Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., claimed Saturday that she didn’t hear an audience member at a New Hampshire town hall Friday call President Trump “mentally retarded” and apologized for laughing after the comment.
“When my staff played the video from my town hall yesterday, it was upsetting,” Harris tweeted Saturday. “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.”
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Video of the incident includes the following exchange:
Audience member: “What are you going to do in the next one year to diminish the mentally retarded actions of this guy?”
Harris: “Well said.” (Giggles.) “Well said. Well, I plan to win this election, I’ll tell you that.”
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“I heard him talk about the other stuff and then that came later and it was not something that I really heard or processed or I in any way condone. That’s for sure,” Harris told CBS News on Saturday.
She added: “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.”
Last month, Harris released a policy proposal geared at expanding economic opportunity for people with disabilities.
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“Kamala believes in an America that is fully accessible and inclusive for everyone and her administration will fight to make this a reality across all parts of our society,” the proposal read.
The document also contained a pledge to include people with disabilities in her policymaking processes. “As president, Kamala will have diverse leaders with disabilities developing all the policies her administration champions, including priorities that will lift up people with disabilities,” the plan read.