2020 Democratic presidential primary contender Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) apologized for laughing at the recent offensive remarks about President Donald Trump made by an audience member, but she’s also claiming she didn’t actually hear them.
Harris apologized Saturday for laughing at an audience member’s remarks where they described the president’s actions in office as “mentally retarded.” The comment came during Harris’ town hall event in New Hampshire on Friday.
The senator also called the comment “well said.”
Audience member: What are you going to do in the next one year to diminish the mentally retarded actions of this guy?
Harris: [Laughs] Well said. Well said.
Watch the video here:
I once said “mentally retarded” on Twitter and got banned.
How come @KamalaHarris is allowed to endorse that kind of language?
“Well said”. pic.twitter.com/tTJyQex7I8
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) September 7, 2019
The senator was asked about the remarks during an interview with CBS News on Saturday, where she deemed the term “incredibly offensive” and said that “you would think” that people in the current year of 2019 “would have a better understanding” of the impact of the words.
“It’s offensive and you would think that in the year 2019, people would have a better understanding of how hurtful a term like that can be. But also the history behind it, which is a history of really ignoring the needs and the realities and the capacity of our disability community.”
When my staff played the video from my town hall yesterday, it was upsetting. I didn’t hear the words the man used in that moment, but if I had I would’ve stopped and corrected him. I’m sorry. That word and others like it aren’t acceptable. Ever. https://t.co/mNmo1hyNpW
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 7, 2019
She went on to claim that she “heard” the “other stuff” that the audience member was saying but had not “really heard or processed” his “mentally retarded” remark.
She doubled down on the claim of not hearing the man’s remarks in a tweet published on Saturday and apologized for laughing at the remark.
“When my staff played the video from my town hall yesterday, it was upsetting,” the California senator tweeted. “I didn’t hear the words the man used in that moment, but if I had I would’ve stopped and corrected him. I’m sorry. That word and others like it aren’t acceptable. Ever.”
Harris is one of 20 Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination and is trailing behind Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as well as former Vice President Joe Biden (D) in the polls.