Sarah Palin said President Obama needs to take a "do-over" on his choice for White House chief of staff, pressing Saturday for Rahm Emanuel's firing after he used the word "retarded" to lambast a group of Democrats in a strategy session last year.
Emanuel is known for his coarse tongue, but the remarks touched a nerve among disability advocate groups, as well as Palin, when it was reported last week. Emanuel swiftly apologized to Special Olympics head Tim Shriver and then convened a meeting with him and other disability groups at the White House.
"I am not a word police person but there are some things And remember too it's not as benign as the White House wants to spin this into," Palin said. "He didn't just use the R-word applying it to a plan -- he called opponents of a plan f'ing retards. That's demeaning, degrading, it's beneath the dignity of the White House. That alone should I think make the president ask for that do-over with his chief of staff."
It's unclear whether Emanuel was aiming the apparent slur directly at the group of Democrats he was scolding at the time, or whether it was just part of the usual tapestry of profane commentary he offers on ideas he dislikes.
The Wall Street Journal had reported that he blurted, "f---ing retarded," after some Democrats at a strategy session said they were looking to air ads against conservative Democrats resisting Obama's health care plan.
But Palin said Emanuel, as well as other top administration officials, should leave for other reasons as well.
"Look who the president has chosen with Van Jones and some of these other characters. I think ... even if President Obama had a do-over he would ask for some changes in his administration," Palin said. Specifically she said Attorney General Eric Holder should be out for giving "constitutional rights" to captured "terrorists."
Palin, in her keynote speech Saturday at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, slammed the administration for processing alleged Christmas Day bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the criminal civilian court system.
"These terrorists do not deserve these protections," Palin told FoxNews.com.
As for the stink over the "retarded" comment, Palin said she went public with her complaint after special-needs parents reached out to her. She said she doesn't plan to join any public awareness group to eradicate the use of the word in common discourse, but won't stop personally bringing attention to it either.
"I'm not gonna sit down and shut up," she said. "I don't believe that I have to join any word or police thing or organization -- I can speak out independently and say, come on Mr. Emanuel, enough is enough of that, and Mr. President, come on, let's be civil, let's be professional and worthy of the positions that you have in the White House."