On March 24, sitting United States Senator Kevin Cramer—a Republican from North Dakota—responded to right wing news outlet Daily Caller's headline about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Cramer commented on the right wing outlet's tweet and called her "retarded."
That term is widely recognized as an offensive reference to those with cognitive disabilities.
Kramer later deleted his comment but not before people took screenshots.
Cramer quickly claimed his use of the "r-word" was an accident caused by autocorrect on his phone.
I just got off the phone with Sen. @kevincramer who said it was a typo and he meant to type “ridiculous” instead of… https://t.co/IRrBqTRQ7B— Jeremy Turley (@Jeremy Turley)1585097958.0
Cramer blames his “fat fingers” for the now-deleted tweet. He told me he would not use that word, which is “offensi… https://t.co/x0kj7OAELn— Jeremy Turley (@Jeremy Turley)1585098105.0
Most people on Twitter did not believe Cramer's claim he was a victim of an autocorrect from "ridiculous."
A standard phone will never autocorrect to offensive words like "retarded" unless that word is typed so regularly by the user that the phone learns to suggest it.
@jeremyjturley @Chris_Hawkey @kevincramer https://t.co/Mq06y9QOoC— Sarah (@Sarah)1585099845.0
@jeremyjturley @kevincramer We all know the truth on this one. Really too bad we still have to have to have these conversations.— Jamie Johnson (@Jamie Johnson)1585101318.0
@jeremyjturley @kevincramer There's no way a smartphone in 2020 would autocorrect to the R word— Jordan Vetter (@Jordan Vetter)1585100515.0
Kylie Oversen, the North Dakota Democratic Party Chairwoman, spoke to Forum News Service, saying:
"[There's] not a shot that (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."
A statement from Dem-NPL Chairwoman @KylieOversen in response to inexcusable language from Sen. Kevin Cramer.… https://t.co/SEL9SClmDs— ND Dem-NPL (@ND Dem-NPL)1585100971.0
It's pretty far fetched that autocorrect is to blame for the slur unless Cramer is claiming he routinely does use the slur.
@jeremyjturley @kevincramer Are his fingers fatter than his entire phone? https://t.co/e55VwSaXjx— Chris Dasinger (@Chris Dasinger)1585114454.0
@tony_ambrose @jeremyjturley @kevincramer Good luck getting autocorrect to do that... https://t.co/mQtUK1gxse— Heckler (@Heckler)1585106945.0
Many online were disgusted that any elected official, let alone a Senator, would use such language when referring to one of his colleagues.
Or use it so often to refer to anyone that his phone defaults to slurs.
Republican United States Senator Kevin Cramer, everyone... https://t.co/byaou3Tn3i— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes)1585105266.0
NO SITTING US SENATOR SHOULD USE THE R-WORD EVER. And, when that disgraceful person makes that choice, they shoul… https://t.co/QP14yTo73r— Beth Foraker (@Beth Foraker)1585114593.0
If I ever have to explain to someone who Kevin Cramer is, I just say all you need to know is he nominated Trump for… https://t.co/rcK3Fwg49N— Lynae M (@Lynae M)1585105308.0
It seems Cramer learned from the leader of his party...
@jeremyjturley @kevincramer You’re telling me that a grown man who unequivocally supports this president would use… https://t.co/HwATNlhDVT— Anne 😝✌🏼 (@Anne 😝✌🏼)1585101879.0
I never knew North Dakota politics could get worse until @kevincramer claims he accidentally called someone a "reta… https://t.co/uMhMMlAZa2— Jo (@Jo)1585142055.0
There were others who called for Cramer to resign.
@jeremyjturley @kevincramer A typo Kevin Cramer? It isn't even close. A typo is spelling your name as Kramer inst… https://t.co/wiVee6gyEE— Scott G (@Scott G)1585099372.0
There's a reason the "r-word" has become taboo in civilized society—it does real harm to real people who already struggle with disabilities. As a Senator, Cramer should know better than to throw the term around lightly or cover for his mistake with a lie, whichever is actually the truth.
Perhaps he—or someone you know—could benefit from watching this.
When Is It Okay to Say the R-Word? youtu.be