberately cultivates her vile political persona with all the righteous indignation she can muster, and of course when she is called on her cruel insensitivity, she stands her ground. I'm disappointed that CNN gives her the air time she so obviously craves.

    October 27, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Dennis

    What other than this would one expect from an old worn out dishrag?

    October 27, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. Liberatus

    And I stand by my description of her, most of which will not be allowed on this website.
    Ignorant Swine.

    October 27, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. jinx88

    She blends right in with the trash thats in the Repug party.

    October 27, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Po

    Actually 'cretin' was specifically used to describe Christians that suffered from dwarfism. They were different but were still to be considered children of that particular mythological character. So the word Christian was morphed into 'cretin' to describe them.

    October 27, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. silliness

    Why do we give news space to this nincompoop? When you have no intelligent argument you start calling people names. Typical GOP "strategy." They act like schoolyard bullies, calling people names. Get a life, Ann. Get some therapy.

    October 27, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. Mike

    Ann Coulter – moron, idiot, cretin, imbecile. And a few other things I won't say because they're curse words.

    October 27, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. MagicPanties

    Coulter and Sununu are the face of the real GOP, the cold and calculating rich white people that Romney embodies.

    October 27, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. HenryMiller

    Welcome to America of the 21st century–a lot of thin-skinned whiners who seem to get a big kick out of being offended.

    October 27, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. Jim Weix

    I don't like Ann Coulter, but I don't disagree with her using the r-word. It is a commonly used word.
    Our country is full of "professional victims" and they are the ones making a big deal out of it.
    The PC police also say it is wrong to use the N-word, yet it is OK to use the term "white trash". They are one in the same, except for skin color.
    Too many people out there wanting to be victims.

    October 27, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. philojazz

    Hey, Ms Coulter, John Sununu just called, and is looking for a running mate for the 2016 GOP ticket. How's about it?

    October 27, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Georgia

    Coulter has no credibility. She likes to see her name in the news by making outrageous statements.

    October 27, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Aezel

    Interesting that Coulter would go around calling people retârded, when she is easily amongst the dumbest of the dumb in society. In fact I'd say there are trained chimps with more brainpower than her.

    October 27, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. really Ann?

    Wow, just wow... What planet have you been living on that you have not heard the R-word being used in a derogatory manner to describe mentally challenged individuals. To say that the R-word is synonomous with cretin, moron, and idiot is completely and utterly untrue. Also, since when have "moron, idiot, cretin, imbecile" ever been used as "technical terms" to describe those afflicted with mental disabilites. The so called "word police" annoy me to with certain words that are now PC as well, but this is a pretty clear cut case of you just not knowing at all what you are talking about. Please stop defending it, you are making yourself look even more crazy. Actually, keep defending it, I think you need to go away for a while and get a more updated perspective on the world.

    October 27, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. JohnReedjr

    Ann Coulter is an offensive cold person who is selfish and self centered. She has never demonstrated any
    intellectual capacity in the past, and we should expect none now. She has made a career out of being haughty and bombastic, attempting to parlay her quasi good looks into a fortune. Put her in the boat with Sununu and set it adrift. The world will be better off.

    October 27, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. JCW

    To whom she asks the "r" word is offensive?? Try ANY parent who has a special needs child! Coulter is simply a BULLY! Can't believe she tries to justify it!!! Crazy!!

    October 27, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. cregis

    Who cares what that "woman" with the Adam's Apple says?

    October 27, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Melissa

    Anyone who would intentionally insult children just to attack one man cannot be taken seriously. Please, let's move on.

    October 27, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. W.G.

    Coulter like her GOP counter parts has an adams apple She only says controversial things to sale books .
    She is as vile as Rush Limbaugh and condones the GOP war on Women .

    October 27, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. JCQueipo

    This such great country !!! anywhere else Ann would be swimming with the sharks !!!

    October 27, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. pcalif

    If the media would stop mentioning Coulter or pay her wages to appear on their show (like Piers Morgan), she would disappear and FOX News would be left having to help her make a living. I say to the media, do it!!!

    October 27, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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