Former Vice President and 2020 presidential contender Joe Biden noted in Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate that children struggling with a stutter reached out to him for advice.
A recent profile in The Atlantic detailed Biden's own problems with a stutter during his youth.
Responding to a concluding question about what gift a candidate would give or from whom they asked forgiveness, Biden referenced the youths who reached out to him for help with their speech.
"They keep in touch with me. A little kid, he says 'I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I can't, I-I-I can't talk, w-w-what do I do?''
Biden's own struggle with his stutter was apparently news to former White House Press Secretary and current Fox News correspondent Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who mocked Biden's stutter in a now-deleted tweet.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders just deleted this tweet. https://t.co/xgkXA37QrV— Sahil Kapur (@Sahil Kapur) 1576815113.0
Biden soon responded to Sanders with a lesson on empathy.
I’ve worked my whole life to overcome a stutter. And it’s my great honor to mentor kids who have experienced the sa… https://t.co/tSTdEejvie— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden) 1576813340.0
And in an uncharacteristic move from a former Trump official, Sanders apologized.
I actually didn’t know that about you and that is commendable. I apologize and should have made my point respectful… https://t.co/P4QnYJ24Yc— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@Sarah Huckabee Sanders) 1576815008.0
Sanders, both as press secretary and Fox News correspondent, routinely defends the President's own bullying and lack of tact.
This led many to consider the apology hollow.
The only "point" in your now-deleted tweet was to mock those with a stuttering disability. Considering how you eag… https://t.co/Y3rZdzrrot— Polar Ginger (@Polar Ginger) 1576853562.0
#SarahHuckabeeIsALiar You deliberately went out of your way to mock a person who has a speech impairment so your so… https://t.co/ZyKWpa0JHF— Laura (@Laura) 1576839706.0
This is what happens when you choose to deliberately engage in personal attacks at the highest and loudest levels i… https://t.co/Gpz3Du9gUA— A A Fall (@A A Fall) 1576852241.0
Sarah Huckabee Sanders knew exactly what she was doing She was making fun of people who stutter There was no way… https://t.co/9EZ43czEzB— Edward Hardy (@Edward Hardy) 1576845900.0
People were surprised that Biden's response got a Republican to apologize.
Biden now has a *very rare* distinction in US politics in that he's managed to get a Republican to back down and ap… https://t.co/4uwvV7Y92w— Danny Lay Ybounden (@Danny Lay Ybounden) 1576841985.0
Have never seen this liar Sarah Sanders back down before Thank you Vice President @JoeBiden for directly confront… https://t.co/L1Lx7FYhLZ— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@☇RiotWomenn☇) 1576815827.0
Holy malarkey. Joe Biden got a Republican to apologize. https://t.co/hdlAXtRFuj— Bill Scher (@Bill Scher) 1576815138.0
Sanders herself famously took umbrage at the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner, in which comedian and host Michelle Wolf claimed Sanders burnt the lies she told to create "the perfect smoky eye," which some took as a dig on Sanders' appearance.
So wait, there's a respectful way to make fun of a person who has a stutter? Do tell, and while you're at it, remin… https://t.co/mguXiSYTyE— Heather & Jessica (@Heather & Jessica) 1576818111.0
Republican hypocrisy abounds. Remind us how "offended" you were about someone complimenting your smoky eye shadow..… https://t.co/4VBcR7p67c— The Rise of Dupe (@The Rise of Dupe) 1576816497.0
Eww.. and you cried when someone made fun of your eyeshadow. https://t.co/sVVsWXBmuQ— Its_Isabella (@Its_Isabella) 1576855530.0
Sanders remains relatively silent on Twitter since the apology, only retweeting two Republican figures disparaging Democratic performance at the debate.