Conservative political commentator Ann Coulter has defended calling President Obama a ‘retard,’ brusquely dismissing her critics after her tweet set off a firestorm among advocates of people with mental disabilities.
During her appearance on Alan Colmes’ Fox News Radio show on Thursday, Coulter shrugged off the outcry over her choice of words, saying she doesn’t regret using the offensive term in reference to the president and blaming ‘liberal bullies’ for the backlash that followed.
The controversy started after the right-wing pundit and author fired off a tweet following Monday night’s debate between President Obama and his Republican opponent which read: ‘I highly approve of [Mitt] Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.’
In response, John Franklin Stevens, a 30-year-old Special Olympic athlete with Down syndrome, wrote an open letter about Coulter’s tweet, and other critics, among them liberals and even some conservatives, followed suit, demanding that she apologize.
But when pressed on the issue by Colmes Thursday, the firebrand pundit doubled down on her choice of words, claiming that she did not use ‘retard’ as a derogatory term for people with special needs.
‘It would be one thing if I said in my tweet a joke about Special Olympics, a joke about Down Syndrome Look,’ she said. ‘No one would refer to a Down Syndrome child, someone with an actual mental handicap, by saying “retard.” Where do you think the words “imbecile,” “idiot,” “moron,” “cretin” come from?
‘These were all technical terms at one time. “Retard” had been used colloquially to just mean “loser” for 30 years. But no, no — these aggressive victims have to come out and tell you what words to use,’ Coulter said, according to the Washington Times.