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On October 22, 2012, after a presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Ann Coulter, a lawyer, published the following tweet from her official Twitter account (@anncoulter): “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.”
The tween drew criticism for Coulter’s use of a word offensive to some people with disabilities to describe President Obama. Coulter is a social and political commentator, author, and columnist. She often appears on tv, radio, and public and private events to give her political opinions.
The Special Olympics condemned Coulter in a tweet after Coulter’s tweet. Coulter tweeted to critics her defense in using the word “retard” in her discussions against President Obama. She did not apologize for her use of the word because she said she was not referring to someone mentally handicapped or disabled.
According to The Huffington Post, in speaking on Alan Colmes’ Fox News Radio show, Coulter said she did not regret using the word. It seems use of the “retard” has been made popular in slang to be just a put-down or a synonym for loser. For instance, those under age 30 use “retarded” regularly to mean excessive intoxication.
Many people were insulted by Coulter’s use of words, such as John Franklin Stevens, age 30, a Special Olympic athlete. Stevens wrote a blog post about Coulter’s tweet.
In his open letter to Coulter, Stevens said Coulter was not dumb and shallow, but her continual use of the R-word was an insult. Stevens has Down syndrome. He said in his letter he struggled with people’s perception that an intellectual disability meant a person was dumb and shallow. He said he processed information slower than the majority, and that it took him a whole day to determine how to respond to Coulter’s use of the R-word. Stevens signed his letter to Coulter as a friend she had not yet made.
Coulter political activities in the past have included shocking reporters, advising a plaintiff suing President Bill Clinton, and creating controversy at colleges where she speaks.
Coulter currently has a new book out called Mugged about politics and race. She has written other books on the New York Times bestsellers, including Demonic: How the Liberal is Endangering America (June 2011);Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America (January 2009);If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans (October, 2007); and Godless: The Church of Liberalism (June 2006).