Chuck Schumer Apologizes For 'Outdated And Hurtful Language' On Podcast

The Senate majority leader was discussing people with developmental disabilities.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) apologized Monday for using the word “retarded” to describe people with intellectual disabilities in a weekend interview.

In a podcast about the New York City Housing Authority that was shared Sunday, Schumer recalled his days as a state representative when he experienced community resistance to housing for people with disabilities.

“When I first was an assemblyman, they wanted to build a congregate living place for retarded children. The whole neighborhood was against it,” Schumer said. “These are harmless kids. They just needed some help.”

Schumer drew criticism for his remark, and his office issued an apology.

“For decades, Sen. Schumer has been an ardent champion for enlightened policy and full funding of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Schumer’s spokesperson said in a statement, per the Wrap. “He is sincerely sorry for his use of the outdated and hurtful language.”

Nearly all 50 states have reportedly removed “mental retardation” from laws, and President Barack Obama signed a measure in 2010 to erase such offensive terminology from federal government language, favoring “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability.”

In 2018, President Donald Trump denied ever calling someone “mentally retarded,” but evidence to the contrary exposed the baldfaced lie.