Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) has apologized for a since-deleted tweet that was sent from his official account earlier this week that called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “retarded,” blaming his phone’s auto-correct for the mishap.
Cramer is referring to a tweet that was sent out from his verified account on Tuesday night that read: “She’s retarded.” The reply came in response to a tweet posted by the Daily Caller that shows footage of remarks Pelosi made about coronavirus stimulus legislation that lawmakers were working to get passed earlier this week.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, which captured a screenshot of Cramer’s post, the tweet had been removed from the senator’s account roughly 10 minutes after it was first posted.
The North Dakotan told the Forum News Service, under which the Herald operates, that he had initially intended to write, “She’s ridiculous.” But he said his phone auto-corrected the text instead.
— Jeremy Turley (@jeremyjturley) March 25, 2020
In a statement obtained by The Associated Press, Cramer denied using the offensive term, saying: “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,” he continued.
However, some have casted doubt on his auto-correct explanation.
Kylie Oversen, chairwoman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party and a former state senator, told the Forum News Service she doesn’t think there is “a shot” Cramer “is telling the truth.”
“I have no idea why anyone would use that word, let alone a sitting U.S. senator. It’s offensive and hurtful and unacceptable,” Oversen told the news service, while also claiming that his phone wouldn’t have auto-corrected his text to the offensive term unless he used the word often.
When reached by The Hill for comment on Oversen’s statement, Cramer’s office just referred back to the previous comments to the AP.
The Hill has reached out to Pelosi for further comment.