NPR logo Billionaire Makes Fun Of Virginia Gov. Candidate Who Stutters


Billionaire Makes Fun Of Virginia Gov. Candidate Who Stutters

Another macaca-esque incident in a Virginia political campaign.

This time it happened in the race for the state's governor. Sheila Johnson, the billionaire whose money came from Black Entertainment Television, the cable channel she co-founded with her former husband, made fun of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds who sometimes stutters when he speaks.

Speaking to a group of supporters of Republican candidate Bob McDonnell, Johnson said:

"We need someone who can really communicate. And Bob McDonnell can communicate. The other people that I talk to, especially his op-op-op-op-op-op opponent could not articulate what needed to be done. He did this all through my interview with him."

Deeds does hesitate when he speaks but his stutter really doesn't hamper is ability to communicate as demonstrated in the interview below.

Johnson's comment is especially curious since she has gained a reputation for her philanthropy, including to CARE, an organization that works on global poverty issues.

Her ex, Robert Johnson, made headlines during last year's presidential campaign when, in support of his favorite candidate, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, he said nominating then-Sen. Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee would be a mistake because Obama's admission that he used drugs as a teenager and young man could be used against him. Robert Johnson later apologized.