On Monday night during the final presidential debate, Coulter used the long-considered derogatory term for mentally handicapped individuals. She tweeted that she thought Mitt Romney was handling the debate well, apparently by not engaging Obama too aggressively.
I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 23, 2012
"What a stupid, shallow thing to say, Ann," fellow conservative pundit Michelle Malkin tweeted in response early on Tuesday.
"She sure doesn’t speak for us," the staff of Malkin's social media site Twitchy wrote in an article headlined "Groan: Ann Coulter calls President Obama a 'retard.' "
The site also noted that it may be the first time Malkin has agreed with some of the pro-Obama celebrities also criticizing Coulter's comment on Twitter, such as CBS's "Partners" actress Sophia Bush, NBC's "Up all night" star Christina Applegate, singer Michelle Branch and actress/deaf advocate Marlee Matlin.
Malkin and Bush were already engaged in a heated Twitter debate over their policy differences, but Malkin noted that she agreed with Bush that Coulter went too far in her tweet.
Coulter's remark passed rapidly around the Internet in the early morning hours of Tuesday, following the final presidential debate, and many other high-profile names in Hollywood also weighed in, including Danny Zuker, the executive producer of the ABC sitcom "Modern Family," documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, and Decemberists singer Colin Meloy.
I'm sorry to even retweet that ignorant comment by Ms. Coulter. I don't care who you are. The "R" word is so absolutely disgusting.— Michelle Branch (@michellebranch) October 23, 2012
Despite our differences, it's NOT ok to use "R" word. Consider millions ofdevelopmentally challenged Americans. It's just UNBELIEVABLE— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) October 23, 2012
Despite criticism, Coulter persisted in using the same word again on Tuesday. She also used the term to describe MSNBC host Chris Matthews last August, and in September criticized Obama for going after "the retarded vote."
Obama: "Stage 3 Romneysia" - because cancer references are HILARIOUS.If he's "the smartest guy in the room" it must be one retarded room.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 23, 2012
Coulter and Malkin are both syndicated columnists and authors of New York Times best sellers.
It is not the first time Coulter has broken with other conservatives. In 2010, she sided with gay conservative groups despite controversy among conservative sponors about their inclusion in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).