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Barack Obama Apologizes For Special Olympic Joke

Barack Obama Apologizes For Special Olympic Joke

President Barack Obama appears on The Tonight Show and is interviewed by Jay Leno on Thursday (March 19) in Burback, Calif.

During the interview Leno tried to compliment the president’s bowling score but Obama said, “It was like the Special Olympics or something.” The White House quickly issued a statement and said Obama‘s remarks were, “in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics.”

On his way back to Washington on Air Force One, Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver, to apologize before the program aired Thursday night. “He expressed his disappointment and he apologized, I think in a way that was very moving,” Shriver told Good Morning America today.

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  • BECCA

    I saw it and we need some humor in our lives right now. Nothing wrong. Anyway Pls vote for Drew Barrymore to direct Eclipse.

  • sillyme

    This guy is an embarrassment. I was listening to a middle east expert earlier today and he said that the Iranians consider the video message Barack sent to Iran today to be a form of “surrender.” They now see the US and our new president as weak. So, he disses the countries that have been our friends, and tries to kiss up to countries that want to destroy us. People thought our reputation in the world would improve because of Obama. Instead, because of the way he’s spending like there’s no tomorrow, and his foolish foreign policy, we’re the laughing stocks of the world.

  • chels

    he is the best.. stop trying to find something bad about him

  • Amanda

    jjared suck!

  • Angel

    Where’s the teleprompter when you need it?????? Obama without a speech to read is dangerous and obviously someone that has no problem making fun of special needs children. How pathetic and sad. Our first Mixed President is really mixed up.

  • http://justjared scroogenot

    americans,it is said, are the dumbest people in the world,so they went to the polls and voted , removing all doubt!!

  • Obama

    You could tell he was only joking about his own lack of bowling skills and didn’t mean to offend anyone.

    People need to lighten up and develop a sense of humour.

    Obama is a breath of fresh air after that idiot Bush who could barely string a sentence together and who destroyed the US economy.

    Americans should be proud that they now have such an intelligent, charismatic and inspiring President compared to the incompetent Bush!

  • Wtf

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what he said.

  • vanessa

    oh come on, everyone jokes about the special olympics.
    :p
    Remember that Johnny Knoxville movie?? hah It did great. People need to start pulling some serious sticks out of their asses and just have a laugh or two.

  • Gino

    I love my president!

  • John Casey

    COME ON, people! Get a LIFE & a sense of HUMOR. Obama was NOT insulting the disabled. A few years ago, NOBODY would have thought TWICE about such a remark. (WHO hasn’t said something SIMILAR themselves?) It is NOT a pejorative — merely a means of stating OBAMA IS NOT A GOOD BOWLER. Frankly, JAY LENO CAUSED THIS by acting FOOLISHLY (Clucking & patting his mouth like an old woman)!
    HERE’S TO SARAH PALIN’S slime: SHE actually had the balls *(chutzpah) to berate Barak for the remark — MEANWHILE SHE JUST TURNED AWAY $500-MILLION (stimulus) THAT would have helped CHILDREN w./Special NEEDS in AK. WHO IS THE HYPOCRITE?
    Every right-WINGER, that’s who! Instead of letting the MAN try to fix whats WRONG w/this country (LARGELY CAUSED BY 8-YRS of a bumbling/INSINCERE Wall St-LOVING BUSH).
    LET THE GUY ALONE=! He is ten times SMARTER than ANY BUSH or any GOPer could EVER BE.

  • CK

    I don’t see the big deal. Who is even offended by this, besides “special” people? And do they even understand what he said?

  • meh

    Just a joke, but a bit insensitive IMO. It’s good that he apologised, since it did offend some people, even if most of us aren’t offended. he is the president after all.

  • ally

    I see only retards are offended.

  • uglysexy

    I don’t think they should make those poor kids compete…
    does every iota of america have to infused with dog eat dog
    competition and rat race mentality??? even for the
    congenitally challenged?
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006718/

  • a total fan

    CK @ 03/20/2009 at 9:22 pm I don’t see the big deal. Who is even offended by this, besides “special” people? And do they even understand what he said?
    ________________________________________________

    Maybe not but their parents and loved one did .

    This is why our President, the person that hold the highest office in the land should stick to written speeches.

  • This time

    I like Obmama.Voted forhim. I donot sgree witheverything abouthim. Icall theshots as Isee them.
    BAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDD choice of words here. Just bad.
    Presidents, rule 1, need tostop trying tobe a celb. Obama down to Carter. The Cater Playboy interview…remember. I mean Obama-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Regan-Carter. Thisnew thing is wrong. Obama was wrong and he should nothave been onthe tonight show anyway.
    No President belongs on pop tv shows,etc.

  • http://conservativeblackpundit.com/ the pundit

    vanessa @ 03/20/2009 at 9:12 pm oh come on, everyone jokes about the special olympics.
    :p
    Remember that Johnny Knoxville movie?? hah It did great.

    ************************************

    Johnny Knoxville is a comedian who staples his ba!!s to his thigh. Are you not intelligent enough to understand that the behavior of the leader of the most powerful nation on earth should rise slightly above that of someone who calls himself a jackass?

    Traveling across country to shoot the breeze with Leno (and insult and entire group of disabled Americans in the process), spending time preening on ESPN as he handicaps basketball games, bowling, appointing a tax cheat to run our Treasury Department, naming a slew of other appointees so ethically and legally flawed that they had to relinquish their posts…. Gee, our Commander has been a very busy fellow. When on earth does he find time to effectively govern? Judging by the state of our economy (and the latest AIG fiasco), I’d say — never.

  • chelsea

    he’s making fun of himself more than the special olympics.

  • chelsea

    he’s making fun of himself more than the special olympics.

  • suzieq

    I bet all you hypocrites would be singing a whole new tune if it were McCain or Bush who said something like this.

  • http://www.trekmedic251.blogspot.com Bitter american

    Yet ANOTHER embarrassing moment from the Obamistake! We’re p***ing off allies to please the Russians. We’ve all but apologized to the Iranians. Hillary’s all but thrown Israel under the bus. We insulted the British PM by giving him some store-bought trinkets when he made his first official visit. Now,..THIS! He’s an elitist snob. We knew it during the election and the press chose to ignore it. Well,…America – you voted for him, you’re stuck with him for 4 years. Plenty of time to wake up before 2012.

  • allen

    # 22

    you are so full of it! overdoing it for sure.

    probably closed minded as well.

    go wake up yourself

  • lucy and Ethel

    Get over yourselves!!!!!
    Barack Obama had zero malice in mind here.
    So obvious.
    How exhausting it must be to have to watch every syllable that comes out of your mouth.
    Love that he went on Leno.
    He IS the “PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT” not another elitist freak from the establishment.
    LOVE HIM.

  • vanessa

    the pundit @ 03/20/2009 at 9:58 pm
    Johnny Knoxville is a comedian who staples his ba!!s to his thigh. Are you not intelligent enough to understand that the behavior of the leader of the most powerful nation on earth should rise slightly above that of someone who calls himself a jackass?

    Traveling across country to shoot the breeze with Leno (and insult and entire group of disabled Americans in the process), spending time preening on ESPN as he handicaps basketball games, bowling, appointing a tax cheat to run our Treasury Department, naming a slew of other appointees so ethically and legally flawed that they had to relinquish their posts…. Gee, our Commander has been a very busy fellow. When on earth does he find time to effectively govern? Judging by the state of our economy (and the latest AIG fiasco), I’d say — never.
    **************
    I didn’t read your whole comment because you just sound like you need a drink. So I’ll just, ever so politly ,repeat please pull the large stick out of your ass and have a little laugh. Trust me it won’t kill you.
    Oh and that was Steve-o who stappled his nuts to his thigh, not Knoxville.
    :p

  • jdub

    all you haters need to chill out. the man made a joke, no biggie. ppl make special ed jokes all of the time. most people dont really mean what they say. even tho he’s the president, it doesnt mean he’s perfect. if mccain made a comment like that, would you say he’s an embarrassment too?? i dont think so. you’re just bitter because obamas the man and the one you wanted to win didnt. you all need to lighten up. k thats all i have to say

  • dancer

    he is the joke

  • yup

    Talk about hypocrites. The same people who were offended or criticized Bush for putting his foot in his mouth or now defending Obama. How many things went wrong in this interview? alot. And it just an embarrassment in the first place he’d go on Jay Leno when he was president.

  • Sarah

    I’m not much on Obama at all! But Jeez, you can’t tell a joke or even fart in America these days. All of you bleeding heart liberals are killing America. Everything has to be politically correct and just so. We are now so involved with saving dogs and killing babies, that we don’t know which end is up!

  • marisa

    GREAT JOB OTERS OF AMERICA WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA, NOW YOU CAN SEE THAT WE HAVE A COMPLETE AND TOTAL IGNORANT ASSWIPE FOR OUR PRESIDENT. HOW EMBARASSING. SERIOUSLY I BET IF MCCAIN OR BUSH SAID A STATEMENT LIKE THIS, YOU WOULD HAVE HIS HEAD.

  • Autumn

    God this country is uptight

  • Lana

    I don’t see why is ofensive, give a break
    Love you OBAMA, you are the best!

  • Lana

    I don’t see why is ofensive, give a break
    Love you OBAMA, you are the best!

  • YO MAMA

    Obama is a liar. He says he is shocked about the AIG bonuses even though he signed a bill that will PROTECT the AIG bonuses. I don’t know what’s funnier. Listening to Obama or reading the comments defending Obama.

  • k

    If Bush said it, they would rip him up. But since his highness said it, it’s ok.

  • ariana

    he just said it in amongst laughing it wasnt like a full statment like “it was like bowling in the special olypmics!” or something soo whatttt……

    does that make sense idk … what im trying to say is it came out big deal he didnt mean anything by it

  • http://twitter Misty

    I absolutely love our president. He is very down to earth and can make jokes. He is the average joe trying to make the US a better place!! Shame on you people who have no faith in him.

  • Deidre

    All you people that are all about Obama…let me ask you, WHY??!

    He is an arrogant idiot!! You are all blinded by his smooth talk and empty promises. What kind of national leader with the fate of our beloved country in his hands has the audacity to go on JAY LENO or any other television appearance besides addressing our nation. He is an embarrassment and a sign of weakness. It makes me sick how people act like he is some messiah…it’s seriously concerning to me! It shows the lack of knowledge and independent thought this country is missing. I’m scared of the next 4 years.

  • dontcare..

    President Obama, is getting more scrutiny that should have been towards, wall street and bush over the last eight some odd years. I don’t know why people keep saying that he has a “messiah” complex. He’s worked hard for everything he’s accomplished, he messed up as a child/teen/young adult, but he rose above it. He graduated from Columbia and Harvard. He gives people hope because he was able to better his life and his childrens lives. So he smiles alot, is this not a part of his character? It’s nice to see hope not doubt in his eyes. I would rather see a smile than a sourpuss. &a offhand remark that was taken out of context and way to far. He apologized get over it. He was making fun of himself.

  • Nalah Masterson

    Look how BUSH MAN left this country???? YOU NARLEY BUSH LOVERS.
    BUSHMAN had 8 years Obama has had 59 days do your math.

  • http://jj.com LYNN

    I watched J Leno show last night and did not leave the room because I did not want to miss any part of the President’s comments. I did not hear anything offensive. I thought he said his bowling was a 129 or something like that and L leno said thats not too bad and the president said Oh I was like the Olympic or something.. This morning my sister had her radio on some conservative radio station and this guy was making a big deal about what the president had said. This stupie man on the radio was going crazy and hanging up on all the people that called in disagreeing with him and he was yelling at them. so my sister asked me if I had heard the President making fun of the Special Olympic and I said no I didnt hear all that, because if this guy had’nt repeated it as something bad I would not have remember the President was talking about himself and his low bowling score. It is amazing how people can make anything nasty. We all have some special needs people in our families. I was not offended and I am sure if anyone other than the president had said the same thing I still would not have been offended. I remember the conservatives were already angry about him appearing on J Leno already and any other tv. These right wing conservative need to help this country find out what happened to all the money that has been taken out of this country and stop pulling s*** out of a hat just to divert attention from the main subject. People are losing jobs, china has been selling this country nothing but junk, we find out in Texas we will have toll road being built by foreigners and they will charge the american people to travel across their own country. I bet you dont hear the right wing talking about that. We will hear about it when it is too late to keep it from happening. It is alway those little secrets that never get out, but is very important to the American people’s welfare.

  • Demi Pattinson

    Barack Obama has a lot on his plate right now and it’s been 60 days and people are ready to throw in the towel.Oh my God. What have you done to help change this country besides pointing fingers. Shame on you.
    Bush was taking a vacation the 1st 3 weeks he got into office do you recall that ???
    Do your homework and read and educate yourself on what is really going on and stop listening to people around you and what there saying do your own homework.

  • rachel

    i don’t see what the big ddeal is!

  • http://www.vectormotors.com gerard Vandenberg

    Why is it america refuses to become MATURE, folks!!
    let’s just say it again: please usa, GROW UP!!!!!!

  • melissa asherman

    even at the time of saying that “joke” …. didn’t he realize it’s really BAD to say that? If Bush said that, they would be ALL over him. Obama says it and it’s okay.

  • Amanda

    That’s what happens when he doesn’t read from his TelePrompTer, and what the hell is he doing yukking it up with Leno and doing Townhalls likes it 2008 and he’s still campaigning for the job, especially when his administration is barely staffed like Tim tax dodging Geruthier being the only guy in Treasury, 18 under Secretary positions to help him haven’t even been filled, he’s practically all by himself to oversee trillions of dollars of assets and doing a crap job at it, hence the AIG bonuses and not having the confidence of the business community, Obama surpassed any President in the last 60 years for the longest time to fill his cabinet of any administration, instead of dealing with the banks, bailouts, unemployment, his staff the economy he is either traveling around having his Obama! Obama! townhalls or having another party at the WhiteHouse, or spending trillions of tax dollars on all the special interests groups that funded ‘ the most expensive campaign in history”, now I know what they bought. And that doesn’t include his ridiculous budget that will add 9.7 trillion dollars to the national debt more then all Presidents combined, so me in my 20′s is guaranteed to have to live a poorer lifestyle them my parents because of all the debt Obama’s grand plans will add to the deficit, which my generation will have to pay with massive taxes hikes and at the time having much poorer government.

  • Love him

    What kind of idiot would expect our new president to be able to
    undo in just two months what a clueless chief executive took almost a decade to create??!!

  • lala

    oh please, people make such scandals out of nothing. Leave the man alone

  • venting!

    This is in such bad taste- he is supposed to be the F-ing President of the United States! Get going, get to work and at least TRY to stabalize/fix our flagging economy! For all of you who voted for this pretty-boy, where is your savior now? Hmm? Has he been helping you and your families? NO!NO! and NO!- he’s too busy hamming it up with J. leno and all is celebrity friends!- MORON! Do YOUR JOB and help us Americans earn back our savings, jobs, livelihood and lifestyle! And to offend the special olympics and all those inspiring athletes to boot~ He is an ABSOLUTE DISGRACE~! He is NOT a comedian being paid to make jokes and make ppl. laugh- he is supposed to be our President, Leader of the whole free world! 2012 can’t come quick enough… Where’s good ol’ Mitt Romney when we really, really, need him -like him or not, he at least has the business experience that would have been so beneficial to our country during this time of a recession, but no-the country had to vote through their rose-colored glasses… let’s see where that gets us in the next 4-yrs. when the blinders are finally pulled off and a cold, hard reality sets in! My family is only one of millions suffering right now and I cannot believe the audacity of this man who is supposed to be working to help us out of this mess. And believe me, I will be the first one to praise him IF he is ABLE to do it- so far, what have we got? NADA! AIG bonuses being paid out in the millions to ppl. who ultimately brought down that company, Hmm… that makes sense- shell out millions of dollars in bonuses for FAILURE! This country/society is so backwards it would be laughable if it were not so scary and real at this particular moment in our history… and we are supposed to rely on an inexperienced senator who got lucky and made it all the way to the White House? Hmm, ya, ok if you all say so… I am so far not convinced in the slightest! I’m angry that all I can see is everything that my family and I have worked so hard for falling faster than a hot air balloon without the air- it’s scary beyond belief! Sorry to vent, but it felt good to release all my anger/fears.

  • grace

    What kind of idiot would expect our new president to be able to
    undo in just two months what a clueless chief executive took almost a decade to create??!!
    ____________________________________________

    I guess the kind of idiot is you. Obama has added MORE to the deficit in two months than Bush did in 8 years.

    In plain english. Obama has done more damage (money wise) in two months than Bush has done in 8 years.

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