The third and final presidential debate sparked plenty of conversation on Twitter and other social media outlets, but it was a pair of tweets by author Ann Coulter that set the Internet on fire and prompted a spirited response from one person effected by her comments.
Following Monday night's debate, Coulter tweeted out to her followers that she believed Mitt Romney had taken it easy on president Barack Obama. It wasn't her opinion so much as her choice of words that were the subject of the backlash.
After sending the internet into a frenzy -- the tweet was retweeted well over 3,000 times as of Wednesday morning -- Coulter continued her crusade against Obama with another tweet with the same derogatory word.
Coulter's comments were so off base that many of her fellow conservative pundits have backed off of them and Twichy -- a conservative Twitter tracking site -- blasted her, saying "Evidently the bottom of the barrel wasn’t completely scraped clean after Ann Coulter called President Obama a '[derogatory word]' yesterday."
One person is taking the high road in all this, however. Special Olympic athlete and global messenger John Franklin penned a letter to Coulter, asking her what she meant when she used the "R-word."
"I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President
as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose
above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special
Olympians have," said Franklin.
"Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to
struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else
races from one snarky sound bite to the next.
"Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is
likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very
little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
"Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are -– and much, much more."
Franklin goes on to invite Coulter to visit the Special Olympics one day and challenges her to "walk away with your heart unchanged." He also signs the letter: "A friend you haven't made yet."
Coulter has not responded to Franklin or any of the negative reaction to her tweets.
Photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore