FARGO - A North Dakota U.S Senator apologized Wednesday for a tweet posted Tuesday, March 24.
In a late-night online exchange, Republican Kevin Cramer called the house speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, retarded.
Cramer now blames auto-correct function for the tweet.
He was responding to a tweet where Pelosi was being interviewed on the coronavirus relief bill being negotiated in congress.
Cramer told the Forum News Service he was "really sorry this incident happened."
Parents are outraged the tweet was posted in the first place given Cramer's position.
Lana Beaton is one parent at the center of famous Facebook duo and page "Clara & Cutler", based off two differently-abled toddlers with Down Syndrome.
The page has nearly 14,000 followers.
Beaton used this network of support to turn what she calls a sad situation into an educational one.
"Mr. Cramer, do better. Pick a different word. Act like an adult. Let's do better," Beaton said.
Beaton said she was speechless at first sight of the tweet circulating on social media.
"I just gasped. I thought this can't...this has to be false. Somebody made this up. He can't possibly have said that," she said.
Beaton doesn't want to use this time to throw more names at others, rather use anger for advocacy to educate others on those with disabilities.
She did so by asking others to write to Senator Cramer explaining why his word choice was disrespectful to many, even asking for more of an apology.
"Whether it was a typo or not, whatever side of the political fence you land on, this was a major mistake, a major faux pas, and we would love to hear an apology from him ... take accountability that no matter how it happened... It happened," she said. .
Though the tweet was taken down 10 minutes after being posted, Beaton said the few seconds it took to send out the tweet was a huge step back in all that's been done so far in the state and the country to better understand people with disabilities.
"There's a major lack of education here. If our leaders are using this kind of language and making these kinds of choices, our work is not done," Beaton said.