Joe Biden, during the sixth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season, which was co-hosted by PBS NewsHour & Politico at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, seemed to struggle with his speech. The former Vice President stuttered while talking, which many people watching, including, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, misconstrued as either him mocking those with a stutter, or being inept to handle the debate stage.
Huckabee Sanders was clearly unaware that Biden has been struggling with a stutter his entire life, an issue he’s spoken about numerous times, in plenty of interviews, and the former White House press secretary tweeted on Thursday night “I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I hhhave absolutely no idea what Biden is talking about. #DemDebate.”
In response , Symone D. Sanders, senior advisor of Biden’s 2020 Presidential campaign tweeted, “Is this truly the example you want to set for your children Sarah? It’s sad you missed VP Biden talking about how he connects with people on the trail whether they struggle with a stutter or losing a loved one.”
Huckabee Sanders then re-tweeted her original comment and tried to back step from her bullying statement. She said, “To be clear was not trying to make fun of anyone with a speech impediment. Simply pointing out I can’t follow much of anything Biden is talking about.”
Biden, however, wasn’t buying it. From his official Twitter account the former Vice President tweeted, “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.”
In the end, Huckabee Sanders deleted her tweet and sent out an apology. She tweeted to Biden, “I actually didn’t know that about you and that is commendable. I apologize and should have made my point respectfully.”
Biden Has Spoken About His Speech Impediment For Years, He’s Had A Stutter Since Childhood
In an interview with The Atlantic Biden shared some of his less than favorite memories growing up with a stutter.
“People have casually asked whether I have Parkinson’s. I curl my toes inside my shoes or tap my foot as a distraction to help me get out of it, a behavior that I’ve repeated so often, it’s become a tic. Sometimes I shuffle a pen between my hands. When I was little, I used to press my palm against my forehead in an effort to force the missing word out of my brain. Back then, my older brother would imitate this motion and the accompanying sound, a dull whine—something between a cow and a sheep. A kid at baseball camp, Michael, referred to me as “Stutter Boy.” He’d snap his fingers and repeat it as if calling a dog. “Stutter Boy! Stutter Boy!” In college, I applied for a job at a coffee shop. I stuttered horribly through the interview, and the owner told me he couldn’t hire me, because he wanted his café to be “a place where customers feel comfortable.”
Stuttering is a neurological disorder that affects roughly 70 million people worldwide, with about 3 million of whom live in America. A stutter can be genetic component, around two-thirds of stutterers have a family member who actively stutters or used to. Biden’s uncle on his mother’s side was a stutterer. His nickname in high school was “Dash,” not only cuz he was a fast runner on the football field, but because of his impediment.
Huckabee Sanders Continued to Defend Trump’s Behavior After He Joked About the Late Rep. John Dingell
The former White House press secretary was quite vocal with her opinions on Thursday. While speaking with Fox News, she defended Trump’s behavior after he joked about former Rep. John Dingell, who died in February, during his rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Trump spoke about how Rep. Debbie Dingell had called him about eight months ago when her husband died, hoping for flags to be lowered in memory of her husband. Trump said that John Dingell had died after being ill for a long time, and he did a lot to honor the former Representative after his death.
“She calls me up and says ‘that’s the nicest thing that ever happens, thank you so much’” the President said in a somewhat mocking tone, “‘John would be so thrilled, he’s looking down he’d be so thrilled, thank you so much.’ I said ‘that’s OK don’t worry about it’, maybe he’s looking up? I don’t know.”
The president was implying that the late congressman was in Hell. “Maybe, but let’s assume he’s looking down,” Trump added.
This type of behavior is completely fine, according to Sanders. She explained to Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer that is how “a fighter” acts.
“He’s somebody who is never going to take a punch and not punch back,” Huckabee Sanders said, when asked about Trump’s Battle Creek rally. “I think that’s the only reason he has been able to survive the last three years is because he is so tough. If he wasn’t, and if anybody else was in his position, I think they would be curled up in a ball on the floor in their office most days. But this is a president who’s resilient and he believes in what he is doing, he loves the country and he’s going to continue to go out and fight for the country and fight for the people that Democrats are ignoring. And I think you saw that last night unfold.”