Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) called Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the ‘R-word’ in a tweet on Tuesday.
Later, he said it was a typo.
The just-passed congressional relief package for coronavirus divided Republicans and Democrats in D.C. over the past week. But it’s apparently left some bad blood. In the wake of its passage, the North Dakota Republican went as far as calling the House Democratic leader the ‘R-word in a reply tweet to the Daily Caller.
“She’s retarded,” Cramer tweeted on Tuesday, replying to a Pelosi quote that said “everything we are suggesting [in the bill] just relates to COVID-19.”
Both Republicans and Democrats have been accused of pushing non-essential pork-barrel spending in the bill.
Cramer apologized for the now-deleted tweet on Wednesday. He told a reporter that it was a typo and that he meant to say “ridiculous.”
“I just got off the phone with Sen. @kevincramer who said it was a typo and he meant to type “ridiculous” instead of “retarded.” #ndpol” Jeremy Turley, a Forum News Service reporter, tweeted.
After blaming it on a typo, he also insisted he does not use the offensive term.
“It’s a word I just don’t apply to people. I can be pretty tough in my rhetoric, but that’s not a word I apply to people for really good obvious reasons,” Cramer said in an interview. “I’m really sorry it happened.”
But politicians criticized Cramer for using the dated word.
“[email protected] – as a brother of a beautiful sister who lives w/ #DownSyndrome, I just want to ask you to please refrain from using the ‘R’ word. It’s hateful and hurtful. I don’t accept your excuse. I hope you’re better than this. #MoreAlikeThanDifferent #txlege @kevincramer” Texas state Representative Joe Moody tweeted.
Twitter users in Turley’s replies were skeptical of the senator’s excuse.
“There’s no way a smartphone in 2020 would autocorrect to the R word,” one person tweeted.
“Here’s an R word for @kevincramer – ‘resign’.” another person added.
Cramer insists it was his “fat fingers” to blame for the typo.