Former GOP Congressman Lee Zeldin on Wednesday used “retarded” on Fox News to describe Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas and was reassured by host Greg Gutfeld that it was “OK.” (Watch the video below.)
“You can say that now, it’s OK,” Gutfeld said as he mugged for the camera on his political satire show. “It’s now acceptable. I met with the associations, and they said yes.”
Just to be clear, it’s not OK. The word has been thrown around as a general insult while mocking those with intellectual disabilities. “The term ... is increasingly considered offensive,” Merriam-Webster notes.
Zeldin, the Donald Trump-backed candidate who lost the 2022 election for New York governor to Democrat Kathy Hochul, was playing off a Gutfeld riff on some of Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks about Donald Trump.
Zeldin told an anecdote about being at a hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline with the progressive New York Democrat. She wanted banks that are supporting the project to accept liability for environmental damage, he said. (The congresswoman has advocated for that.)
Zeldin told Gutfeld and crew that he was itching to ask: “Should the company that manufactured the microphone she’s speaking into be liable for the crap that’s coming out of her mouth right now? I was this close to going live.”
Zeldin imagined Ocasio-Cortez would have claimed she was being victimized in that scenario and formulated what his response would be.
“No, it’s because the argument that you’re making every day, all the time, is just too often retarded,” Zeldin said.