CNN's Chris Cuomo's 'Mine too' joke to Kamala Harris at LGBTQ event draws backlash

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo apologized Thursday night for a remark he made to Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris while moderating the network’s LGBTQ town hall in California earlier in the evening.

Cuomo, 49, began the Los Angeles event -- before an audience composed of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities and their allies -- by welcoming Harris, D-Calif., to the stage.

Harris, following an LGBTQ custom, said her preferred pronouns were “she, her, and hers."

“Mine too,” Cuomo quipped. But the comment drew negative reaction on social media.

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"painfully awkward," one user wrote.

"It's cool that the dem nominees had an LGBTQ town hall where nobody challenged Chris Cuomo's disrespectful trans joke," another observer wrote.

Cuomo later apologized on Twitter, writing: “PLEASE READ: When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her's, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize.

“I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall,” he wrote.

But even Cuomo's apology drew backlash.

"Fredo Cuomo grovels to the intolerant left like a good puppy," one commenter wrote.

Aside from Harris, eight other Democratic 2020 contenders took part in the CNN event.

Former Vice President Joe Biden began a sentence saying, “When I came out … ,” using a phrase commonly employed by those publicly identifying as LGBTQ for the first time.

“That would be news,” CNN's Anderson Cooper interjected, prompting Biden to walk across the stage to embrace him.

“I got something to tell you ... ,” Biden started to joke to Cooper, who is gay.

“I kind of figured it out a while ago,” Cooper replied.

Biden also responded to a question from Shannon Scott, a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, who claimed she had to choose between serving in the military and her identity as a transgender woman because of the Trump administration's policy on those diagnosed with gender dysphoria serving in the military.

Biden said he would change the Trump policy if elected president.

"If I were president, you would not have to choose," he said. "Not a joke. You would not have to choose. The fact of the matter is that we're in a position where transgender men and women are in a position where they should be able to do anything anybody else in the world can do. There should be no difference."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., addressed a comment she made in 2012, in which she said she did not support the use of taxpayer money to fund transgender reassignment surgery for prison inmates.

"It was a bad answer,” Warren told the audience. “And I believe that everyone is entitled to medical care and medical care they need. And that includes people who are transgender who, it is the time for them to have gender affirming surgery. I just think that’s important."

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Harris said she would make stopping the spread of HIV/AIDs within a decade one of her top priorities if she becomes president.

Other Democrats taking part were Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and businessman Tom Steyer.