Sen. Carper admits ‘technology’ led to triple F-bomb outburst in postal hearing

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., acknowledged a technical glitch, not dissatisfaction with the postal service, led him to blurt out a triple F-bomb. (Cris Barrish/WHYY)

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., acknowledged a technical glitch, not dissatisfaction with the postal service, led him to blurt out a triple F-bomb. (Cris Barrish/WHYY)

U.S. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware had a profane hot-mic miscue today before he began his questioning of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a virtual Senate hearing

Carper and other members of Congress are concerned by delays and changes at the postal service and its challenges in processing millions of mail-in votes for the presidential election two-and-a-half months from now. 

The snafu occurred as the fourth-term Democrat encountered a technical glitch as he sat in his Delaware office waiting for his chance to grill DeJoy. 

The committee chairman called to him, got no answer and moved to the next senator in line.

Suddenly, with the camera on him, Carper dropped three straight F-bombs. Realizing that his eruption was live, he quickly pivoted to his questions. Soon his brief tirade, which lasted less than a second, began circulating online.

Carper later held a previously scheduled briefing outside a post office in downtown Wilmington and tried to spin his outburst as a symptom of his frustration with DeJoy and mail service. He said he’s had delays in having his own bills delivered to merchants since DeJoy took his post two months ago. So have constituents.

But pressed on why he lost his cool, Carper acknowledged the real reason he lost his cool. He said it’s par for the course in today’s high-tech, COVID-19 world.

“Oh yeah, yeah, the technology,’’ he said with a chuckle.

“Technology is an equal opportunity offender. Just ask Mitt Romney at a previous hearing. Just ask the Supreme Court. They had a [toilet] flushing experience not too long ago. And people get upset about it. So, you gotta move on and that’s what we did.”

Carper said he fears even more reductions that will damage the postal service after the election.

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