Sep 8, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Harris apologizes for questioner's offensive remark aimed at Trump

 Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention at the SNHU Arena on September 7

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris apologized Saturday for her response to a New Hampshire town hall audience member who used a slur on people with disabilities when asking a question about President Trump.

Why it matters: Harris was criticized by disability rights advocates after video showed her laughing at an audience member who asked at the Friday event, "What are you going to do in the next one year to diminish the mentally retarded actions of this guy?" She replied "well said" before saying that she planned to "win this election."

What they're saying:

  • Kendally Brown, a health care advocate for people with disabilities, tweeted, "Using 'retarded' as a slur and an insult is never, EVER 'well said,' @KamalaHarris, no matter who it’s against and no matter the larger point being made. It's ALWAYS a betrayal of the disability community."
  • Nyle DiMarco, an advocate for the deaf community, tweeted "1) R-word is unacceptable. It is a slur, an insult. 2) Kamala should have handled this better. An apology is needed."

The big picture: The Washington Post notes that Harris became the first Democratic presidential candidate to release a plan aimed at improving opportunities for Americans with disabilities.

Go deeper: Kamala Harris on the issues, in under 500 words

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