BOSTON — Vice President George Bush has apologized to a mother of a girl with Down's syndrome for his use of the phrase "the extra-chromosome set" to refer to conservatives who oppose the recently signed arms-control treaty, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The phrase had drawn fire from Kathleen Mulligan of Methuen, Mass., and other parents of children with Down's syndrome, a condition involving mental and physical handicaps caused by an extra chromosome.
Mulligan told the Boston Herald that she had received a telephone apology Wednesday from the GOP presidential candidate.
She said Bush told her: " 'Mrs. Mulligan, I'm calling you to apologize for the statement I made last week.' "
Bush made the remark in a television interview Friday to refer to a group of conservatives who oppose the treaty to eliminate land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. He told Mulligan he was unaware that the term "extra-chromosome set" referred to those with Down's syndrome.