White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel apologized to the head of the Special Olympics today after the Wall Street Journal reported the fiery Chicagoan privately called a group of liberal activists "f---ing retarded."
Last August, Emanuel "showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides," the Journal's Peter Wallsten reported. "Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama's health-care overhaul. 'F—ing retarded,' Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items."
A White House official confirms that Emanuel made the remark and reports that Emanuel called Tim Shriver last week when the Journal story first appeared to apologize to the disabled community and the apology was accepted.
"The White House remains committed to addressing the concerns and needs of Americans living with disabilities and recognizes that derogatory remarks demean us all," the official said. The apology was first reported by Politico's Ben Smith.