Feelings of ‘intense and painful humiliation’ came ‘rushing back’ to legendary airline captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger after listening to Lara Trump mock Joe Biden’s stutter. Now, Sully is telling Lara to ‘stop’ in a new essay.
Lara Trump, 37, reminded legendary Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, 68, of his childhood bullies after she took a jab at former Vice President Joe Biden’s speech impediment. Eric Trump’s wife used the “very words” that caused the retired pilot’s “childhood agony” when she took the stage at a Women For Trump event on Jan. 17, saying, “I feel kind of sad for Biden…every time he comes onstage or they turn to him, I’m like, ‘Joe can you get it out? Let’s get the words out Joe.’” That led Sully, who’s a national hero for doing an emergency landing for US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, to call out Lara in an essay for The New York Times, published on Jan. 18.
“As a small boy in Denison, Texas, I remember vividly the anguish of being called on in grade school, knowing that I was going to have a hard time getting the words out; that my words could not keep up with my mind, and they would often come out jumbled,” Sully began in his opinion piece. “My neck and face would quickly begin to flush a bright red…every eye in the room on me; the intense and painful humiliation, and bullying that would follow, all because of my inability to get the words out.”
Since Sully once suffered a stutter, Lara’s words were a slap in the face for the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot. “Those feelings [of humiliation] came rushing back, when I heard Lara Trump mocking former Vice President Joe Biden at a Trump campaign event, with the very words that caused my childhood agony,” he revealed. While Sully admitted to attending the former vice president’s fundraiser in 2019, the former airline captain insisted “this issue goes beyond politics.” He then left a powerful statement for Lara, and everyone, to reflect on: “Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or none of the above; whether you stuttered as a child or laughed at one who did; whether as a parent you try to protect your own stuttering child from taunts such as those made by the president’s daughter-in-law; these words come without hesitation: Stop. Grow up. Show some decency. People who can’t, have no place in public life.”
Sully also posed an excellent question: “What might a child who stutters, as I did, feel when they hear a grown-up on a public stage trying to make a bunch of other adults laugh by ridiculing a public figure who also stutters?”
Lara has yet to respond to Sully’s essay. However, a day before it was released, Lara — who’s serving as President Donald Trump’s campaign adviser — claimed she didn’t know Joe has a stutter. “Yet another example of the egregious reporting we see every day in the mainstream media,” Lara tweeted on Jan. 17, in response to a headline that said she “mock[ed]” Joe’s stutter. She added, “Anyone who takes 10 seconds to watch what I actually said can clearly see that I never mention a stutter — didn’t even know he had one — but they can’t help themselves.”