Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders apologized Thursday after viciously mocking Joe Biden’s stuttering in Thursday’s Democratic debate in a post that stunned the former vice president — and other critics.
Biden snapped back: “It’s called empathy. Look it up.”
After Sanders’ first message was flooded with furious responses, she insisted in a follow-up tweet that she “was not trying to make fun of anyone with a speech impediment.” Then she deleted the tweet. Then she apologized.
Biden, who has himself battled to overcome stuttering, was actually demonstrating a stutter during the debate. He said he keeps in touch with people who have reached out to him for help. “The little kid who said, ‘I-I-I can’t talk. Wh-wh-what do I do?’ I have scores of these young women and men who I keep in contact with,” he said.
Sanders initially reacted with a tweet reading: “I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I hhhave absolutely no idea what Biden is talking about.”
She insisted in a tweet minutes later that she wasn’t “trying to make fun of anyone with a speech impediment.”
No one was having it, especially Biden.
I’ve worked my whole life to overcome a stutter. And it’s my great honor to mentor kids who have experienced the same. It’s called empathy. Look it up. https://t.co/0kd0UJr9Rs
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 20, 2019
That’s when Sanders apologized.
I actually didn’t know that about you and that is commendable. I apologize and should have made my point respectfully. https://t.co/fbmVAqDoWI
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) December 20, 2019
Maybe some of these tweets got to her:
You know everyone can see this, right?
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) December 20, 2019
Biden: "You know, I used to be a very bad stutterer... It does not define you. It cannot define you.. Give me your phone number.”
regardless of party, i think we can all agree: more acts like this, less attacking grieving widows.
— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) December 20, 2019
Joe Biden is not my candidate, but I will absolutely not tolerate disability discrimination & I will immediately come to his defense on this matter.
My 6 year old son spent 2 years in speech therapy & continues to have difficulty with stuttering.
So screw off, @SarahHuckabee!
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) December 20, 2019
He overcame a stutter as a child and started the Stuttering Foundation. Thanks for mocking the disabled. Republicans are garbage.
— The Original Whistle Blower (@kschase13) December 20, 2019
I recommend Christianity Today for a starting point.
— Edward Browden (@edwardebrowden) December 20, 2019
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.