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March 20, 2009

OOPS! Presidential Gaffe on "The Tonight Show"

Posted: 11:20 AM ET

So Pres. Obama made his first big verbal gaffe as president.  Is it much ado about nothing?  Were you offended?artobamalenoafpgi

We'll ask the Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver those questions tonight.

We also want to hear from you about Mr. Obama's remarks.  Leave your comments about this story/non-story here.


Read more about it HERE.

See the Tonight Show interview HERE.

Filed under: Uncategorized


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hope   March 20th, 2009 11:24 am ET

Aye not really funny and not really offencive either. Just a stupid comment. I betcha some special olymics athletes could whip his butt in bowling.

Who wrote that joke for him? Whydidnt he say ... ummmm, I dont think so.....


tommie   March 20th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

it will all blow oveer..just bring the troops home....


D   March 20th, 2009 1:56 pm ET

Why in the world would He apologize to the Chairman of Special Olympics and say he doesn't have to apologize to the American Public.

It wasn't a funny joke I heard. I heard someone making fun of mentally and physically disabled people. I think he needs to apologize to the public because we all know what word he was referring to.

I think he should be grateful that he has 2 beautiful and healthy children and never has to go through what some families have to due to the fact that they have a disabled child or relative. Special Olympic's isn't just about sports, it's about the mentally challenged having the same rights to participate and socialize in society.

But what I can see the WHITE HOUSE just doesn't get it.


Pam Thompson   March 20th, 2009 2:35 pm ET

Larry, This is a NON issue! NOT important. Lets talk about something important now already! It was a joke! Pam


Dierdra   March 20th, 2009 2:36 pm ET

That so-called gaffe is just another excuse for the Republicans to kick and scream and have a trantrum just as any spoiled child would. It was an innocent gaffe and one most of us would make in private conversations. It doesn't say anything about who President Obama is or about his feelings concerning the special olympics. Those who are throwing stones had better watch out. Many of them live in glass houses. Grow up folks and stop whining. It's unattractive.


Marty Blevins   March 20th, 2009 2:43 pm ET

First, Mr Shriver doesn't accept the Presidents apology on my behalf or any other parent of a Special Needs child. Mr. Shriver runs an Organization that represents people with Special Needs but he also has a long lineage with politics and the Democratic Party. I believe that his background has kept him from really representing the outrage that people have with the Presidents comments.

If a caucasian President made a comment about his abilities compared to someone of a different race the outrage would be more. What was said by the President represents prejudice, just in a different form. What the President really needs to do is examine his heart and attitude towards people who are in a "different" group than him, whether it be political, economical, ethnic, religious, or ability.

I think that anyone who wasn't bothered by the Presidents comments should examine their heart and their attitude.

Written by the father of a child with Special Needs.


JIM CARROLL INTERNET FREE PRESS   March 20th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

DOES PRESIDENT OBAMA KNOW THAT PRICE GOUGING
IS CALLED INFLATION?
DOES THE NEWS MEDIA KNOW THAT PRICE GOUGING
IS CALLED INFLATION? INFLATION IS A EUPHEMISM FOR THEFT.
WHY DON’T WE CALL BANK ROBBING INFLATION AND PAY BANK ROBBERS BONUSES RATHER THAN SEND THEM TO PRISON?
Jim Carroll internetfreepress.com We need a Department of Comsumer Affairs to prevent price gouging. Price gouging destroys the money supply.


Linda Minier   March 20th, 2009 3:10 pm ET

I don't understand what all the fuss is about, as an educator of the handicapped and a sister of a handicapped individual I was not offended. He is admitting he is disabled at "bowling." He needs to practice, we know he is better at basketball. Read the story/poem the "Animal School." Obama has the potential to be a great President and I wish for the best. Stop the nit picking. I would like the Republicans to stop bashing the Democrats and the Democrats to stop worrying about them. Both parties need to get things right and stop this nonsense.


Marty Blevins   March 20th, 2009 3:16 pm ET

What does Jim Carroll's rant about Inflation have to do with this post?
The post is about the Presidents disparaging remarks about Special Olympics Athletes. Why was it even posted by CNN here?


Heather   March 20th, 2009 3:16 pm ET

I think what Obama said was in very poor taste. People who say it's not a big deal obviously don't have any loved ones who are special needs people.


John   March 20th, 2009 3:22 pm ET

Nothing but a Tempest In A Teapot. President Obama was clearly not using the term with evil intent or to ridicule our Special Olympic Athletes. Take it in the context it was said. The Presidents' clear intent was to describe his bowling skills. I know it's the job of some people to disect everything the President says but this is carrying things too far.


Marty Blevins   March 20th, 2009 3:28 pm ET

No John, it's not a Tempest in a teapot. But it's not as innocent as you make it sound either. When Leno was laughing about the Presidents poor score the President laughed and referred to his bowling being like Special Olympics......which is making fun of Special Olympics Athletes. Most of these Athletes have caring hearts, unlike most of the people to post here.


jaie   March 20th, 2009 3:35 pm ET

Oh Please!!!!!!!!!
Give me a break. I agree with tommie, bring the troops home. Talk about that for a change.


Jackie T   March 20th, 2009 3:41 pm ET

The Republicans are always looking for something negative to comment about President Obama about. They have not made any comments about how he is helping the Governer of California who is a Republican. I think that he didn't mean any harm personally or to offend any physically handicap person. It was a wrong chose of words. He has only been in office 90 days and he have been working since day one.Abraham Lincoln couldn't have put his words any better.A House Divided Cannot Stand. If our parties would come together in unity. We could fix this country that Bush left in a mess. I'm pretty sure all of us have thought one way and it came out our mouths another.


Justice for The Righteous   March 20th, 2009 3:49 pm ET

President Obama called Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver to apologize before the program even aired.

Shriver said on ABC's “Good Morning America.” “It’s important to see that words hurt, and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seen as humiliating or a put-down of people with special needs do cause pain, and they do result in stereotypes."

WHILE the AIG is in firestorm, he went to Jay Leno to crack
jokes while he should be concentrating on the economy.
WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP....? if it is not serious, why APOLOGIZE???? IT IS CRUEL AND OFFENSIVE...PERIOD....


Jeannette American via Canada   March 20th, 2009 3:54 pm ET

There are those who like to make much ado about anything.
Yes, some family members have special needs, and sometimes words get said, like everybody on this planet at one time or another will say, without malice, something.
The MOST important issue is that President Obama has signed the STEM CELL RESEARCH BILL! That to us was the greatest moment in USA history! Words can hurt, but ACTION taken by President Obama speak LOUDER!

We rather have a President who's Action Speaks Louder than Words!


Kelli from Tampa   March 20th, 2009 4:08 pm ET

The sad part is I am doing an internship at an art facility for the developmentally disabled and there are MANY paintings of Obama and his family they have painted since he was elected. I hope their feelings do not get hurt because of it (tear).


Laura   March 20th, 2009 4:46 pm ET

about that "gaffe"...seriously?!?!? My daughter was in the bowling Special Olympics in our town. She won second in her lane. She bowls better than the president! I thought what he said was kinda funny. He's the one with the bowling disability. Was it insensitive? Could it be taken wrong??...sure. I guess he needs to bring his teleprompters everywhere he goes, so to NEVER say anything wrong or act the least bit human. Poor guy is getting it from all sides


Grace Grantham   March 20th, 2009 4:55 pm ET

I am 34 years old with Cerebral Palsy, i did see Obama on the tonight show and was not offended what so ever. Obama WAS NOT making fun of the Special Olympics or doing anything ill nature. He was simply talking of himself and how HE BOWLS. I feel this would be a different matter if he WAS making fun of people with disabilities Obama is a great advocate for all minorities . I think everyone is ready to jump on President Obama for anything he says or does. If this is how the media is going to be about making fun of people with special needs why doesn't each late night show,prime time and movie apologies for all of the cracks they have made of people of all disabilities

Don't we have far more important issues in the world and our country to focus on!


Justice for The Righteous   March 20th, 2009 5:40 pm ET

This is about the President making fun at people with
disabilities. The late night show is getting paid to mocked
at people. The president is paid to represent the people and not
make fun of them. It is about leadership..


James Nicol   March 20th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

The issue is not about the President – he has enough on his plate and shouldn't be nailed for a slip of the tongue. The issue IS that his unguarded comment is typical of the attitude that many families and individuals with intellectual disabilities experience all too often.

The normally moderate parents in my local Special Olympics organization have been outraged today – they are deeply offended, not so much by what the President said, but that the issue of intellectual disability is once again brushed aside. A simple apology and the promise to invite some special olympics athletes to the White House avoids the issue.

That so many bloggers writing here don't get this is further evidence of the problem. It DOES matter that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same respect and understanding as everyone else. It's a fundamental human right and Special Olympics has done an awsome job in championing that goal. America should be mightily proud that Special Olympics was founded here!

The challenge for the Special Olympics organization is that many of it's members are too busy coping with the day to day challenges of their disabilities to raise their political voice – even if they do have the intellectual ability to be heard. Had this "gaffe" been at the expense of a racial minority or the gay community there would, rightly, have been a national outcry. The fact that it's target was the group of people least able to speak for itself should not make the outcry any less.

By the way – the best bowler I know is a Special Olympian. He has bowled 299 on three occasions. And he's tenacious enough that I know he will persist until he gets the magic 300!

I forgive the President his "gaffe" but thank him for this rare opportunity to give this much ignored issue a crucial moment in the spotlight.

Thanks Larry


Ed - Sidney, OH   March 20th, 2009 6:17 pm ET

It's a slow day in the news room when you need to discuss what President Obama said about comparing his bowling to someone in special olympics. Besides.......... I don't think Mr George W. Bush was offended.


Amanda Roche   March 20th, 2009 7:02 pm ET

President Obama apologized Thursday night for an offhanded remark during his appearance on The Tonight Show that appeared disparaging toward Special Olympic athletes.

Okay, so Obama made an offhanded remark. Have you ever made one in your life? He did not intend to offend anyone, although without intentionally doing so, he did. He apologized. What else do you want from the presiden? His blood? Look, there are more important things to talk about. We have people who are at the verge of becoming homeless, a recession at the thread of becoming a recession, if Presiden Obama does not take drastic measures. Dreatic measure for drastic situations. I'm sorry for the offended ones. Be sure that President Obama did not intend to offend you, be willing to forgive, and let's move on. Have you ever offended another person without intetionally meaning to do so. Those who are free of all sins throw the first stone. I give him credit for making himself accessible to the public. He is so youthful looking, so refreshing, so amicable, good natured, and well intentioned. He will make mistakes along the way, and some blunders too, but not because he will intentionally will do so. Don't we give credit to those with good will and well intentioned? Did we get with the Bush Administration? The Bush Administration had everything but good will and good intentions. President Obama does not stop being a human being. We are all humans, and those who are well intentioned, are also humans. Is anyone on this Earth extraterrestrial? Give him a break.


Amanda Roche   March 20th, 2009 7:20 pm ET

I guess my comment did not go through, but I will try to reiterate what I said in my previous attemtp. Okay, so President Obama made an offhanded remark during his appearance on The Tonight Show that appeared disparaging toward Special Olympic athletes. He apologized. He acknowleges it was distatesful, although it was not his intention to offend anyone. Does good will and good intentions count for anything. That a great deal more than the New-Cons can get credit for. All the Republicans and those who are looking for the slightest mishap is to eat him alive, to critize him until they tear him apart, like vulchers. Have any of you ever offended someone else without meaning to? Those who are free of all sin throw the first stone. I'm sure the athletes were not amused, and I'm sure President Obama is truly sorry. Isn't there something that says forgive. President Obama is not a perfect human beings. I don't think there is a perfect human being in this universe. He will make mistakes along the way, and I hope we expect that. What is important to me is that when he makes a mistake, he will try again to make it right. What I care about is that President Obama has good intentions and he is good person. What I like about President Obama is that he is accessible to people, amicable, youthful, refreshing, young in years and spirit. I love that very much. Dont' you? Are you still intent in tearing him apart bit by bit. Is it a pound of his flesh for every little thing you can find? Give him a break, and instead of wasting our energies in criticizing him, let's spend that energy in helping in his quest for the Good.


Susan   March 20th, 2009 7:22 pm ET

I felt James Nicols said it best. Yes, we all have a slip of the tongue once in awhile, but we all need to be more careful in choosing our words. We need to be more sensitive in our actions and words to avoid unnecessary jabs at others who cannot change their color, abilities, intellect, etc. Hopefully, this mishap will shed a new light on those with special needs so others can see their wonderful abilities despite a disorder.


Bethany   March 20th, 2009 7:34 pm ET

It was a bone-headed remark (about the special olympics), but so was Don Imus' about the basketball team and Rush Limbaugh's about Michael J. Fox last year and Isaiah Washington's about T.R. Knight and all hell broke loose for them. What a double-standard!


Sandra   March 20th, 2009 7:52 pm ET

I was deeply disappointed to hear President Obama’s comment equating his bowling skills to that of the Special Olympics. I have not only been a Speech/Language Pathologist in the area of Special Education for 32 years but the mother of a daughter who attended special education throughout her school years and now resides in a group home. My daughter’s commitment and perseverance far outshined those of the so called “normal population”. To make such a comment about those who proudly participate in Special Olympics for the sake of a joke and a moment of laughter is beyond comprehension. I personally salute all Special Olympians as I know from experience how difficult the journey can be. Shame on you President Obama!


isla   March 20th, 2009 8:07 pm ET

In one of Lee Iacocca's books, he writes, "we all make mistakes, we cannot avoid them",,this is part of life..I tell my children & grandchildren, "OOps, I just made a mistake. do not look back..if the good Lord wanted us to look back, he would have put eyes on the backs of our heads."...go forward , have faith & pray, so much to pray for in the world today !..let's be grateful for everything !...


Andrea   March 20th, 2009 8:25 pm ET

It is incredible how totally unaware people become if something does not directly affect them. I am sure it wouldn't be overlooked or laughed off by many if the disparaging remark was made about Jews, Gays, or God forbid, African Americans! The point is that he is our leader and is supposed to be representing everyone; does he really think that was funny? Shame on Arnold Schwarzenegger for laughing it off so quickly...everybody has their price, though.


Judy B Wells   March 20th, 2009 8:43 pm ET

I am not surprised – disappointed , Yes. The comment about the "special olympics" was hardly audible and yet now we have an entire day devoted to a remark made by our President about bowling. He has so very much on his agenda and is working day and night for all of us – do you think we "Americans" could give him the respect he deserves. He is such a classy gentleman – maybe we should be gentlecitizens.


Linda   March 20th, 2009 8:58 pm ET

CNN is making WAY TOO MUCH OF THIS.
My son is disabled and I took No offence, Move on CNN you are starting to look like one of those tabloid shows with you captializing on trival things.


Gloria   March 20th, 2009 9:02 pm ET

Good grief, if you can't find anything more interesting than this–the show should be canceled. He made a mistake and apologized for it. Can we give it a rest??


Kat   March 20th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

In today's world, prejudices follow many sectors of our society. Most often our disabled are physically and mentally targeted and attacked by others with hate-filled, bullying and overall lack of comprehension and compassion for their plight. The President of the United States made a disparaging remark against an organization and activity that only serves to enable those individuals that suffer mental and physical disabilities to compete in athletic endeavors. This was beyond the pale, hurtful and insensitive towards those individuals with special needs. I would very much appreciate a verbal statement, from him, not a spokesperson, clarifying such an offensive "quip", preferably without the use of his own augmentative device, “the teleprompter”.

While 55% of people responding to one poll I read did not find President Obama’s comment offensive. Don Imus was fired from his job for similar debasing comments he made referencing the Women’s Basketball Team from Rutgers University As a parent of a child with autism, I find President Obama's reference and comparison of his bowling skills and Special Olympics, as painful and degrading to my child and the disabled community as Imus’s comment was to black women.

President Obama is suppose to be of the people and for the people, including the disabled and my heart aches that such a callous statement could come from my President.


Sarah from Santa Cruz   March 20th, 2009 9:05 pm ET

Today on her radio show, Stephanie Miller made a comment about the president's Special Olympics gaffe last night. She said that the most important thing is that he apologized right away. I agree with that. She also said that we know enough about him to know that he misspoke. Distain for disabled Americans is not in his heart. We have seen and heard enough to know his apology is sincere. In my opinion, the best thing about his presidency is his openness.


Ricky   March 20th, 2009 9:05 pm ET

Everybody keeps forgetting that President Obama is actually a human being.


Steve   March 20th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

ZZZZZZ what a waste of air time this whole event has caused. I take offence at people who hold the Pres to a so very much higher standard that they hold themselves to. The man was aiming the comment at himself and trust the media to blow it so totally out of proportion as usual.


Linda   March 20th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

@ Andrea

Do you have any kids or children that are disabled. Well I do so I can tell you directly how a parent of a disable parent feels, IT WAS TRIVAL, not worth all the news that its getting, I WAS NOT OFFENDED. So people need to get over how offended the nation is when most of the people posting that have never taken care of a disable child, and I am pretty sure most of the people on the news making out like its such a big deal has taken care of a disable child either. They need to move on


Cathy   March 20th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

The President is supposed to act like a gentleman, even if he isn't one.


d shoenfelt   March 20th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

I wonder if Imus thinks a call from the Pres to the Special Olympic is enough. Imus apoligized....and then was ousted! Double standards?


Brittney   March 20th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

Who hasn't made a special olympics joke?


Cassie   March 20th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

Obama said he was sorry lets move on he is human which everyone seems to forget. How about we go out and point out the people who look and stare at people who are not like them it happens alot in this country which we do not talk about on TV everyday as we are doing Obama.


Melanie   March 20th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

Who cares, don't we have bigger and more important issues we should be focusing on at this time!


janet hudson   March 20th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

This type of comment shows how truly immature our president is.


Fran Chin   March 20th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

I really can't believe that people have nothing more to do than to dwell on the apparent gaffe he committed just trying to be funny.

It is obvious that Mr. Obama is a highly tactical and politically savvy man. Intelligent people know then, that although not appropriate this was just a terrible mistake. Lighten up people

Pres. Obama is human like everyone of us. The focus is still "Yes, We Can".


Sarah from Santa Cruz   March 20th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Andrea, no one is laughing.


Mae Christensen   March 20th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

the more this is talked about in the media, the more blown up it gets. We all have made a slip at sometime in our lives. He apologized, lets move on.


Courtney   March 20th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

its only a joke america leave obama alone


Andrew Smith   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

It was a mistake everyone makes them


Shan, Campbell River, B.C.   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

I am the mother of 4 special needs (adopted) children. Two are involved in special olympics....bowling and swimming. I watched Obama on Leo last night and when he said it, it thought oh no, here we go....everyone is going to jump on this. I am not offended by his remarks. I think people need to get a thicker skin in the world today and consider comments in the context they are made. He was not berating, ridiculing, chiding, or making jokes at the expense of anyone but himself. Get over yourself people, especially the political wannabe's who are jumping on their self serving high horse at the faintest hope that their opponent is down. At most, this is a blooper, it was meant with no malice and the malice I see and hear is coming from mean spirited people who are making a mountain out of a molehill just for the fun of it.


Ian Seggie   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

I think the media, and the GOP, has been sitting waiting for President Obama to "Gaffe". It's obvious he didn't mean any harm, and the necessary appologies have been made. Let's move on.


John Clifford   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Pres. Obama's gaffe was a big NOTHING! He obviously meant no harm. Let him do his job and please move on.
John Clifford, Los Angeles


Gubble   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Personally I feel that it shows that he is human , all humans do make mistakes.


Graham Chittenden   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

The fact that President Obama called Shriver BEFORE the show aired shows that he was genuinely apologetic. It was a slip of the tongue that does not lead me to believe that the president is unsympathetic in any way. I find it easier to forgive the president than to forgive his opponents for attacking him.


Allison Goodman   March 20th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Please tell people to "get-a-life"! I teach special education at the high school level. I have been a special education teacher for 15 years. I found absolutely NO offense to his statement. My second cousin who has a downs daughter who is 41 also found no offense to the comment. People have become over sensitive to comments.

I do take offense to using the term "retarded" as that now has a negative connotation. Special Olympics is a positive! My mother was a Special O coach and as a teen-ager, I volunteered and became a coach as well. Currently, we have Special O within our schools for our population.


Bob C.   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

You do realize he was talking about his own bowling score, right? That's the joke - that he sucks at bowling. Do you think most Special Olympians are world-class bowlers? Of course not. It doesn't surprise me that Sarah Palin completely missed the point, as usual.

Forrest Gump was my all-time favorite movie, but it was just a movie.


jen   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

I watched the video of his interview with Jay Leno and did not catch it until my husband mentioned it. My sister has competed for years with special olympics and yet I did not catch it. Maybe the media is once again blowing something way out of proportion. He has apologized, I do not take offense at what he said and I think maybe people have to learn to get over it!!!!


Sarah from Santa Cruz   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

Mr. Justice FTR, you sound like someone who never admits an error. Or maybe you don't ever blunder. Good for you.


James   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

WHen is Obama going to act presidential instead of acting like a new pop star saying stupid things


John Levin   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

A slip of the tongue - Lets move on


janet   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

This comment on special needs leads on the believe the president has not had enough experience.


Joe Colangelo   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

He probably had it on his mind because he had earlier pledged to help the disabled and enforce all federal laws earlier in the day at a town meeting and made the connection. This is rather an opportinistic attempt to take advantage of a slip of the tongue against someone who will probably be the greatest ally even if he didn't do a single thing to help the disabled just by giving the working people in this world a break-every one's quality of life will go up in time not down. That is what people should be saying and hey charity begins at home doesn't it? Give the guy a break. You could mention it was an unfortunate choice of words and point out what he intends to do bring this to the publics attention and hold him to it. I live in Canada so I am not a Democratic Operative.
Yours,
Joe


Lynn   March 20th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

Come on already, people, LIGHTEN UP!!!!


LM   March 20th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

I think President Obama and his staff should be laid off!


Jesse Manning   March 20th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Everybody should ease up. Yes, it was a thoughtless remark, but move on. Just as Democrats would do if a Republican made a similar gaffe, Republicans are eager to politicize this, and I think that's disgusting. He apologized, and I think that's enough. The White House will probably have to make amends by hiring a token special needs person and the "controversy" over his remarks will drag on far too long.


Joyce   March 20th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Anybody making a big deal about Pres. Obama's comment is just telling us what a boring life they live and have nothing to do. They need a hobby.


Sal   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

If George W Bush said anything remotely like this people would be burning him in effigy.
Why doesnt he do his job and get to work and stop trying to be a celebrity.


B Osman   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Having accepted to take responsibility for the disastrous performances of past leaderships in order to get things done, I think we should give the man a break... He's already apologized, and we know that his intentions are honorable. Unlike many in the past.

Let's get to work folks, and stop our whining.


Eric Lang   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I believe this is being blown way out of proportion. Everyone knows that President Obama did not mean to harm anyone with his comment. People are making a big deal out of this when we need to be focusing on the many more important things going on in the world right now. The fact that we have to have a one hour show to talk about this is absolutely ridiculous.


Rick O'Banion - Canada   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

The Presidents comment was unfortunate and obviously unintentional. I do not think anyone believes he was degrading those with special needs, but he certainly made an inappropriate remark. He apologized immediately and it appears everyone accepts the sincerity of his regrets.


CLW   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I think the president was TRYING to be self effacing. I think he was trying to just show he's a poor bowler – not that Special Olympian's are.


Patricia   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Experience is the best teacher. Pres. Obama learned the hard way on the Tonight Show that there are no throw-away lines when you are in public office. It doesn't matter what his intent is, it is the impact of any remark made that matters to the people. He will be more careful in the future.


Joe   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Obama has a lot on his shoulders (for obvious reasons)... his comment was a distasteful error on his part, he has since apologized and now we should move on.


Angie   March 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I am the mother of three specil needs children. This comment was disturbing, but what is more disturbing was all the laughs he got from this comment.

I don't want an apology form some speaking for him. I want an apology from the president himself. It means nothiing coming from someone elses mouth.


Jim   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Everyone of us have said something we regret, the man made a mistake he has apologized lets move on.


D. Tessier   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Shame on you Larry for putting the spotlight on Obama's bowling comment. Why is averyone pussyfooting around the obvious. He is simply commenting on the fact that a fully able-bodied individual, not a special-olympian, should be able to scora a little higher than 129! He is not laughing at Special Olympians, but laughing at his own short-comings. It is so a sing of our times, where our society takes a microscope to try a focus on the negative as opposed to the positive.
What a sad world we live in!


Tina   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Is THAT all everyone got from last night with Jay Leno ? The President was great !

Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver does not seem to think that the President meant any harm in his comment. Perception and interpretations are difficult. I love the Special Olympics and the athletes. One does know though that The Special Olympics are based on totally different crieria for winning. I'm sure the President wishes he had not said the comment. Too bad


MRM   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

I think that America has become weak and over sensitive. I was fired after 6 years of great service to a company because I said the Boston Red Sox were gay. We have become a lazy and blame happy nation. Everyone is so concerned with policing everything that comes out of peoples mouths that we have lost sight on the important issues of our society.


Dianne   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Please people YOUR President is "HUMAN" and as a human he is not perfect, NOR are we !! I am sure he realises the mistake that he made, I also believe he will make amends from his heart.


Carolyn & Ray Tatum   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

We had a daughter who was born with Downs Syndrome. She passed away before her 11th birthday. It deeply pained us to hear our newly elected president be so "flippant" or "nonchalant" when he compared his bowling to those of special needs. May he never experience what it is like to be a person with special needs. We truly believe that he is sorry for his careless remark but if he didn't mean it he wouldn't have said it.


joe of NJ   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

I give Mr. Obama credit for all he is doing, but, he must realize that being a stand up comic or trying to be one of the guys is not part of his job. He is the most powerful man in the world, he is the president and he must start acting presidential.


Julia Lobaugh   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Considering that my aunt just died on Tuesday at the age of 46 who had Downs Syndrome and lived her adult life at St. Coletta's in Wisconsin, the same Catholic organization that Rosemary Kennedy presided, I was extremely offended by Obama's remarks. I have had the utmost respect for him until this... what was he thinking?!


Cheryl   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

The President is a total embarrassment. WHY did he feel the need to go on a late night talk show anyway? His comment about Special Olympics was appalling. His wife is a joke with her "garden". She ddn't even know how to use a shovel. They both are so far out of understanding the average american suffering. He wants to be a celebrity and not do the work a president should do. Instead of focusing on bowling and the March Madness....what about us???????


Judy   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

I think President Obama simply meant that HE is challenged when it comes to bowling, why does everybody have to jump to make it into a negative comment.


Mary Skrha   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

I think people are overreacting to President Obama's statement about bowling in Special Olympics. We have a developmentally disabled child and grandchild and believe me, their bowling scores are low.

These same people are probably the same ones who make comments about people's weight, race, religion, etc.

President Obama's statement wasn't that big of a deal. Give it a rest.

Remove the plank from your own eye before you try to remove a speck from someone else's.


gene   March 20th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

We already had one his name was Bush. How did that work out?


Beverly   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

President Obama meant no harm with his comment; i don't downplay the impact of his comment about " Special Olympians", but as usual the media is blowing things out of proportion. He said he's sorry now PLEASE leave him alone. Furthermore President Obama has done wonders for the media ratings what would they be reporting without him.


Mike   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Everyone is hypersensitive in this economic crisis, we're going to react to anything the government and its leaders say and do. That's a good thing. That's what makes democracy so positive.
President Obama did not have ill intent in his comments and he had expressed his apologies. That's good enough for me. A heck of alot better than his predecessor who has much more to apologize for.


Char   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

My students who have disabilities thought it was funny and glad that he mentioned special olympics. My take on this was that he was saying that they bowl better than him. I believe people are blowing this way out of proportion as if he was being mean-spirited and that was not the case. He cannot say or do anything without criticism and is being held to a higher standard than any other President!


lucy   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Once again people with special needs are attributed to a less than status. I have a child who is very active in Special Olympics......I found the remark offensive and derogatory. The athletes strive to do their best and show heart and athleticism.

I guess I should take my daughter's cue when she over heard remarks making fun of her brother, calling him retard and stupid. She looked them straight in the eye and said, "He was born this way what's your excuse?"


sandihewitt   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

come on people! I am sure it was a harmless comment. However there is always someone out there to overreact! Give the man a break look what he has been burdened with sice he has taken the Presidency!

Dont take a frivoulous comment which meant no harm to heart, I am sure we at some time or another have made a stupid comment without thought of who or what it may hurt.

Now get over it!


Mitch Thomas   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

To suggest that 'intellectually handicapped' people should be appointed govt positions, etc. in INSANE!
Should we appoint blind people as bus drivers if they develop a large enough lobby of bored rich housewives too?
Political correctness OUT OF CONTROL.


Karen   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

It almost as if Obama is saying, hey, now that I'm not a 'minority' anymore by virtue of my position, let's make a new class of 'minority' ! In his heart of heart, just like many other people, he looks down on those unfortunate people. I have changed my mind a lot about him.


janel   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

I was disappointed by our president's poor choice of words. I suspect this was an unfortunate slip of the tongue. In my wildest imagination, I cannot imagine President Obama making such a statement with malice. He was simply being human, and thankfully, he has apologized for this gaffe.

On the other hand, Governor Palin is using this to what she believes is her political advantage. That she is "shocked" simply underlines her desire to want to disparage the president at any cost.


jan blackburn   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Personally I would much rather Obama was on all the comedy
shows and stay OUT of the White House...............


Travis   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Everyone will speak without thinking from time to time. I thought twice of that comment as well...Didn't laugh, just thought on it. I'm just glad that America isn't trying to pound him over it. If we think that comment was bad and irresponsible, get a load of Family Guy! Now that show has proved me that no one will escape its wrath...Not even God!


SHEILA VEH   March 20th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Hello Larry: As a Canadian grandmother with a Special Needs 12 year old granddaughter, of course, I feel sad at the flippant comment by President Obama,however, I know in my heart this was made without malice. We all say things we may regret later, and I am sure the President feels that way. I can assure you, many other people in power wish they should have "bitten their tongues" having said unkind things on many issues – namely John McCain and Sarah Palin – they both are guilty of saying hurtful things, particularly against the then Senator Obama.

We'll surely get over it!


adria warren   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

My brother was in special olypmics. He was sweet, and smart, and the best citizen America could have. Obama meant no harm. I know it. My brother was also silly and funny and was a better bowler than Obama!


Paula Kasan   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

As a Democrat who skipped this last election and did NOT vote for Obama, last night's comment about Special Olymics made me feel right in my decision to not vote. As a mother of a 28 year old son who has Down Syndrome, I was sickened by his comment on Leno last night. He had no business being on that show and allowing himself to be bated by Jay Leno. Also, I think a crash course in CLASS is in order for Obama. This is not the first rude comment he has made.


Gerald Roach   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

As A parent with a son Involved in Special Olympics I find Our Presidents comments very unfounded!! Like what my son says all 13 years of age DAD I WILL TRY!!!!
What more can we ask?
Thank You,
Gerald Roach
FortBragg California


Judith   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

President Obama I'm sure after he thought about it thought it was stupid to have said it but how many times have all of us said something stupid then thought later darn I didn't mean it the way it came out.We'll all human and ones that put him down for this has more things in their own closet then he does.

Sara Palin was shock that he said it.Funny how she's always there putting President Obama down but is not looking in her own closet.
She paraded her Special Needs child around at the rallies for Votes saying lies she will do everything for kids with special needs but will only take some of the Stimulus Package which will not include Kids with Special Needs in her State nor food for that will help the poor.
She along with these make believe goodie two shoes have no room to talk.


Steve   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Oh my god the President made a mistake the sky is falling the sky is falling. Give me a break I make them all the time.


MEG & ROB   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Larry,

It's pretty sad in this day and age of political corectedness, people just can't be people anymore! There's just a fundamental lack of common sense, surrounding those groups who take such light hearted teasing so to heart. I think ARNOLD said it well, we know where Obama's heart is and "get it" – - he was making fun of himself, not the Special Olympics.

What's wrong with this picture? Why is this newsworthy!

Thanks for listening!
MEG & ROB
Hudson, WI.


Paulette Moudakis   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

This is just absurd!!! President Obama made a joke about his own skill (or lack thereof) in bowling – have Americans really become so damned thin-skinned that they have to dissect every word uttered by every public figure. I personally thought that the appearance was good with a nice balance of serious and light-hearted. Frankly, I find all the "political correctness" nonsense we have been silenced with as a very sad turn of events. I find it boring and tiring to never be able to have an innocent chuckle about anything anymore.


DAVID D.   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

I am fifty years old and my brother with down syndrome is 51 years old. If anyone should be offended by the Presidents remark ,it should be me. I did watch the Leno segment and did not even flench at the Special Olympic remark because it was quite obvious that it was not the least bit intentionally offensive. If anything, it put him on their level.
Ms. Palin commenting...pleeeeease!


Bob Dillard   March 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Get a grip. No one, it seems, can say anything anymore that does not offend someone. We, it seems, cannot even make a joke. Everything is so serious. Lighten up. An Italian journalist stayed at my Guest House recently and made the comment that Italians love to make fun of the clergy. That tons of jokes are about priests and the church. He thought that Americans can no longer make fun of anything without getting hammered for it.


BOB MILLER   March 20th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

I THINK ALL OF YOU GUYS NEED TO LIGHTEN UP 80 %
PRESIDENT OBAMA IS DOING A COMENDABLE JOB .
HE CERTAINLY DOESN'T NEED TO BE OSTERACISED FOR A REMARK ABOUT HIS LACK OF BOWLING ABILITY
GUYS LIKE TIMOTHY SHRIVER JUST MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT NOTHING .. I AM SURE THE PRESIDENT MENT NO HARM ..
CUT THE GUY A LITTLE SLACK , AND LIGHTEN UP..
THE WORLD WOULD OPERATE MUCH BETTER IF THE PRESS WOULD QUIT MAKING SUCH A BIG DEAL OUT OF NOTHINGS


Allison Carter   March 20th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

As a mother of a child with Down Syndrome and Obama supporter I wonder if the President would have made that comment when he was still on the campaign trail? Some how I think not. I am disappointed to say the least.


Anthony   March 20th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

If this were some comedian, would we care?


George C Johnson MD   March 20th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

President Obama, who I really admire, made a mistake which, at a more general level, reflects our culture's need to focus more on the common elements between groups of people which makes us the same.

I have always felt our schools could help us with this by placing more attention on relationships and an understanding of our emotions.

I know of no figure in political life, other than our President, who is helping more to help bridge the differences between groups of people.

George C Johnson MD


Paula   March 20th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

I beleive everyone of us at one time or another has made a stupid remark and regretted it the moment it passed our lips. This is eactly what President Obama did last night. How long will he have to apologize for this remark? And by the way, when are the American people going to show some respect for our new President and start calling him PRESIDENT OBAMA,


Renate   March 20th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

Give it a REST folks!!! The only reason this is being made so big is because of the media coverage. Mr. Obama apologized because he was able to anticipate this lame reaction, however, EVERYONE knows that he was simply making fun of himself, and in no way putting down or discriminating against those with special needs. The only thing that makes this a poor choice of words is that he is the president and it was on television. Mr. Obama's comments don't in ANY WAY represent a negative attitude toward the disabled. He apologized... get over it!
And one more thing: Look in the mirror. If you see a person there who's never said something that that was taken wrong, or that they wished they hadn't said, then the media's attention needs to be on YOU, and not someone who's just another human being, like President Obama!


Jeannie   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

I have taken care of my aunt, Patty Ruth, who was a special olympics bowler for 26 years. She passed away on Dec. 7th and she would not in anyway be offended by what Obama said. She loved him! I am sure he did not think about the ramifications of the comment, but we know where his heart is, and Patty Ruth would have laughed.


Janis Vahanian   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

I have a severely mentally retarded sister and can tell you I was angrY and APPAULLED at President Obama's remark on Letterman. How dare he say something so heartless and inappropriate. I'm quite sure if he had a special needs child he would not have made such a comment.


Carrol   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Enough already! Who among us has never said anything hurful? While we have to be mindful of hurtful words, the man said something he shouldn't and has apologized,

I am the proud mother of a disbled son who loves to bowl... he uses a wheelchair so he bowls with a special ramp where the pushes the ball down the lane. He would find it very funny that someone "who walked" couldn't even get a decent score at bowling.

To the Sarah Palin's of the world who are "shocked" by this – I am shocked by the way the states (hers included) are cutting services to the disabled to balace budgets. And it comes on the heels where she has refused federal money to fund Special Needs programs and other Education programs.

Fed up with everyone who is wasting so much time and effort talking about an offhand comment by the President when nobody shines a light on the bigger issues of the day for the special needs community.


sharon   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

President Obama surely did not mean to hurt or offend. Perhaps he meant that he struggles with challenges just like those less fortunate struggle. I believe he is a very kind and caring man. None of us are perfect, let's give the man a break.


Mary B   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

GIVE ME A BREAK!! Neither CNN or FOX said one word with the World Special Olympic's were on, now all of a sudden they care, faulse concern is just as bad


Mitch Sommers   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

This sort of degrading against people with mental issues goes on all the time, especially in the media. I am schizophrenic, and we are consistently made fun of, it happened in the AIG inquiry just the other day. It is easy for so called normal people to say get over it, but derogatory comments are hurtful and unfair to persons with mental issues, it needs to stop.


Tina   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

What - is President Obama supposed to sit in the Oval Office all day to prove he cares ? I git much more from last night's show that anytime he has EVER spoken. He made me feel safe and normal
.


Greg Garrison   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

The worst thing about President Obama's comment was that he tried to demean someone else while he was the one being laughed at, a classic bully tactic.Please don't give him credit for bringing the Special Olympics to the forefront they do just fine without his insensitive remarks.


CW   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Out of the mouth speaks whats in the heart.


Ben   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Why are Americans so ready to be offended by very non material issues..i have a special needs sister and she laughed at the Obama comment..she thought that it was cool 4 the president to be in her shoes...will pple pls shut up & find smethn else to whinne about..


shear   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

take a chill pill people..


Dina   March 20th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Get over it....People should just move on. How many of us say something that just comes out of our mouths and we don't even realize what we said. Obama wasn't being offensive to anyone. There are so many more things in the world that people should worry about. People are dying of cancer...aids..look what just happened to Liam Neisam's wife. So he made a little blunder. Move on....Get over it. He is just human like everyone of us. If we were to say that to someone they would just laugh and forget it. Because he is the President people have nothing better to do than criticize him. MOVE FORWARD!!!


Frank Trezza   March 20th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

I myself have a younger cousin who has participated in the special olympics and I am in no way shape or form offended or angered by what was said on the talk show. Almost everyone at some point or another has made a quick off the top comment that has offended someone else or a group of people in their lives and america needs to remember the president is a human being and need only worry about wether he will fix this horrible economy. Do not get wrapped up in a comment that was not meant to hurt anybody.


deloris gaskins   March 20th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

The Media's immediate pouncing on and emphasis of this off the cuff slip of Pres. Obama's reminds me of my little children when I took them to the circus with glorious costumes and daring acts and funny clowns and glorious lighting effects and the one thing they got loud and excited about – "Mommie, look at that giant poop the elephant just made!" Is it too much to ask the media to grow up? At least the Pesident handled it with his usual class, acceptance of responsibility and he'll use it as a teaching moment.

Deloris Gaskins


CLW   March 20th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

I think president Obama can't win any way you slice it. Half the people are going to say he's doing too much and if he were doing nothing or moving as slow as GW was he would be ridiculed.

He was left a mess of a country – he's getting things done as he promised. If all of the TV commentators had anything else to think about instead of analyzing every move he made – we might hear about some of the other important things going on in the world.

Do you guys think of anything else accept what is the president doing today? Did he go to church? Did he get a hair cut? The TV stations are the ones sensationalizing his every move. He's just being a good, active, actively involved president – BACK OFF!


William Fahey   March 20th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Can you guys get a little more goosey about this? Arnold's remark was good; Sarah Palin's lacked heart...it was like she was just jumping on some overreacting bandwagon rather than considering her child. Is it really necessary to react to someone's obviously self-deprecating remark like this?


John   March 20th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

The President's comment was inappropriate and unproffesional. I think he should apologive nationally and help others recognize that peaple with special needs, like my son with Down snydrome are more alike than different.


Kathy   March 20th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

I have to admit that if former President Bush had said the same thing as President Obama (about the special olympics), as the mother of a disabled child, I would have been infuriated. However, I can easily forgive his gaffe because, in his heart, President Obama has demonstrated (unlike his forebearer) that he is the President for ALL people, not just the rich, white, and able. I appreciate the apology (when did we ever get one of those from W?) and I know the President will make the proper amends.


Rahat   March 20th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

What is wrong with people these days, it does not matter if he made one joke, he is doing a great job and it seems like some uptight people are trying to ruin his good rep.


Andrew Case   March 20th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

I think President Obama is showing the country that he is human, and makes mistakes. Perhaps the country is having a difficult time understanding that our President is able to admit and apologize for mistakes that he has made. "To err is human, to fogive, divine."


Scott   March 20th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Oops. Kind of a tasteless comment. But I'm more worried about President Obama's overall job performance – and so far, I'm not impressed.


Jennifer   March 20th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

I think it's a sad state of affairs that people are up in arms over a comment made offhanded, not meant to be malicious in any way but to highlight that the President sucks at bowling.

GET OVER IT! It was funny! Stop limiting what people can say by overanalyzing a harmless comment by instilling political over-correctness.


Tommy Lee Kidd   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

My wife and I have a daughter with Down Syndrome. We were appauled at the President's special olympics comment on the Jay Leno show. This comment has hurt all people associated with the disability community very badly. What disturbs me more is that the media will give Mr. Obama a pass like they have for the last two years. If George Bush or John McCain would have said this, they would have been crucified in the media. Remember what happened to Dan Quayle when he added an e on the end of potato????? Mr. Obama's comment is off the scale worse than Dan Quayle's mistake!!!!!


Valerie Lovsness   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Is President Obama a comedian or the President of the United States of America? My sister is Downes Syndrome. Please respect them for the accomplishments that they have achieved!


Helen Herring   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

No I don't feel that it was offensive and I don't believe anything at all was meant by it. Why don't the American people get a grip and stop knit picking every single word that comes out of the Presidents mouth. I take care of my brother who has Downes Syndrome and will be turning 50 years old this year. Jay Leno is a comedian and they kid around all the time and many comedians say worse things and even make fun our Presidents and nothing is ever said about it. They even get paid hefty sums of money to do it. I saw the show and didn't pay that simple comment any attention. Grow up America and lets talk about more important things than 2 simple words that was not intended to demean anyone in any way.


Nicole Webb   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

It's good that he gets out and about and connects with the people. I think many people are tired of Washington politics and find it refreshing that he is approachable and can relate to regular folks. Things may be going awry, however, he has the brains to overcome obstacles. The republicans will criticize everything he does. Give the man a chance.


Lisa McNee Baker   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

President Obama's jab about the Special Olympians was both shocking and upsetting. And while it is true that people make gaffs of speech, all the time. For the President, who is widely regarded a being a great speaker, to make such a statement anywhere, let alone on national television is reprehensible. I am so very disappointed in him.


Hope   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Yes, it is much ado about nothing. The President attempted to make a joke and I daresay that the audience probably didn't realize what he said until our much vaunted media decided to spend an entire day on this nontroversy. The fact that he spoke for over forty minutes on important issues facing the country and the media has spent this much time on 10 seconds of the interview says more about the media than it does about him. He apologized now it's time for the media to do its job and to stop trying to drive the narrative and create conflict.


susan   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Saddened by the lasp of judgement. Still acceptable for a disabled person to enter a restaurant, theatre or many other venues, through a back entrance, due to lack of accessibilty. Time for the disabled to find a voice.


Val   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

The comparison to Special Olympics was appropriate to create a visual in one's mind of how he thinks his bowling skills are. I have a sibling that is developmentally and mentally handicapped and if I think of that sibling bowling in comparison to President Obama, I'd say I got the point. No offense was taken.


sherelynn   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

What's next? He's picking his nose with the wrong finger!


heather n   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

its not ok or politically correct to throw the n word around or other discriminatory words. it is time for CHANGE and this can be the catalist to CHANGE where people can stop using the word retard or retarded in common language, i hear this every where even on television and movies, it is very offensive and hurtful. i have made it my mission as a parent of a mentally retarded child to educate people when I hear them use these words. i am just as offended when i hear these words used as any other minority is offended when they hear someone use a discriminitory title. IT IS ABOUT TIME TO BRING THIS TO THE TABLE AND MAKE A CHANGE FOR SUCH A SPECIAL SWEET HARMLESS COMMUNITY.


VHouston   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

The president took the 1st step and immediately apologized. How many other politicans have done such with urgency. The chose was of word special olympic wasn't the best, yet he was indicating that his bowling wasn't the best. It like any sports you are given a handicapp when one is new to a game. He has to have a way to release stress and the bible indicates that laughter is good for the soul..


Mary Beth   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

I just finished watching Tim Shriver. Earlier in the day, I had emailed The White House with my comments...lets take this very inappropriate comment and try to make something positive out of it. Lets use it to educate our government officials, our industry leaders, and the American public. Lets teach them about how ABLE the disabled special needs people are.


Kent Merrill   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Obama's coment was a harmless comparison of skills, but Tim Shrivners comment that the goverment should consider hiring more mentaly impared people is worrisome. Doesn't the Congress and White House already have a surplus of these individuals?


deloris gaskins   March 20th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

The Media's immediate pouncing on and emphasis of this off the cuff slip of Pres. Obama's reminds me of my little children when I took them to the circus with glorious costumes and daring acts and funny clowns and glorious lighting effects and the one thing they got loud and excited about – "Mommie, look at that giant poop the elephant just made!" Is it too much to ask the media to grow up? At least the Pesident handled it with his usual class, acceptance of responsibility and he'll use it as a teaching moment.

Deloris Gaskins


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

As a mom of an autistic child who has an IQ of 155 at age 13,, plays ice hockey, and works very hard on his social isues every single day I WAS very offended by his off handed remark, It's not Okay that my President acted like a MORON on a TV talk show...I am well aware of all of our nations dire issues at this time but that does that make his comments any less offensive. ,Obama is a very intelligent, well educated, dignified leader who made a mistake, but that doesn't make it any less disrepectful to those of us who fight this prejudice our children, siblings, friends, etc face everyday. Enough already!!


Christine Shiplett   March 20th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Enough is enough, I have a special needs son and I honestly don't think President Obama meant any harm to the Special Olympics...if this President didn't have a conscious, he would not have contacted the President of the Special Olympics to express his shame on what he had said. If this was our predecessor, there would be no controversy.


kim zwolenik   March 20th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Parent of a special olympian. Those comments do hurt. Using the "R" word is just as offensive as using any other word. Our children can't help being born with their disabilities. It is very difficult for our children to feel accepted in society and comments from our President won't make it any easier. Thank God my daughter was sleeping and unable to understand yet another unkind comment.


jen   March 20th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

I could not even compete with my sister in bowling I would not even get a 100 but Janis maybe you should watch the right show first. Oh and learn how too spell.


Paula   March 20th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

How many of us at one time or another has made a stupid remark and regreted it the minute it passed our lips? And by the way, when are the American people going to start showing respect for our new President and call him PRESIDENT OBAMA, instead of Obama. He deserves at least that much respect.

Paula


Lisa Moriarty   March 20th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

I am the mother of a child with special needs who attends a local Special Olympics event every year. I was truly offended by the president's comments. My daughter is a beautiful young lady who does not deserve to be treated or seen as a lesser human being. Thank you Mr. Shriver for your comments. I am glad that the president apologized to you however I will only be satisfied when Mr. Obama apologizes to my daughter and the millions of other Americans who participate in Special Olympics because of their disabilities.


JERRY KUNTZ   March 20th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

AS A SPECIAL OLYMPIC BOWLING COACH FOR OVER TEN YEARS AND HAVING WON THE FLORIDA STATE CHANPIONSHIP- ALL I CAN SAY IS – IF THE OBAMAS HAD A SPECIAL OLYMPIC BOWLING NITE AT THE WHITE HOUSE – THEY WOULD HAVE A TOTALLY FUN FILLED, WILD AND WONDERFUL TIME. THE BOWLERS WE HAD EVEN CHEERED WHEN THEY KNOCKED DOWN JUST ONE PIN. HIGH FIVES!!!!! CHEERING!!!! THEY WERE GREAT!!!!! THE WORLD NEEDS MORE SPECIAL OLYMPIC BOWLING NITES WHERE IT DOESNT MATTER WHO WINS OR LOSSES–JUST BEING TOGETHER, SUPPORTING EACH OTHER AND HAVING FUN IS WHAT COUNTS.


brandy   March 20th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

I have a special needs child and i was not at all offended. Sometimes you have to have a sense of humor. People need to laugh every now and then. Stop being so up tight.


shelley   March 20th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

Obama is excused for everything he says or does. It's sickening. He never, ever would have made a comment like that about fat people, or women, or African Americans, or Chinese Americans, etc. To say that he opened the "doors for conversation" is a cop-out. He said a highly insensitive thing that coming out of anyone elses mouth would have gotten them crucified. But not the holy Obama. This proves that he can do not wrong – even when he so obviously does.


Geri   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

I was offended and I'm more offended that people aren't bothered by this. If Pres. Bush had gone on Leno and made the same comment he'd be toast. I'm sick of the double standard especially by the media.


Gregory Reynolds   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

With all the people trying to jump on the comments President Obama made of himself and his bowling skills being that of someone who should be on the Special Olympics if any of you can say that you haven't made a comment like "What are you retarded or something", then let you stand on your pedestal and pat yourself on your back because I'm sure you have said some other disparaging or racist comments.


tom jackson   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

with reference to the NCAA picks....Most people like the idea that the President is human and current. Get a grip!!!


Esty   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Please ...the President is trying to connect with his supporters...as for the SpecialOlympics gaffe....give me a break...to err is human....he's human....
If he were not communicating with the people...we would be hearing the opposite...


Stuart   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

As parents of a severely disabled special needs child ) since she was born 18.5 years ago..., Its time for ALL Americans to learn to laugh at our troubles and not cry about them ...My wife and I are very lucky to have one of God's special angels in our lives and what Mr. Obama said last night regarding his bowling ability wasVERY VERY FUNNY!!!!!


Jeanne   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Dear Larry,
I,myself, have 2 special needs grandchildren. One is 6, the other is 3 and they both have tried to bowl. RE: President Obamas' comment, I find it more a complimemt than a dig. He has been practicing and now is ready to compete in the special olympics. I took it that he meant that Special Olympic kids are really pretty good.
Thanks


heather wolfe   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

I think the President has made it quite clear that his words were not appropriate and has apologized. Let's find out how many state governors have special needs people in their employment other than the Governor of California. This question was brought to the attention of the Governor of Alaska during her campaign. Did she follow through?
Heather ,
Toronto,
Canada


Renee   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

What bothers me most is that he and his wife portray themselves as being such compassionate people. But clearly, if he routinely jokes about those who are disabled(think Macaca easily rolling off of the tongue) the image that he portrays in public is clearly different from his true personality. You could follow me 24/7 and I have never and will never will make fun of anyone with any disability. This gaffe brings tears to my eyes.


eva   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

this is all disgusting. i saw a rerun on a morning show and i didn't take anything from the remark. as soon as one program made a big deal out of it everyone got in on the bandwagon. enough already. this is being used by tv shows to make ratings. this one reason that i can't understand why anyone would even want this job. i think he was more or less denegrating himself saying that handicapped people had more athletic ability. i am sick and tired of every move the pres makes is exagerated. TAKE A LOOK AT THE ONES REALLY NEEDS LOOKED AT THE CONGRESS WHO ARE A BUNCH OF WIMPS

EVA


Ben   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

what if he had said that he doesnt understand hockey as much as basketball will white pple be offended? shut up u whinners no special needs person has complained..why r u.? and that gal frm Alaska needs to shut up.about this...seriously..Ben


Nicole Webb   March 20th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

I apoligise for posting again, however, I left out, that I feel he truly meant no harm with his comment. How many out there haven't felt relaxed and made a gaff? I truly feel he meant no harm, he isn't a hurtful person.

Nicloe


Rajinder Goyal   March 20th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Too much is being made of his comments on Tonoght show. And repeating the same thing million times a day, does not serve any useful function. He is trying his best to navigate the country through a difficult set of circumstances. He has already accomplished a lot and will do much more if we focul more on what has already achieved in a short time. Its very easy to criticize. He is doing a wonderful job and is a Peoples' president.


Darlene VanNatter   March 20th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

My sister is a cherished member of our entire family and she has special needs. She has taken part in Special Olympics and we are very proud of her. I feel people are over reacting to President Obama's comment. He didn't offend me in the least. I didn' feel it was mean-spirited at all. People are way too thin-skinned about this.
I agree with Mr. Shriver however, that it is offensive when I hear someone refer to someone as a "retard".


Britney   March 20th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

As a disabled person who has competed with the Special Olympics, I would like to say that I was NOT AT ALL offended by President Obama's comments. I do not think they were made to disparage people with disabilities or the Special Olympics in any way. I think many people are using this as an opportunity to criticize him, and they should be more focused on supporting their new leader in this difficult time than tearing him down through nit-picking.


JRal   March 20th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Tucker makes me sick.....


Marie Leclercq   March 20th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

enough already, so he made a mistake and appologized for it, quit harping about it. I'm Canadian but as you may have guessed pro Obama,please give the poor guy a break.


Salah Foster   March 20th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

I am a father of a child with special needs and we all slip up sometimes and say things that later we regret saying. I don't think he intended to be malicious, it was just a thoughtless comment. The good thing about this is that now it will focus some attention on children and people with special needs.


Debbie Fabian   March 20th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

The president's comment regarding "Special Olympics Bowling" was inexcusable and I’m offended and hurt that he did not even apologize for it! It got handed off to someone else to “fix” He said it without thinking, but clearly demonstrates how he feels and views the Special Olympics and Special Needs Persons. My son is Down Syndrome. We were in a Sprint store at a mall in NJ. The counter person who was taking my money was having problems with the computer said "this computer has Down Syndrome". He repeated it again when I asked what he said. Then he saw my son, said "Oh my God" and apologized. I asked him if he realizes how his comments affect people around him. He did, but his only concern was that I could get him fired! As demonstrated this is everyday language for him and for our president. Why is that acceptable? We have to be so politically correct about what we say these days, why is it any different for the president. My son was so happy that President Obama won the election. He is asking for us to help him write a letter to the president. He feels that President Obama has enough money and will invite my son to dinner in the big white house. He likes to watch the news. I only hope that he will not understand what was said and who it was directed to. By the way my son is playing basketball for the Special Olympics this weekend. When he bowled he had a 130 average.


Nancy Neill   March 20th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

As someone ,who has been handcapped sinse birth, i was hyly offended by the insensitivity of his commrnts


ELIZABETH INSPIRE   March 20th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

No I do not feel the Presidents' remark was offensive. I adore all folks including children and/or adults with special needs, they have always been loving and happy people toward me. When President Obama made his comment, it came out as lighthearted humor,
there was no hate in his eyes or disrespect in his voice, nor malicious intent. The offensiveness is, that of adults knit-picking to destroy another persons' character. Everytime I hear another person bringing up this issue it sickens me, for it is repetitive scrutiny
on a man who has the probable potential of leading the greatest nation the world has ever seen. We should be embracing his committment to us, not kicking him every single moment he picks his nose. Shame on the media for focusing the whole days' news


David from Canada   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

It is a shame that your President made a honest mistake and put his foot in his mouth, he probably is genuinely apoligetic. But if people can forgive Dwayne Dog Chapman for shooting his mouth off, I think your president has learned his lesson.


Jessica   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

It is NOT a gaffe, a joke or an off-handed remark to me. It is an insult to a whole group of people that have to work so much harder than most at everything, including earning some respect. You can't tell me that Obama hasn't had sensitivity training times 1000 after being on a campaign trail running against a disabled veteran and a mother to a ... Read Moredisabled child. Add to that the fact that mere hours before this Leno show, Obama met with Maria Shriver whose mother founded Special Olympics and whose brother is its chairman. And STILL he makes this comment? He is not your Average Joe that doesn't know any better. He is the President of the United States throwing a class of its citizens under the bus to make himself look cool on national tv, especially after he pandered for their vote promising to fully fund IDEA and pass the Community Choice Act among other things. As the most powerful leader in the world he should demonstrate compassion not cowardice by mocking a group of people who aren't gonna return serve.


Laurie   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

I am the mother of a special needs child (woman). I learnt to grow a very thick skin years ago, but I certainly didn't need it because of the comments of President Obama.. The rediculous negative attention to this is either people needing to find fault is anything or someone promoting their special needs ambitions. My daughters favorite sport by chance is bowling and she sucks at it. But If She was allowed to use the rail I bet she would give Obama a run for his money.


Charles Williams   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

It was self-deprecating humor with unintended negative implications after it popped out. Glad he's human. Anybody who pays attention to his basic attitude knows he is sympathetic to children with special needs.


CHAR WINK   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

I DON'T THINK THE PRESIDENT BEING ON LENO IS BAD. LEAVE HIM ALONE. PRESIDENT BUSH WAS GONE MORE THAN 1/3 OF THE TIME HE WAS IN OFFICE. OBAMA IS TRYING TO REACH THE PEOPLE AND AT LEAST HE CAN STAND UP AND SAY HE DID SOMETHING WRONG OR THAT HE IS SORRY. HOW OFTEN WAS BUSH SORRY FOR THE BIG WAR HE GOT US INTO. I THINK OBAMA IS DOING A FINE JOB.


Esty   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

I forgot to add there is a special needs child in my family...


theresa   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

The president of the US (I don't care who he is) should NOT be making fun of any group of people. He is showing his true colors. He doesn't know how to keep his big mouth shut.


O'Neil Rose   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

You can't expect Obama to be locked up in the White House solving America's economy, I think needs to have a little fun once in a while. I know what he said was wrong and even he knows what he said was wrong he apologized for his remark.


Brian   March 20th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

I believe Pres. Obama's comment was in response to Mr. Leno's praise of his 129 bowling score. I don't see how the comment is offensive, because the Special Olympics are about giving praise regardless of performance, since everyone is a winner. I know it's dangerous to mention the Special Olympics in a joke if you're a politician, but I don't think Pres. Obama meant to offend anyone.


Marge DeBlaay   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

While President Obama clearly meant to put down his own bowling skills, he did so by implying that all Special Olympic athletes are poor bowlers, and by extension, poor athletes. I'm a Special Olympics mom (my son's been playing for over 20 years) and our athletes have a whole range of skills – just like all people. Some are really good at their sports, and others skills are not as great, but I think you'll never find people having more fun playing sports. Obama and others generally never see our athletes play, and so they lump them all together as a group, rather then know the wonder of the individuals who play the games, and the fun of the events. Last week I was routing for kids on the team my son's basketball team was playing against, as well as for my son's team. I knew several of theother team members and they showed such tremendous growth in their ability to play the game, I was as happy for them as for my son and his own successes. And I'd love to see Obama and some of his friends invite some special olympic athletes over to play a pick-up game with them – I think they'd find it very instructive..


LizT   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Where is everyone's sense of humor? President Obama did not make a cruel, intentional remark re special olympics. Why are people so offended and most especially the Kennedys where an apology is required? Come on people, LIGHTEN UP and get over it for pete's sake!!


Nancy Kluge-Starrett   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Pres Obama only meant to acknowledge that his bowling wasn't up to Olympic games standards – then added he could, maybe, be competitive in the Special Olympics. When I think of Special Olympics; I think: very competitive, courageous, and fun. I believe that is what the President was thinking. He meant no disrespect. We are lucky to have a President who, I believe, does not have a mean bone in his body. I wish we were all like that – and not so quick to think the worst of people.


Robert   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

What is wrong with us as a nation, a bunch of whiners and gossips. The President made a mistake (as we all have in the past) when he said what he said about the Special Olympics, he called the chairman ahead of the airing and apoygized for what he said. Let it go and move on. We have bigger fish to fry. Can you spell "BONUS"


Victor   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

As a perons who has made what I had once thought were off the cuff remarks by refering to the special needs community, the President's apology helped me realize my own lack of sensitivity and will make me work to understand these my fellow human beings and citizens. I am sure it can only make me a better person


Pam   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

I have a disability and a sense of humor. The comment does not warrant as much attention as the media is giving it. Lighten up and get over it.


Viola   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

You are making a mountain out of a molehill. Were those words said on purpose? Sarah Palin is refusing stimulus money- is she cutting into special needs children programs in Alaska?


Marcel Washington   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

The only people that are offended are the miniscule amount of people who are involved in the 'handicapped world' – and they immediately 'got on the phones' and created this false controversy..
Just like the only people that were offended by Mel Gibson's jewish comments were jews in the media – the great majority of Americans are not jewish, and couldn't have cared less. Not to mention the fact that observant jews are the most racist ethnic group in the USA – 'the chosen few', they call themselves... Hmmm.


Regina Collins   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

I wish everyone would get over what President Obama said. He apology isn't that enough. Stop betting a dead horse. I am tried of everybody trying to be political correct. Also I think being a president is a stressful job and he needs a way to release this stress. We as Americans can not expect him to solve all these problems in 60 days. The republicans and wall street gave us theis mess. I want everybody to give him a break. Also isn't it nice to have some to be honest with us even if it is to admitt I made a mistake. Did you ever hear George Bush admitt he made a mistake when he is the one that got us in this mess.


William Dunham   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Come on folks...let's get on with things. An unfortunate choice of words. It has nothing to do with his real thoughts or opinion.


Mike Lubitz   March 20th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Every person has a coment, the fact is that not only is Obama the comander and cheif but he is also human. He is keeping everyone ou to date for free because he doesn't have to pay for network time. I thinke he has more in almost three months than Bush did in three years. Give the man a break he is good and I think his ideas are very refrehing. LET HIM DO HIS THING it seems to be working.
Mike


mimi barrios   March 20th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

My husband and I are parents of two autistic sons age 17 and 27 and we are so very deeply sadden by the President's comment. It is unacceptable for any person to make those kinds of comments let alone the leader of the world. The President has offended a lot of us who live with this everyday. I guess the President will never feel the pain that we feel as he has normal children. Don't just feel sorry for me or my boys, but truly, walk in my shoes for one day so you will understand that these kinds of comments are not acceptable


Pam Testoni   March 20th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

As a teacher and the aunt of a Special Olympian I was sadden by our President's remarks. I spend a good part of my day teaching my students how to treat every person with dignity no matter who they are or how they learn. I have also encouraged my students to log on to the Special Olympics web site and become part of the push to eliminate the negative use of the "R" word. My hope is that this whole incident leads to a postivie change and makes millions aware of the need to be more sensitive towards the special needs community. The casual joking about special needs people is far too common and accepted. It is time to make a change.


Vera   March 20th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

The President"s comment wasn't offensive. In all thing there is humor to be had. These people included Sarah Palin really need to just stop. Everything he does can"t be an issue. Enough please!
Just because the world can"t walk and chew gum at the same time doesn't mean its wrong to multi -task.. People grow up. Just because you may have a special needs child doesn't make them any more special the a normal child, parents need to get over being so sensitive, just enjoy your gifts from God.


Tom Maloy   March 20th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

You know.. it is amazing how many less Republicans there are now that the President Bush is gone.. Mr. Tucker... who was a real true life Republican...now is a Liberatarian .. wow.... now he can divert any questions to the REPUBLICANS?????


Chief Jeffrey Napaokesik, Canada   March 20th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

Dear Larry,

The american people has made a very remarkable decision by electing President Obama. I think it is also extraordinary for President Obama to appear and speak as an ordinary person in the tonite show. I regret myself he mistakenly made comment in degrading the special olympics. He made corrections and apologizes with sincerity. This may carry in supporting the special olympics torch even to great heights with President Obama's powerful position and his God given winning character. Let no malice and unforgiveness be upon him.

Take it from a northern Canadian, Respect and support your president.

jeff


daniel   March 20th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

If both presidents, Kennedy and Reagan appeared on tonight show with the late Johnny Carson, how come people are making big farce about president Obama appearing on tonite show with Leno??? Am i missing something here, somebody?


Alka Nischal   March 20th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

This is how we rip apart a president who reaches out to the people of this country. Now I understand why no previous president has attempted to be a persoanalbe person because a president can't be wrong, he must be God. Forget all the good work he does, lets lynch him b/c he made a joke in jest. Each person is just waiting for Mr. Obama to make a mistake and to cash in on any error he makes.
Its pathetic how fickle we are as a nation.
Alka Nischal, M.D.


Betty   March 20th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

We all know what a kind hearted and caring gentleman President Obama is. The unfortunate comment about Special Olympics was an innocent remark which any one of us could have made. He also apologized immediately when he realized that what he had said could have been hurtful.T he Republicans are, as usual, ttwisting and l magnifying every slip the President makes. That seems to be the only thing they do well these days. The media could be a lot more supportive, too. This President is trying harder than any we've had in my lifetime....and I'm 69 years old!! Give him a break!!!


David   March 20th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Most people will not understand why the president's reference to the Special Olympics was so offensive to the Special Needs community. Most people do not have their intelligence judged by their appearance. Or do they? Everyone was offended by the comments made by Don Imus. Why are those same people not offended by the President's comments about the Special olympics. Offensive references/comments are offensive regardless of who they are made about or who says them.

Proud father of a very Special son.


Iris Wheeler   March 20th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Obama did an excellent job on Jay Leno, doing what he does best, making people feel relaxed and comfortable in stressful times. His gaffe about the Special Olympics was certainly careless and insensitive, but to his credit he realized that immediately afterwards and has made steps to apologize for it and point out how wrong-headed he was by making the off-handed remark. At worst, the comment shows the President's ignorance of special needs people. What comes out of it will be a greater focus on a long neglected group of people, so in the end I think Obama's slip will end up being a positive.


Tom   March 20th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Is Obama focused on the economic crisis or not? Good question! I'd say NO! He's traveling the country in the midst of one of the biggest deficits in U.S. history and the AIG scandal joking with Jay Leno! And why did he not monitor what he said more closely? How do we know that he isn't trying to distract us from AIG? He did get a $100,000 contribution from AIG don't forget!


Renate   March 20th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Okay..Okay.. Okay... Let's put this into perspective. Suppose you're a non-disabled person who is an amateur bowler. Now, let's say Mr. Obama's comment had been, "Yeah, for maybe for an amateur." Would you be outraged? Or, imagine this: What if Mr. Obama had bowled a 290, and then said, "Yeah, I bowled like a PRO." Would that have been discriminatory? Would the media even be interested? What's the difference?
All people are unique and special in our own way. People with special needs are just that.... PEOPLE with special needs! (Don't we all have special needs?) If the ongoing struggle is for those with special needs to be treated the same as the larger population, then why are they being treated differently in this situation?


debra   March 20th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

I find that our special needs children and adults have one voice and that is there parents. It was inappropriate for the president to comment on people with special needs, and I find it offensive. Apparently those who do not have a special needs child dont know what its like to walk in their parents shoes. Those of us who have special needs children are the luckiest alive because we receive a special gift every day our children live and that is unconditional love. Each event a child participates in no matter what ,is a special milestone, just like those that do not have a special need.
He needs to concentrate on our country and the economy that is getting worse.


JRal   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

It is not the first time someone used the Special Olympics to joke about thier sports ability. That is a commonly used "joke". The most you can say is that it may not be very good joke..but it is "joke"..get over it.


Benita   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I have always been an Obama supporter as well as my 12 y/o Down Syndrome son as he has learned his historic victory as President. I was deeply hurt by the comment President Obama made. I know people have a slip of the tongue and I, as a parent, encourage them to look through the eyes of a parent of a disabled child or through the eyes of a special needs child. A child or adult with special needs has feelings the same as anyone else and are probably more sensitive. I think President Obama needs to let his actions speak louder than his words and support the cause. Down Syndrome people are still referred as "retarded," a word that is not used in our home. Does anyone realize the impact words have on families of people with special needs. Does society realize that a family who is a working family does not receive any monetary help from our government if both parents work? We, as parents, are penalized if we work. A child with special needs do not receive any help until they become an adult at age 18. Help is needed for the under aged special needs child while they are growing up...such as for therapies to help make them as normal as possible. We, as parents, do not have to be reminded that they are not normal. So I say, here's to you, President Obama...change the way the guidelines read so people with special needs are given the utmost ability to be as normal as possible and PLEASE do not have another "slip of the tongue." God has blessed him with two beautiful daughters who are normal and just because a child is born normal does not mean by the grace of God that a tragedy could change that in the blink of an eye...that is what I say to people who make a slip of the tongue. I would love to see President Obama make this a positive gesture and open the doors for all who are special needs. Actions DO speak louder than words! I still support the President, however, I am deeply hurt by the comment. This IS my life and I am proud to say that I have a son who is special needs...he is the "joy" of my life and I take the time to see things through his eyes...One cannot judge a book by its cover!


Maggie   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Please people, you need to lighten up. I have a mentally handicapped brother and did not take any offence whatsoever in President Obama's comment. I actually I had a good chuckle at what he said. Does society and the media have to rip apart and analyze every single statement that your President says. Clearly he didn't mean to slam the special Olympics or any other person. It's ridiculous how a simple, innocent statement can be blown out of proportion.


Lou Sanderson   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I don't tkink this was a gaff. People tend to say exactly what they feel when they have neither a written script or a chance to reherse. Mr. Obama has once again shown exactly what kind of a person he is. I am a Black American woman who has been teachering special students for 36 years. I am so embarrassed that this man is the president of my country. What a setback for all the special people of the world.


anna   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I am more than convident, that his comment was never ever meant to offense ANYBODY.. Please don't be so cruel with him. Could that be a kind of new found sensibility, which comes from getting used to listen to a person who knows to choose his words as well as he does. You should have been as critical for the last 8 years.. You are so blessed to have a president like him.. Give him a break..


Anne   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Why are we paying for secret service to protect Obama while on a talk show? He is certainly personable, but he has multiple tax evaders working for him. You can't get a straight answer about the the AIG bungle over the bonuses. He insults our ally, Mr. Brown, by giving him DVD's that he can't watch because of the technical differences besides the fact that he has a vision problem. Why is he sending a video to Iran that can be dubbed for propaganda. Where is Hillary ? He pushes through a bailout so quickly that noone can read it. His offer of transparency is a joke. He is Commander in Chief and yet wants to have the wounded men pay for their own recovery. What we are really paying for is his inexperience for the job.


hopeful   March 20th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Bla, Bla, Bla. For goodness sake all you perfect people who have never said anything to offend someone should maybe put all your brains together and experiences and come up with some good ideas to fix the country. I am working on healthcare. And Sarah,well I sure heard heard despicable things out of her mouth a few months ago. Look who throws the stones.


Peggy Moore   March 20th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Hi Larry,
I was privelaged to have a special needs child in my life. Our daughter taught us so much about unconditional love and we were blessed to have her in our lives for 20 years until she passed away. I learned by having our daughter Crystal how to treat and respect people with disablities with dignity and integrity and for the President of the United States to make a joke of them was appaling. This tells me the President Of the United States has no intention of supporting people with special needs as well as any much needed federal funds.


Glad Seykowski   March 20th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

For such an insignificant remark about his bowling, you, (meaning the media) make such a ridiculous big deal out of something that he certainly meant no harm by. Why don't you all just drop some of this waste of time stuff???? I think he sounded proud of his 129 score, endearingly.


Joe Colangelo   March 20th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Hey Carlson quit spreading mis-information we can all see what you have done with your education and do not confuse socialism with the crony capitalism that is going on at A.I.G. and the banking community. Now crawl back under that rock your we the public tired of you long ago.
Yours from the north country.
JC


Steven Malok   March 20th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

No offense taken.
My wife and I laughed at the President's remark ,and we are the parents of a disabled child who will be competing in the Special Olympics this year.This doesn't mean that we do not support our child's tribulations and love her any less.
The remark clearly was not meant as an insult to the D.D. population.


Judith Marie   March 20th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Lets move on and stop dwelling on this slip of the tongue. This show was prerecorded in the afternoon, so why didn't they just take out that segment about bowling and replace it with a commercial. There are so many of them on the show no one would have noticed an extra one.
He said he was sorry. Thats more than AIG said for what they did.


Wilson   March 20th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Obama has done a wonderful job thus far. I think it's Great to have a cool, down to earth president. Frankly it didn't matter how the interview went last night people will find something.


Alex from San Jose   March 20th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

I have a disability from polio from the age of 11 months. Now I am 52 years old, I suffered all my life from this type of humiliating remarks. This kind of remarks are followed many time by denial of opportunity and accessibility. It is insulting it is humiliating and is unacceptable. All the people that are giving a pass to President Obama are most of them without disability.

The athletes participating in Special Olympics are special on a larger scale. Imagine swimming when you have no legs, try to understand the effort, the courage and the commitment. Some of them are special on any scale. Some of the disabled are our soldiers, with legs or hands blown fighting for our freedom.

Bring in studio some of the athletes listen to their story, try to understand their achievements listen to their struggle and after that judge. After you hear their story I am sure it will not sound so funny anymore.


BOB MILLER ALBERTA CANADA   March 20th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

THIS IS TO AUTHOR NEO2. YOU ARE A OVERSENSATIVE PERSON .. I HAVE AN AUTISTIC GRANDAUGHTER AND AM NOT IN ANY WAY OFFENDED BY PRES OBAMAS OFFHANDED REMARK .
ALSO EVEN THO I AM CANADIAN I TAKE OFFENCE AT YOU CALLIN G PRESIDENT A MORON .. SO AS I SAID BEFORE LIGHTEN UP


Jerry Young   March 20th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

It's a sad day when "offended" becomes the American word of the day ... every day. Innocent comments are bound to offend someone, and the one making the comment has to take care of the person who lives in the offended mentality way. I wonder if apologizing for the inappropriate interpretations of what one says is a way to perpetuate those who are so easily torqued by their perception of everyone else's words. Some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope. President Obama, you are so cool in how you handle attack and criticism!


Karen   March 20th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

I can't believe you are even discussing the Presidents appearance on the Tonight Show. I thought it was great. I didn't hear the special olimpics comment, but I do feel he reached a whole different audience than he would have reached on the news or doing fire side chats. It is nice to see a president who is not afraid of talking to the citizens of this country. Why hasn't anyone pointed out that Obama was already in California instead of allowing the public to think he flew out there only to go on the Tonight Show. That is irresponsible of the media not to point that out.


sandi carlisle   March 20th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Related to the President's comments on Special Olympics. I am grandmother to a special needs person and he enjoys bowling. My take on the President's comment was that he has seen the handicapped persons bowl and was suggesting that he could have used the bumpers that assist those special people.
In regard to his doing to much....he is a wonderful manager, has qualified people to take assign many of the important issues that we are currently facing. He keeps us very well informed on every issue, we see him daily on t v giving us updates on everything! Who cares if he is a basketball fan and is looking at the brackets. He is an American and is very well rounded.
Give the man a break, he is doing a wonderful job and more than any other president so soon after being elected to office.
Keep the faith!


Becky   March 20th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

I do not think that President Obama was offensive when he referrred to the Specia Olympics. My uncle had a downs child and she was special and sweet, she also had a job and was able to ride a bus home by herself. she lived her life well. I am not offended by the comment he made.


Vern Wagner   March 20th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

A Republican in defense of Obama. Wake up America, how could anyone possibly rationalize that the President is criticizing the Special Olympics. For the most part this is cheap politics riding on the skirts of the handicapped which of course everyone supports as well as does the President.


Ben   March 20th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

i think anybody who takes offense of what the president said has a serious mental prblm,why can't u republicans understand english..the reason why we have special olympics is becoz they cannot compete effectively with the physicaly able..so whats wrong when Obama compares himself to the physicaly challenged..ya'll need to shut and seek mental help alongside with that gal frm Alaska..i think her name is sarah..mcpain..


kenny sellers   March 20th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

what he is doing is a text book form of mind conditioning detering the american people from the true agenda,globalization,in other words "one world government.thats what it's comming if the american people don't wake up from this mind control dictatorship that i'm witnessing every day.


Lorie Coble   March 20th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

I was not offended by the President's remark about the special olympics, however, if I were a parent of a special need's child I would probably look at it different;y.


Rick Burentt   March 20th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Anne, about your comment HUH????


Jan Grayling   March 20th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

We do not have a robot leading our nation......we have a human being
President Obama is a hard working, educated man who is not quite perfect and will make mistakes now and again , just like we all do.
Instead of taking time to complain about the fellow, go out and do something to help some unfortunate neighbor that lives near you.
I have a handicapped son aged 56 (Vietnam Vet) who has had four brain tumor surgeries and a stroke that took his left leg and arm out of action. He lives on his own and is the most cheerful person I know.
I am tired of complaining,whining people. Get a life you lucky American
I have lived in England, Singapore, Ghana and Sierra Leonne and know that we are fortunate to live here with a great leader.


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

It's all media driven...but Obama handed it to them this time. What an asenine comment to make no matter who you are directing it you. You are correct David, most people will never understand why the comment was so offensive and truth be told don't want to hear it. Our kids have been written off for so long and now even our own president, the leader of the free world, used a form of their "classification" in a joke...I personally think anyone who does that is tasteless, President or not...


Felicia   March 20th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Both my sister and my son who have special needs, helped President Obama to gain the White House by giving him their VOTE on election day.

I think President Obama's comment about Special Olimpics was a heavyhearted for ALL Special needs population and their families.


LINDA WARREN   March 20th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

LARRY, I HAVE BEEN DISABLED SINCE A STROKE I N 2001 AND ONE OF THE BEST THINGS MY PHYSICAL THERAPIST TOLD ME WAS ALWAYS , ALWAYS KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR. IT TOOK ME 11 MONTHS TO LEARN TO WALK AGAIN AND I THOUGHT THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH MR OBAMA'S COMMENT. PEOPLE WHO ARE DISABLED ARE NOT OFFENDED BY WHAT HE SAID. EVERYBODY SHOULD GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!


karen mccreary   March 20th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

watching an episode of wife swap today ( ya all know that show right?) the family was bowling and the son kept throwing gutters, then a few comments were" jokingly " made about special olypics and that kind of thing happens every day. i have a disabilty but consider my self handicapable. was not offended in the least by his comment. we all say things sometimes before we speak. BTW iam from altoona pa where he notioursly bowled on the trail


Lynett E.   March 20th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Mr. King, I have a son that is overcoming autism.It has been years since he has participated in a Special Olympic event because of the commitment and resources it take to have students to participate. I know Pres. Obama was refering to the encouraging applause extended to every Special Olympian for doing their personal best .


Britney   March 20th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

No offense intended to anyone, but I also noticed that a lot of the people who talk about being offended are the parents of a child with special needs. I AM THAT ACTUAL CHILD. As someone who has lived with a disability and competed with the Special Olympics, I think there are some who are making us seem more sensitive and for lack of a better word, fragile, than we really are. If the President's comments were offensive how do we feel about sitcom jokes about being "retarded" or even the average insensitive comment made on a daily basis. Most of those people NEVER apologize or even think of what they have said. I think we are blowing this out of proportion. Disabled people are stronger than we may look, there is no need to walk on eggshells around us when no harm was intended.


C.E. Tidwell   March 20th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

get over it, it wasn't about SO it was about his self. the haters r rearing thier ugly heads n an atempt 2 spread seeds of doubt about BHO & anything he may have touched.


Virginia   March 20th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I am appauled at the most powerful leader in our world. How be could he
Make derrogatory remarks about such loving and beautiful human beings in our world is absolutely horrible. My heart goes out to the Special Olympics and all the wonderful people who so unselfishly are committed to this most wonderful of the organizations in our country. In my opinion these people deserve no less than a public apology from the president not by his press secretary and a new special Olympic position in the white house. Come on Mr. President you can really live up to your campaign words by putting the funds for this where your mouth is.


Darlette Clark   March 20th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I am writting as a black women, people are now making big deal out what the Obama said about the special kids. Well ask them about how many years did black people and black children were treated as if they were never going to amount to nothing. So it would be nice if I could go public tv and state my hurt and disapointment about how we were treated by pass presidents, which was far worst then what Obama said and was not even saying it to hurt anyone.


ELIZABETH INSPIRE   March 20th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I MUST APOLOGIZE TO THE PEOPLE WHO FEEL OFFENDED FOR THE PRESIDENTS' COMMENT, AS I AM ALMOST CERTAIN YOU FOUND OFFENSE WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE TOLD YOU TO FEEL OFFENDED. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS A GOOD MAN WITH POSITIVE GOALS INTENDED FOR "ALL" WHO HOPE OR DESERVE HELP FOR A LIVLIER HEALTHIER TOMORROW.
WE HAVE TO BUILD STRONG NOW SO THAT OUR FUTURE(GENERATIONS) ARE CONFORMED TO SUCCESS AND PROVIDING BETTER FOR THEIR FAMILIES.

THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK IN THIS FORUM,
ELIZABETH INSPIRE


Carol   March 20th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

This was misspoken words. He was talking about his "inability" to bowl a half way decent game. But unfortunately, it came out wrong. My sister has cerebral palsy. She's been in a wheelchair all her life and she did not take offense to this comment. She has other concerns anyway, like needing a motorized wheelchair that insurance will not pay for and the wheelchair that she was given has broken down 3 times in the last 4 months. This wheelchair gives her independence, and she is being given the run around by every one that is involved! Anyone know a good lawyer?


Julie Creed   March 20th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Sarah Palin should worry more about the stimulius money that would help with the education of Special Needs kids,that she is turning down.She is willing to take 70% of the money but chooses not to take the other 30% that was for eduction and care of special needs and the poor.I am a Mother of a 16 year old autistic son and the President's mistake didn't upset me.I am sure that he was not wanting to hurt anyone.Palin is not for autism research funding and opposes stem cell research.I think the President is out there trying to do the right thing and get things done.Can she say the same and really I have heard enough of Sarah Palin. Who cares what she has to say.


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

JRaf...I don't get any govt money...my son is 13 and not on disability and won't be in a stae facility,,,ever...,,,and I DO think his comments were moronic....that's the good thing about our country free speech, He used his and now I am using mine...


Carmen   March 20th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

I have special needs, so does my best friend, as well as a whole bunch of other people I know personally. We all laughed at the so-called gaffe. We thought President Obama was funny. Lighten up, America! Everybody is so easily offended. This "Politically Correct" business is going too far. Remember the Thought Police in George Orwell"s book "1984"? Do we really want to go there?


Lynda   March 20th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

I think this is a great opportunity to teach our kids that everyone makes mistakes. And we need to apologize, make amends and move on. It's also a good opportunity to teach about the differences in people....and that we are all 'special' in some way.


am   March 20th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

my goodness!! the president was making fun of himself-not anyone else! This comment may seem so alarming to alot of people because americans are not used to having a president go on an interview, and be HIMSELF!!!


Barbara Lehtonen   March 20th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

President Obama's comment about Special Olympians were insensitive and very cruel. Trying to make amends by inviting a Special Olympic bowler from Michigan who has bowled several 300 games is not going to do it in my opinion. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can't put it back. It is time Obama learned to engage his brain before engaging his mouth.


Rick Burentt   March 20th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Sarah Palin you are so outraged with Obama's comment about Special Olympics why did you cut deep into the budget of services to the disabled to balance the state budget. And it came on the heels where you refused federal money to fund Special Needs programs and other Education programs. Palin you should think before you speak. The American public is watching and we have a mind.


Deanne   March 20th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

If Obama can't stand the Washington politics then have him move his office of business to another state – but please sit down in one place long enough to do the job you were hired to do.
The administration says that he is doing town hall meetings, Jay Leno, etc. to sale his stimulus plan and budget. Well Obama how about we hire you as our salesman (and you can travel all you want) and hire some else as commander in chief who want to stay at home and overlook at what's going on in the WH administration.
Like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Anna Nicole, etc. we are tired of listening and seeing his face on CNN every 10 minutes. Give us a BREAK!!!!!!!


BOB MILLER ALBERTA CANADA   March 20th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

WELL WE CANADIANS ALSO BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH .
WE ALSO BELIEVE IN FORGIVENESS
WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN LABELLING ANYBODY AS A MORON
LET ALONE A WELL RESPECTED GOVERNMENT LEADER ..
I FYOU WANT TO LABEL SOMEONE AS A MORON PERHAPS A LOOK IN YOUR MIRROR WOULD BE A GOOD FIRST STEP .. ENOUGH SAID


Justin Benedict   March 20th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

While I do not support degrading of any one or group, I do believe that the President was merely making fun of himself and not the Special Olympics. It is the media that's making a deal out of the whole thing. Give it a rest already.


Nina   March 20th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Please let this go, because the country is still being divided with serveral other issues. Staying on this issue will not solve anything. He apologized and called Mr. Shriver from Air Force One immediately. He gave us hope and we need to believe in the hope. I have two special needs children and did not take any offense to it. I have TIVO and my oldest child understood and laugh at the joke. – We Need to Laugh once in a while!!!


Cathy   March 20th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

As a parent of a mentally disabled daughter for the past 38 years I am amazed at all of the outrage over President Obama's comment. It was slip of the tongue. I did not interpret it as an attempt to make fun of or disparage special needs children. As far as I'm concerned all of the people who are so offended by this should take a lesson from my daughter. She has an incredible sense of humor, she is the funniest person I know, and she never takes life or herself too seriously. The people who truly offend and hurt her are those who DO NOT laugh with her.


Becky   March 20th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

I think it is odd that Palin took the money for THE BRIDGE TO NOW WHERE, but she won't take mone for kids with specal needs. She is showing where priorities lie.


Julie Creed   March 20th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Britney, Thank You for your comments My Son is special needs and your comments sound like how I feel also.


Eleanor   March 20th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Every day the media or some republican has something to nit pick about concerning the President
This was a misspeak you know a verbal gaffe and we all make them
The President is human ...he will make verbal mistakes from time to time but I know one thing about this President from listening to him
for the last two years..he is a very compassionate man
He would never deliberately hurt anyones feelings let alone disabled people
I have never seen any President or first lady reach out like the Obamas
have and connect with the American people in all kinds of scenarios
At least he doesnt hibernate in the white house like Bush did and only
come out when there was a disaster.
Get behind your President and support him
hes reaching out to all of YOU


Amy   March 20th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Oh, Just Grow up America. This President is the coolest most intelligent, Elegant, And Modern person ever to Sit Ont he White House.
All of the Older Generation that Have been around since world War II better retire and go play with their Grand Children.

Mr. Obama is for a younger Generation that understand the language. It is time for the older to move over a NEW UNITED STATE HAS BEGAN.

People don't be so uptight, Laugh a litte....... A LOT from now on.

All you going to hear from the obamas is going to be COOOOOOLLLL !


Rick Burentt   March 20th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

I am the father of a profoundly disabled child. I was not offended, so get over it already. I used to coach special olympics and you should hear the jokes the atheletes tell.


alex lyrics   March 20th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

The president can go on an show he likes. We asked for cange the man takes the presidecy and hands government access back to te people. I think republicans and whites who feel like they are ette tan people of color, chose to nit pick with everything President Obama does.

Obama is getting more negative comments and backlash because he is African American and there are those who wish him to fail because of his race. These people would love to be able to say see, a black man should never be president. We voted for change, and asked for change, and got change. Did we voted Obama in, to build him up? just to kick him down?
Typical hollywood crap next thing they will be saying he is too fat. hahahahahaha


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Why live in Canada if you think it's so great here? Our economy could use a boost...lots for sale here...What's keeping you there???your free health care? Enough said by you,,,thanks, Thanks for your super advice!!


Penny Perez   March 20th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

I am thankful most people are not parents of someone who is developmentally disabled. Not because they are not a complete joy to be around but because the road is difficult, and it does not help that the world makes it very clear that they do not fit in. We find this offensive. Period.

My son was born with a genetic birth defect, and I was told that he would be "retarded." It was like a punch in the stomach. Put yourself in my shoes. How would you feel if you found your child was the butt of jokes?

Very sincerely,

The mother of a developmentally disabled child who does not think Mr. Obama's comment is funny


J Degommey   March 20th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

There is no excuse for the comment Obama made. It is unfortunate that the president of our country is short sighted and inept at recognizing the struggles and challenges that special needs people face every day. I'm sure he would not of laughed at a racial slur regarding his ethnic background and yet he felt comfortable about making a joke about someone else's diversity. With that comment, he firmly put himself in the same category with the rest of the bigots in this world. He should be ashamed of his behavior and hopefully, he has better parenting skills about teaching respect to other people even though they may be different.


Sarah   March 20th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

By no means was President Barack Obama mocking the Special Olympics.

He responded to a sarcastic remark Jay Leno made as if to say the bowling score was laughably low or nothing to brag about. After all, Leno was making fun of the President to invoke laughter from the audience.

The President countered Leno with a comment of his own, to say that Leno was acting as if such a bad score would only be worthy of mention in some Special Olympics event.

The President countered Leno with a comment of his own, to say that Leno was acting as if such a bad score would only be worthy of mention in some Special Olympics event.

President Obama confidently stated, “I bowled a 129.” The crowed cheered and applauded. Leno clapped and mockingly exclaimed, “Oh, that’s very good!” putting his hand to his lips in a mocking gesture. Then Leno turned his head left, and said, “Oh that’s very good Mr. President!” snickering and covering his mouth again with his hand, which drew the laughter from the crowd.

It was only then that the President realized Leno was poking fun at him for the score. Now knowing that Leno was belittling him and treating him as if he belonged in the Special Olympics, the President made the remark, “It was like Special Olympics . . . or something.”

The key to understanding what the President was really attempting to say is the word “was.”

Because of the din from the audience, President Obama was interrupted to correctly phrase his thoughts, resulting in an incomplete sentence that his opponents are exploiting, including Palin.

In truth, President Obama was indirectly defending the Special Olympics, trying to show that even a score low as his, was a worthy effort put forth and should be respected. You can observe his body language when he made the comment now taken out of context.

Listen to how Leno elicited the response from President Obama, and the context in which it was made, before trumping up false charges as it’s typically done by cunning CNN reporters.

Sarah


JO ANN RANKINS-CANNON   March 20th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

I AM THE PARENT OF A THIRTY THREE YR. OLD YOUNG LADY WHO HAS DOWN'S SYNDROME AND IS DIAGNOSED AS SEVERLY MENTALLY RETARDATION. I HAVE A MASTER'S DEGREE IN HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND SHE HAS S CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION FOR HUBERT WHEELER STATE SCHOOL. WE BOTH WORK VERY HARD TOGETHER TO OBTAIN SERVICES FOR HER AND HER PEERS IN THE VARIOUS PROGRAMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE. I HAVE SERVED ON NUMEROUS STATE, LOCAL AND CITY BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS AND SHE HAVE PARTICIPATED IN A WIDE VARIETY OF ACTIVITES, PROGRAMS AND SUPPORT SERVICE PROJECTS. WE ARE NOT OFFENDED BY THE PRESIDENT'S REMARK MADE IN JESTER, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RETAINING AND ENHANCEMENT OF SERVICES THAT ARE NEEDED TO ALLOW FOR MORE INDEPENDANT LIVING SUPPORTS. PEOPLE IN GENERAL, ON VARIOUS OCCASSIONS SAY," STOP ACTING RETARDED" OR "THEY MUST BE SLOW". THIRTY-THREE YEARS IS A LONG TIME TO BE SENSITIVE EVERY TIME SOMEONE MADE A REMARK OF THIS NATURE. WE ARE NOT DWELLING ON A SOMETHING SAID IN JESTER BUT WE ARE FOCUSED ON WHAT HE DOES OR WILL DO IN SINCERITY TO RETAIN AND ENHANCE PROGRAMS THAT ARE NEEDED.


Ann from Massachusetts   March 20th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

The so called joke or "slip of the tongue" should not be easily dismissed. While it may not be viewed as being made in a cruel fashion, it certainly demonstrates ignorance, and indifference!! Although many people are viewing this "joke" as "no big deal", would they be as quick to dismiss it if it were a "joke" made regarding another population . . . based on ethnicity, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, . . . ??? If we as a society simply dismiss these types of comments then we become indifferent to the individuals that these words hurt, and as a result we devalue an entire segment of the population.
And finally, as someone who is a disability advocate and consultant, a sibling of a person with Down Syndrome, and a team manager of a Special Olympics Team . . . I can say that many Special Olympics athletes would be able to offer the President some coaching in regards to improving his bowling skills, and improving some other skills as well . . .

I


Nancy Slinde   March 20th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

I have read a few of the comments, and did not actually SEE the Leno interview but read about it in our local paper. I also have been a strong supporter of Obama for a long time, and was thrilled to vote for him last fall. I am also the parent of a young man severely disabled with autism who cannot speak for himself and has struggled for everything his WHOLE life. The comment made by the President was extremely insensitive, and should never have been said. As another person stated, the President and First Lady have been VERY, VERY lucky to have 2 intellectually and physically non-challenged children. Some of us have been blessed in a different way, but feel just as proud of our children's efforts and accomplishments as any other parent. Unless you are raising a disabled child, you have NO IDEA how hard these children try to be an acceptable part of our society, and how hard it is to change how society views others who are disabled. I do hope the mistake made by the President will not only cause him to reflect on his choice of words, but also cause the rest of society to reflect on their acceptance of people with disabilities in every arena.


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

I feel the same Penny Perez...this si not a joke to me even though others are having fun with it. I will say no more. My son & I have had the distinct honor of meeting Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She spent time talking with my son about his goals and dreams. We take this seriiously and were seriously offended. My son understands when people are making fun of him, all to well. He has been blessed and cursed. He has a very high IQ for which he can achieve many great things but lacks the typical social abilities of a teenager his age and is aware of it. People don't understand. And they don't have to, But my & I do not have to tolerate ignorance at any level either.


JRal   March 20th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

I have the nothing compassion for anyone that is disabled or challenged in any way. The problem is the people on this blog speaking for them. Using the comment and the fact they have a disabled family member to criticize Obama. Here is an idea ...put all the energy towards supporting stell cell research instead of bashing the President that might just enable science to help some of the people with disabilities.


lenuta erdem   March 20th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

bla bla bla ,you people are very offensive ,why you wasn`t in the bush administration like that to complain he bring thid WORLD IN A BIG BIG MESS NOT ONLY AMERICA SHAME ON AMERICAN PEOPLE ,OBAMA HE IS THE BEST PRESIDENT THAT AMERICA HAD
VERY VERY HONEST AND HARD WORKING PERSON
THE BEST ABOUT HIM HE IS NOT LIKE ALL THIS REPUBLICANS WHO MAKE TRILIONS AND DO ANYTHING FOR COUNTRY AND STILL THIS STUPID PEOPLE LIKE A PUPPYS THEY BELIEVE THEM
AND YOU MEDIA ,YOU DONT HAVE SOMETHING ELSE TO DO
I AM SICK AND TIRED ABOUT YOUR COMMENTS


Leverne Neal   March 20th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

Leave President Obama alone, he is doing a great job, period. Did we react this much to everything President Bush said in his Presidency?


Angie   March 20th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

Here is my problem. If a government official would have went on tv and made an off color racist remark. Jesse jackson and his whole crew would have been out front of his office picketing. Where are the advocates for the People with Special Needs. You wouldn't be seeing one comment on here saying to "get over it" or "people are to sensitive" This comment was no better than a racial remark. Yet all we hear is he didn't mean to say it.


JRal   March 20th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

Apologies...I meant to type....I have nothing but compasion....my typing skills stink....I guess I will never be a Secretary....ooops sorry if I offended Secrataries by not refering to them as Admins.


SunShine from Indy   March 20th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

Our President is doing a wonderful job, he is staying connected to the many challenges and best of all he is not hiding in washington. He is out and among us conducting town meetings & encouraging us along the way. He's calm, classy and wise, walking us through this change we must make. ((\o/)) I celebrate & support you Mr. President, I know without a doubt we can and we will, look inside ourselves and choose to be a stronger Nation.
-SunShine from Indy


Dongan   March 20th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

I have a child with Autism. Last night I watched Jay Leno and was thoroughly entertained by Jay and President Obama. The interview was fun, lighthearted and down to earth. It wasn't until this morning that I heard all the hoopla about the "special olympics" statement. I don't think anyone found it offensive, I know I didn't, until the MEDIA BLEW IT UP AND MADE IT HEADLINE NEWS, giving all the anti-Obama people something to yell about. The next time I take my son bowling, I might just tell him that he bowls like the President? (OH GEE....WOULD THAT BE OFFENSIVE?)


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

Free speech...here we can "bash"anyone at anytime,,,check out CNN FOX CNBC MSNBC...it's 24/7 and it's not "bashing" as much as it is debating and expressing point of view. At the end of the day, we just have to agree to disagree on things and move on. You may not like how I expressed myself, but it is my right. I did not like how Obama expressed himself but it is his right. Enogh said. I am married to a scientist who also holds a degree from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from Columbia I know a lot about Stem Cells...thnaks though.


Lisa   March 20th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

I have a special needs child that will be participating in the Special Olympics this year. She is not a joke nor is the wonderful program offered by the Special Olympics. I was very offended by the presidents remark. My mother taught me never to laugh at others that are less fortunate. Was his apology heartfelt or politically motivated ?


John   March 20th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

To Bob Miller, Alberta, Canada – I'm not sure if I picked up on the comments made toward you but I think I did see one that suggested you come down here. I offer you my personal apology for whatever rubbish was directed toward you and the people of Canada. I like Canada and the people of Canada and have enjoyed visiting your beautiful country. Most of us also believe in Free Speech and while it is obvious that there are many differing opinions on these subjects, it is never acceptable in a civilized nation to throw personal attacks against those who may differ in opinion. My ancestors in my mother's side are French Canadians who settled in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I am proud of their contribution and would happily be your neighbor in either of our nations.


BOB MILLER ALBERTA CANADA   March 20th, 2009 10:28 pm ET

for such a smart guy he didn't marry very smart from what I can see ..


Mom of a Special Olympian gymnast   March 20th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

When President Obama made that comment , he was equating his poor bowling performance with our kids' Special Olympic performances. That was extremely hurtful. It felt like the President of the United States was making fun of my child. When the audience laughed, I wondered is that how everyone sees my child?


Sandi Borup   March 20th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

If I were President Obama, knowing that my bowling score of 129 was low, I would have said exactly the same thing.
My 'intended' meaning would have been that by bowling as well as I could, but still getting a low score, I could identify with the special needs people who are struggling to do well.


BOB MILLER ALBERTA CANADA   March 20th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

THANK YOU JOHN ..YOUR COMMENTS ARE FOR SURE APPRECIATED ..BOTH OF OUR COUNTRIES UNFORTUNATELY ARE SADDLED WITH SOME PEOPLE WHO PUT THER MOUTH IN MOTION BEFORE THEY INGAGE THEIR BRAIN .. WE NEED ONLY TO FEEL SORRY FOR THOSE TYPES .. AND NO APOLOGY REQUIRED


NEO2   March 20th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

A real first class Canadian aye...


BOB MILLER ALBERTA CANADA   March 20th, 2009 10:39 pm ET

RIGHT ON . RIGHT ON .. NEO2 YOU FINALLY CAUGHT ON SO HAVE A GOOD NIGHT ...AND GOODBYE ..AND IT IS EH !!


isabella   March 20th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

I am mad at president Obama and I think he should be punished. I do not think he should be president. He should go to Albert Einstein school to apologize to the autistic and special needs children.

I am a 6 year old sister of a special needs child
Thank you


Rich   March 20th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

Obama threw the rug over all the good he was on track to do. This thought was in head, and he blurted it out on national TV. I guess it goes to show you that you can take the guy out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the guy. I wish I could take my vote back.!


Morris Boklaschuk   March 20th, 2009 10:46 pm ET

Ann Coulters comment on people in the Special Olympics as retards was very disgusting. I can"t believe you or any of your guests did not comment on her use of words. You should have asked her to get up and leave the studio or the other guests shold have left and not associate whith such a person.
I hope you never have her as a guest again.

Morris


bo   March 20th, 2009 10:46 pm ET

I too am disappointed at this insensitive comment towards such an innocent group of children. What feelings within surfaced with his blurb?


Edwina Schwantz   March 20th, 2009 11:13 pm ET

I thought the interview with President Obama was very down to earth making him appear as an ordinary human being. As far as I am concerned, I feel that the Special Olympic personnel have blown it over the top. The average person wouldn't have given it a second thought. They (Special Olympic personnel) are the ones that are responsible for the media blowout now.


SunShine from Indy   March 20th, 2009 11:16 pm ET

The fact is we have all said things we wished we had not and hoped that the judgment of others would not be so brutal. So, I challenge each one of us to look inside at the person we are and say how can we observe and think about what "we" say everyday that may be just as hurtful to someone else, learn from the experience and be accountable to our own words. We need to equally learn to forgive others for what they say as well. Let's use this as an opportunity to have a positive dialog about the good and inclusive position of embracing person's with special needs. I say go find someone with special needs and show them some love and compassion and show Our Honorable President some forgiveness. ((\o/)) Hmmm...now that's a thought that can bring out the best in all of us.
-SunShine from Indy


Keith   March 20th, 2009 11:30 pm ET

So this is what they call "Manufactured Outrage" ?


Reina   March 21st, 2009 12:08 am ET

Give the president a break. We all make mistakes and often do not mean any harm. He is only human. He's a good man.


evan   March 21st, 2009 12:08 am ET

I hope his parents & grandma know he has won the Presidency & is working very hard @ it.


Daniel   March 21st, 2009 12:09 am ET

Just goes to show the president shouldn't stray from his telaprompter


Judy   March 21st, 2009 12:09 am ET

The President of the United States is a human being, but because he is the President of the United States his words will always carry more weight (as they should). I wonder if he would have made that joke if one of his own daughters was a Special Olympic's athlete. I would almost guarantee that he wouldn't. He should apologize himself instead of sending someone else out to bumble through an apology.


Mikael   March 21st, 2009 12:09 am ET

I think everyone is over reacting on Obama's comment... It was a joke!!!! Leave him alone!!!


J Fraser   March 21st, 2009 12:09 am ET

It was a slip with no malice intent. Obama is a straight up man with high moral standards. Let's not forget that.


Penny Burt   March 21st, 2009 12:10 am ET

I am an Alaskan and I must say that Palin is such a hypocrite. She is refusing the President's stimulus fund that goes toward EDUCATION!


Marla   March 21st, 2009 12:11 am ET

Here's what I want to know: why is the media devoting so much time to Obama's one negative comment (which was just a slip-up that he apologized for) when he spoke so well about other, equally important topics?


paul   March 21st, 2009 12:11 am ET

the president is everywhere. speaking for everyone. on every subject.
yet he has his press secretary appologize for him.? wow.


Mari Hurt   March 21st, 2009 12:11 am ET

President Obama is human just like every one of us. We have all said something that we think will be funny, then realize that the joke had a bitter taste to it.

This gaffe will, no doubt, bring much awareness to the priceless organization of Special Olympics. As well, the Obama's will probably participate.


Cathy Stevens   March 21st, 2009 12:11 am ET

Why not let the top Special Olympians in bowling challenge the President at the White House? I bet he will never forget it!


steph v   March 21st, 2009 12:12 am ET

I was not offended, the President seemed very down to earth and made jokes that most people would make with their friends. Obviously he didnt mean it to be offensive so people should cut him some slack... he has the weight of the world on his shoulders... let him crack a joke every once in blue moon!!


Dave   March 21st, 2009 12:12 am ET

Republican posturing over a slightly thoughtless remark is typical; Obama is smarter than that and surely meant nothing by it. The reaction is more idiotic than the comment. Get over it.


Adriana   March 21st, 2009 12:13 am ET

Mr King,
That just goes to show what kind of President we have he does not think of hiself better than anyone and is admitting that he has a need to get better at the game of blowing. The special needs people should love him for admitting that he has a need too......


Jonas Eason   March 21st, 2009 12:14 am ET

The more I think about it, the more I think it just came out wrong. I don't think he was saying "these people aren't as able", but instead, referencing the sliding scale that Special Olympics' judges use. I think it just jumped to mind, and he just thought he'd mention them.


Kyle Stone   March 21st, 2009 12:15 am ET

I'm seventeen years old. most kids my age would just laugh and slap their knee. everyone slips up sometimes but for the president of the greatest nation in the world to make a joke like that is ridiculous. how would Obama feel if someone as important as him was on national tv making racist jokes? would it still be funny?


Joseph   March 21st, 2009 12:15 am ET

not being mean but who cares bout the special olympics were in an economic crisis instead of worrying with that and giving money to aig,banks, and etc that are spending it on goin to vegas and 6 million dollar bonus worry wit the people that make the world go around US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if its not for the poor man like me goin to school working fulltime u think those wimpy ceo will work to help us NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Paula   March 21st, 2009 12:15 am ET

I think we should all "get real" & really try to understand the President. If we were truly aware of who he is we would all know that the coomment he made about the Special Olympics was basically directed at his own personal performance as a lousy bowler. I sincerely feel that he did not mean to be hurtful in this comment....& was sorry the minute he said it. As some of the others have said, let us not be so quick to judge, lest we be judged.


sandra michael   March 21st, 2009 12:16 am ET

COME ON THIS IS GETTING WAY TO MUCH DISCUSSION- IN THE SHORT TIME AMERICA HAS KNOWN OUR PRESIDENT OBAMA- WE ALL KNOW HIM TO BE A KIND -CARING PERSON AND IN NO WAY WOULD HE SAY ANYTHING TO HURT ANYBODY INTENTIONALLY
LET'S MOVE ON!
SANDRA MICHAEL
NEWTON FALLS,OHIO
44444


Darrell   March 21st, 2009 12:16 am ET

Shriver needs to grow and anyone that was offended needs to grow and get a grip, Intelligent people would understand that he was making a joke about himself andnot trying to insult anyone, Why did'nt someof these idiots stand up and speak more out when Bush and Cheney lied to the country about Iraq and cruelty to prisoners and violating people rights. News media stop scrutinizing every comment he makes, if you would have did that to Bush the country would notbe in the messits in now,

Dee


Debbie Hauserman   March 21st, 2009 12:16 am ET

Speaking as a parent of a special needs adult son, I have to say, YES, I was offended at his "joke" concerning Special Olympics. More than that, though, I am so disappointed that he chooses to go on the late-night circus shows cracking jokes when there are so many other really HUGE issues that should be addressed. He is disgracing himself and the country by acting like a "star" in the entertainment world. By the way....my son just bowled a 159 last Saturday while on an outing with other special needs friends. That, combined with the tact, class and maturity that Obama lacked last night, is what truly makes him special.


deborah rice   March 21st, 2009 12:16 am ET

i use to bowl years ago and everytime i scored by the end of the game i was told i bowled a handicapp score. so tell me if their really is such a thing or has the named changed now and you can no longer have a handicapp score in bowling. also, i believe people will hop on whatever the president say right now because everybody wants a piece of this president by whatever means necessary. look at sarah palin who's baby is not even able to bowl yet and she has already jumped on the band wagon. i think she would like to do anything to get a meeting with the president just like everybody else. on jay leno shows it is a comedy show and i don't think real people who are happy for this president would be so critical of every word from his mouth. he works harder than most american have ever seen a black man working. in my state of oklahoma it has been secretly said for years that blacks were lazy, now they are saying the president is doing to much. make up your minds. stop being lazy american let go to work and kill the spirit of depression and lack from all our homes.
i love handicapped people and believe in devine healing. go president obama we love you and need the help, stay focus and help us soon. oh yeah, GOD BLESS THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA AND ALL ITS PEOPLE. THANK YOU JESUS FOR LISTENING IN ALWAYS.


Joey Mithug   March 21st, 2009 12:16 am ET

For God's sake...have these people that are so "hurt" and shocked by President Obama's comment which obviously was not intented in malice or harm and he has gone above and beyond to make that clear...but have these people "EVER" made the mistake of making an off color remark about an African American or a poor white person or a Spanish person or anyone? This IS the problem with American's they choose to jump on who they want to put to the test to make amends in a situation that should not be made to be such a mountain of misery..This is a prime example of the Drama Kings and Queens and the oprotunists that can't take moments like President Obama's (regretful remark) in stride. Forgive and move on..wasn't this country founded under God...Forgive...he who cast the first stone??? All that..and to round this up I would like to add where was the Press and the magnifying glass of discretion when it came to the mistakes, lies and remarks that President Bush and his administration spouted all the time? Why all of a sudden is the press micro managing our new President's behavior?


Frances Romero   March 21st, 2009 12:17 am ET

Larry,
When the President made the comment about the special olympics, he was not making fun of disabled people, he was making fun of himself. While people with disabilities are remarkable in their achievements, they do have limitations. President Obama has no disabilities and was expressing how limited his bowling abilities are. That's it. I personally know disabled people that poke fun at their own disabilities. All of his work is to help those less fortunate. Lighten up everyone.


Sarah Draut   March 21st, 2009 12:17 am ET

Larry,

I do quite a bit of public speaking, and include a lot of humor when I do. Having inadvertently made an insensitive remark a few years ago during a training class, I was appalled when I realized I had hurt people. All that I could do was provide a heartfelt apology. I know President Obama's heart is in the right place, he has given the apology, and we need to forgive him, and not try to turn this into something bigger than it is.

Sarah Draut
Atlanta, Georgia


paul   March 21st, 2009 12:17 am ET

the president talks for everyone. the president is everywhere.
yet he has his press secretary appologize for him. what a joke.


Kyle Stone   March 21st, 2009 12:18 am ET

how would he feel about someone as signifigent as him making racial jokes on public t.v.?


Connie Prong   March 21st, 2009 12:18 am ET

Hi Larry,
I think that President Obama will make up for the off handed comment made, however I think recognizing that it was not appropriate is the right thing to do. He is under a lot of pressure to get it all right and that must be hard. Hopefully he will take a breath before he makes a joke next time.

Jay Leno? Love that he is out there and showing a human real side. He connects with people and makes an effort to show his personality.
Wasting time, please...we waste time picking his every moment. Is he going to get treated like Diana? Let's pick at results, and what are we doing to help effect change? Easy to look from the outside and demand like little children it all get better now! It is not a soap opera, it's real life and a mess.
Love your show Larry,
happy spring, from canada


Dianne   March 21st, 2009 12:19 am ET

Take Obama's remark in the spirit in which it was intended. He was being self-deprecating and did not mean to slight the Special Olympics community.


Daniel   March 21st, 2009 12:19 am ET

And if the President truly was sorry. He should have said it himself instead of a bumbling spokesman who can't say a single sentance without say umm 12 times.


sean evans   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

As for the presidents comment, please it was not a big deal. Theres more things to worry about. The medias only making a big deal of it because he's the president.

I also liked the fact he was on the tonight show. It shows he's just a regular person, of course he does have the hardest job in the world!

Obama please keep up the good work!


Crystal   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

I forgive him. Look my daughter is 10 and is disabled. We all have said some really dumb comments, and wish we could take it back. None of us are as innocent as snow. He messed up, hopefully he can learn from this. I honestly believe he is not a man of a cruel heart.


Karyne   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

As a person who works with special needs children on a daily basis I don't feel that his comments towards the Special Olympics were offensive. I do not feel that President Obama deserves so much criticism for a 2 second comment that was directed towards himself and his poor bowling abilities. Please spend more time and energy on subjects that are newsworthy...


Jack Taylor   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

I think President Obama's "guffaw" was very insensate.

He is supposed to be a leader, he is not demonstrating good leadership.

Why couldn't he personally make an appearance aplogizing on television? ;Afterall, his guffaw was made on televison!


J J BLACK   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

I SAW THE PREZ & JAY, AND THOUGHT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
WAS NEGATIVE, WHATSOEVER!


Zoltan   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

President Obama's comment about his bowling, like he could be on special olympics has nothing to do with bad-mouthing or belittle-ing the Special Olympics. You are taking it out of contact and giving it a different meaning. It does not show us his views or feelings about special needs individuals. He was compairing his score against other able bodies and you know it.


Moe   March 21st, 2009 12:20 am ET

Obama’s comment was not very Presidential. I am more shocked at Palin’s suggestion that her special needs child is somehow more precious than my non special needs child.


mari   March 21st, 2009 12:21 am ET

What's next on the Obama media tour? MTV Cribs (@ the White House)


thea Beckett   March 21st, 2009 12:21 am ET

larry, i am a Special Olympics Athlete of Butte County. I found his appalling to me. I Felt it was an attack on the Special Olympics Disabled
Athletes. I do bowling as a sport. I think that comment was very un nerving and I think Obama needs to go on television and express how sorry he really is for the "Thoughtless Joke towards Special Olympics. I am getting ready to go to a Basketball Tournament in the morning to Redding. This all goes for my teammates in Butte County. Butte County Rocks! thea


tom   March 21st, 2009 12:21 am ET

I think Obama was making a comment about his own bowling skills. Quit wearing your heart on your sleeve. Maybe we should have raised more h&*l about Bush sending our sons and daughters off to slaughter while all of his friends in the oil industry got rich. Where's the justice in this country and when can people discuss the serious issus. I see Palin opening her blow hole again, after she turned down federal assisatnce that would amoung other things went to help with special needs kids? what a bunch of Hooey for Larry King to treat this as serious journalism. Hey Larry, maybe you'd be better off working for Rupert on Fox, wgere you can get by with rntertainment, not news to me!


Travis Smith   March 21st, 2009 12:21 am ET

Yeah he should be working but, I thought air force one was so he could keep doing his job.


VAUGHAN   March 21st, 2009 12:21 am ET

you know what people can complain about anything people say .........at work or on the street .the fact is it was something that was said out of context .but the man is human like the rest of us .at work we say things that arent right but we are not the president .he came on tv to talk and be a person in the real world and people complain . you see shriver out there telling the rest of the world how bad this is .i have never heard of the guy .who is he comes out when the president sats something not right .give it a break there is more to be worried about then a comment that was so supposed to be something with a little humour.i have a cousin that is disabbled .i did not take offense the man is human like the rest give it a break .i think real people that have disabled children will not think this as a threat of character...it is more of the people trying to catch a spot on tv ..........MR. SHRIVER GIVE ME A BREAK ABOUT BEING HURT SO BAD .PERSONALLY IT IS B.S
CANADA


Donna   March 21st, 2009 12:22 am ET

I was a special education teacher for many years. I have an adult daughter with special needs who competes in the Special Olympics every year.

I was disappointed in President Obama's remark last night but don't see it as a sign of some deep disregard for people with special needs. I have certainly made my share of insensitive remarks – who among us hasn't?

President Obama took immediate steps to apologize and correct his error. This is the best that a person can do. I think we need to turn this thoughtless remark into an opportunity for thoughtful discourse.


Don Robertson   March 21st, 2009 12:22 am ET

Larry,

I firmly believe that the President is taking it all to the people, as he should do. I also thing if CNN quit talking talking about his comment on Leno, which was an innocent mistake, the people would forget it!

Don Robertson
Vwntura, CA
gbr262@aol.com


dominick capone   March 21st, 2009 12:22 am ET

well here we go again, why cant you the news media look for something better to beat up then the president. I think the media causes more problems and blows things out of porportion and makes a big deal out of nothing. i believe that no one likes change i think he is doing well with what he has to work with. the president and his wife are full of life and the old folks in both the media and washington are having a hard time dealing with their youth.


Robin Hyde   March 21st, 2009 12:23 am ET

I have a son that is mentally disabled and has participated in the special olympics. I was not offended at all. I think all he meant by the comment was that he is bowling challenged. That simple.


Rachel H.   March 21st, 2009 12:23 am ET

As a special ed student, I thought it was just a harmless joke. It was funny and isn't offensive. People with special needs want to be treated like everyone else, Which includes having a sense of humor. Now talk about something new.


Judith Smith   March 21st, 2009 12:23 am ET

man! folks need to quit being so darned hypersensitive about the president's unintentional offhanded remarks! this politically correct business has gone to a sickening new level of annoyance! the president has a good heart and would never intentionally offend anyone... especially people with special needs. sarah palin needs to get a brain and thicker skin... she's just trying to freshen up for 2012 with her boneheaded comments...she is living proof that one just can't react to everything stupid that people say... most people know the president's heart was in the right place, and those who doubt his intentions need long-term psychotherapy or massive anxyolitics anyway! we need to laugh more about issues like this, to keep us from crying or going nuts... it's just another way for folks to take a dig at a man who has nothing but love for all of us! he apologized for god's sake...


Penny   March 21st, 2009 12:23 am ET

Cut the President some slack. Everyone realizes that the Special Olympics participants don't compete at the level of the Olympics. If they did, there would be no need for Special Olympics. Both Olympics deserve our support; they all compete with heart.


New York   March 21st, 2009 12:23 am ET

Yes, President Obama should be more aware of what is coming out of his mouth – being sensitive to all of mankind – a tough job to be constantly aware of ALL THE TIME. I wonder how many times he has been the "joke" in the room by racists making comments about blacks?


Sue Lasiter   March 21st, 2009 12:23 am ET

I think that when President Obama speaks spontaneously we know how he really feels. E.M.Forster described this very well when he said,
"How can I know what I think till I see what I say?"


Bronson Rockwell   March 21st, 2009 12:24 am ET

President Obama's comment about Special Olympics on the late night talk show with Jay Leno is much to do about nothing...even special olympic people with disabilities have a sense of humor...to blow that mild comment up into a major issue and spread it around the world only makes special olympians seem that much more lacking in basic mental and physical capacities! You, the media, are in factr saying that they, special needs people, don't know that they are less than perfect nor on an even par with non-disable folks!

What you guys should be appalled at is those congressman who are insinuating that the President of the United States of America isn't able or qualified to do multi-task jobs or participate in diverse arenas. The President is a transcendental new generation prodigy! Let Barack Obama do Barack Obama he was elected by "We The People" and We The People have spoken!


X   March 21st, 2009 12:24 am ET

the only people that think he's doin too much are the ones who havent been doing enough. And the cost of something triples when it has to be redone, so of course its going to cost. But congress needs a pay cut and obama should set the example and donate part of his check to a social prog. that exists already


christie   March 21st, 2009 12:24 am ET

I AM A MOTHER TO A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD WHO IS IN SPECIAL OLYMPICS AND MY SON IS HONORED TO THINK HE IS LIKE THE PRESIDENT AND SO WHAT IF HES PICKING TEAMS FOR BASKETBALL HE HAS TO HAVE A LIFE TOO BESIDES BEING PRESIDENT HE DOES HAVE THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WORLD!


Maureen Dluzniewski   March 21st, 2009 12:25 am ET

I am the mother of 2 Special Olympics Athletes. My son ,Stan, has worked for 10 years at UPS., Made Eagle Scout in Jan 2009, and was awarded "Home town Hero" at the 76rs basket ball game on March 11th. tan has been a Special olypin for 23 years. My Daurghter Kelly has been an Olympian for 20 years. How can you incult these wonderful ,loving, people. YOU , Mister President should be ASHAMED of yourself. A loving Mother, Coach and supporter of ALL SPECIAL PEOPLE.


DMG Burke   March 21st, 2009 12:25 am ET

The "gaffe" of President Obama has been overplayed especially by Rabid Republicans. Of course, Obama made a mistake in referring to himself as a Special Olympian in making a low bowling score. I can understand that some parents of special needs children might take offense at the remark but I personally did not think that Obama was purposely making fun of these children and adults. I speak from my standpoint of working with Special Olympics and directing Kennedy Foundation physical activity programs since 1965.
I am glad Dr. Shriver was gracious in his comments on Larry King tonight; however, Dr. Shriver mentioned the word "retard" and it sounded as if President Obama used that term...which he did not.


Sherri   March 21st, 2009 12:25 am ET

It is totally ridculous, whatever President Obama does or says is going to be scrutinized, the sad part of this is it is not because he is an insensitive or mean spirited person that has everyone in an uproar is only because he is black. Everyone knows he did not make that comment because he was being cruel, we all have said things that we wish we hadn't. As many bloppers and blunders that President Bush made he was never put under a microscope like President Obama. I truly believe there are those that are still so prejudice and cannot except that America finally has an African American President, that they will use anything they can against this man. And of all people to make a comment Sarah Palin she needs to crawl back under the rock she slithered from out from under.


Victoria O'Neill   March 21st, 2009 12:27 am ET

I have a son who has "special needs' and I laughed at Obama"s comment about being a special olympic bowler. He was basically saying he is disabled at bowling. So what! Good grief. People get so worked up about the most ridiculous things. I liked seeing Obama on Jay Leno as much as I liked seeing him take the Presidency. He is a star and I don't mean the Hollywood kind. Obama is a real star, as in he shines brightly.


Susan   March 21st, 2009 12:27 am ET

Late night talk show hosts and guests regularly poke fun at being gay, help bring light to that impropriety


Corinne - Toronto, Canada.   March 21st, 2009 12:27 am ET

President Obama was laughing at himself – if that is the only so called blunder that he ever makes – America be thankful.

Some people are always looking for something to criticize – get a life and look at yourselves before opening your mouths!


esmith   March 21st, 2009 12:28 am ET

Shame on you, President Obama!!!!

As a teacher/administrator for students with special needs, I find this comment offensive and demeaning. I would hope to actually hear President Obama apologize and not a press secretary, who clearly had a difficult time articulating a psuedo apology.

Obviously the President has not interacted with this very caring and kind group of citizens. I challenge the President to become involved with the Special Olympics Program and personally experience the sheer joy these atheletes experience.


Jim Hughes   March 21st, 2009 12:28 am ET

I'm the father of a special needs child and in my opinion the overreaction by the overly sensitive and thin-skinned, along with the political hatchet men from the GOP, are feeding what in my view is not news. The man was joking. Get a grip. I don't need to be pandered to about my son – and – I really think America needs to grow up and do something meaningful about disabled children instead of moaning and groaning about a joke. Get back to the news.


Don Robertson   March 21st, 2009 12:28 am ET

If CNN would all stop talking about the President's innocent remark last night, the public would forget it!

Don Robertson
gbr263@aol.com
Ventura, CA


Karen   March 21st, 2009 12:28 am ET

I really like President Obama. He seems honest and certainly did not mean the comment to offend anybody..GET OVER IT!!!


Lin McKay   March 21st, 2009 12:28 am ET

Why didn't the Leno show edit out the comment? If the President had time to contact Mr. Shriver BEFORE it was shown there was time for some editing. Shame on Leno's producers.


Linda Brooks   March 21st, 2009 12:29 am ET

I thought the President was great on the Leno Show.We are all human and in spite of all the goings on now in your Country...let loose for a change cause he has alot to clean up on the plate.
His comments were all in fun and some are so serious about what was said that come on now...some of you do and say worse and I don't see an apology made publicly!
Lighten up America...cause you haven't hit pay-dirt yet....there is alot of turmoil yet to come and it needs fixing..we all know that.
We have to laugh once inawhile and let our hair down.
But God Bless America...you are all blessed with a human being
thats so so human compared to what the last administration had =]
Regards, Ms. Linda Brooks
Terrace,BC Canada


Kevin Andrews   March 21st, 2009 12:29 am ET

This is not just about the special olympics or special needs people it's about respect for all people. A joke or a comment in bad taste about any person or group of people is just plain wrong. It's wrong if it is made by the average person and it's wrong when its made by the President of the United States. Saying "sorry" just does not make it better, it should never have happened and is really inexcuseable.


RHar   March 21st, 2009 12:31 am ET

Please get Amy Holmes off your show, She is OFFENSIVE!!!!!


Leta Rostochil   March 21st, 2009 12:32 am ET

To much ...let it die . He said he was sorry...drop it. I enjoyed the show very much and I thought he did a great job....he's real and very personalble...plus he is intelligent....He is our President and I think given half a chance he will do a good job. ...So,give him a break now and then....he has his hands full ..he inherited mayhem.


Hans Kindt   March 21st, 2009 12:32 am ET

We're ALL guilty – every single day people make offhand remarks about various ethnic groups, religions, african americans and people who are different in some way. It's still okay in many peoples minds to ridicule or insult gay people, for example. All of it hurts someone, and we all need to try to improve our awareness and improve – across the board! But.. gradually we ARE learning, and with each public slip and the resulting dialog, we're making progress too. Let's not be so swift to lay blame – and just do your best to improve yourself :)


Carla Rousseau   March 21st, 2009 12:33 am ET

Can you imagine if a Republican said such a remark? How long will it take for his followers to realize that all Obama really cares about is his ego? WAKE UP PEOPLE or are you waiting for him to part the Red Sea in between appearing on talk shows, predicting football and basketball games and talking down to you. Keep on going to your mailbox to see if the stimulus check he promised you is there or go on line to read every bill that he was going to post for 5 days for us all to read before he signed it. Was that before or after he said during his campaign that any bill that comes across his desk with an earmark he would veto – but I guess that it doesn't count if there's 9,000 earmarks attached to it. While bending over, grab your ankles.


Camden Collins   March 21st, 2009 12:34 am ET

Next time you are standing around the water cooler telling Obama jokes, think about it... Not too much different. I think it is nice to have a president that is down to earth. He has a lot to do and is entitled to slip up a little. It is NOT a big deal. This is actually one of the best Larry kings I have ever seen. The head of the special olympics just said "retard" on national television. Not saying it is moral, but let it go!


thea   March 21st, 2009 12:34 am ET

Hey Larry,I am a Special Olympics Athlete of Butte County. I think this comment the president has done regarding Special Olympics,I find this appalling and uncalled for. I do bowling as one of my sports. I think all
athletes are great at their sports. I think the president owes the Special
Olympics Athletes an apology to the People with developmental Disabilities for the bowling issue. thea


Patricia   March 21st, 2009 12:35 am ET

Blunder? Yes, tried to be funny. The real question is, can you imagine the outrage if the same comment came from Bush on the same show, during the same crisis? Think people would be so kind?


Kristen   March 21st, 2009 12:37 am ET

I have Asperger's Syndrome, and I don't think it was horrible. Definitely not in good taste for the President, but I'm willing to forgive him. Even though he's the President of the United States, he is still a human. Sometimes, even I make jokes about special needs people, and I HAVE Asperger's! I've learned to make light of my disability sometimes. In short, I forgive President Obama.


New York   March 21st, 2009 12:37 am ET

if bush can walk away from his mistakes and not have any responsibility – why should americans? the new attitude is – just walk away – someone else will take care of it.


Michelle   March 21st, 2009 12:37 am ET

people in America are in some type of la la land some where. The peope on larry's show right now................might as well be saying whanp whah whaa (like charlies browns parents) The only one on the show you can relate to is th bald guy with the glasses. Tuckie, Amy, and the lady that looks like angelica houston can just stop talking....cause they aint saying crap anyways. Who is going to start explaining issues in lamons terms? Not i think I'm cool cause i'm on larry jargon. ....the bald guy is the only one who made any sense. the other 3 should be foxnews...where the idiots go!


bruce law   March 21st, 2009 12:37 am ET

Anyone making "fun" of the President is doing the same thing he was doing. Making fun of the President.

What are the people making fun of the Pres. guilty of??????


Shirley   March 21st, 2009 12:37 am ET

This slip up was still very offensive, and I am not happy about it. Not to mention he didn't even apologize in person and he still has not. The out come of this will be that he will submit a statement someone else will read saying sorry, take some pictures with a few special needs kids and maybe do a special needs event. But all in all you can tell he isn't really sorry about what he said. He doesn't care about this and he wouldn't be apologizing if it didn't put his approval ratings and his "image" on the line. Not to mention the worst part of it all: The mentally disabled people can't even stand up for themselves because they don't know that it's supposed to be offensive towards them! They don't know that they are mentally disabled, so it's especially unfair to say something like that.


peggy   March 21st, 2009 12:37 am ET

That lady that sent in the comment about Don Imus making a comment that wasn't harmful, I would guess that she has never had her daughter called a ho on public TV you people take the greatest President that you have ever had and spend aevery minuet of your day trying to destroy him, my question is WHO IS SERVED BY DESTROYING YOUR OWN PRESIDENT, is this similar to animals that eat their own young. You have got to be the stupidest people in the world that want to destroy your economy, trear down your own government and rot in hell for the next 4 years. Are their no people in the news media with any brains what so ever. As long as he has been in office one of you guys must be able to find one good thing that he has done or are you all just a bunch of bigots. Day in and day out it is the same drivel, get over yourselves.


RHar   March 21st, 2009 12:38 am ET

Amy Holmes needs to learn how to participate in a discussions her emotional outburst she needs to leave at home. It is very embaressing!
Get her off the show she offends many people. SEND HER HOME!


Keely   March 21st, 2009 12:38 am ET

As a person who has worked with people with disabilities for over five years, I found President Obama's comment to be very offensive. The implication of the comment was derogatory and should not be tolerated. A half hearted apology from the white house and one from the President to the chairman of the special olympics is not enough. The President offended a group of PEOPLE and that is the important point. The President's apology should go to them.

By the way, I use to bowl with four men with disabilities that could beat that score any day.


Jennifer Butler   March 21st, 2009 12:40 am ET

I saw the Jay Leno show with the president. In my opinion it was history being made for both television and the presidency. I think his comment about the special olympics was just that a comment. This country is in a bad state , because we worry about unimportant stuff. President Obama was just taking a break from the heavy work load that he has been left. I agree with one of your panelist. One minute Barack is doing to much at once. The next he's not doing enough. People need to make their minds, and give this president the chance to make a change.


Sammie Baxter   March 21st, 2009 12:44 am ET

Obama has only been our president for a few months and they want to burn him alive for a slip of the tongue? Making a bracket? Traveling across the country?? Wow doesn't everyone make a mistake once in a while? As far as traveling, isn't that in the job description he is keeping the American people informed on this trip. Lets not forget the many vacations taken by our former president Bush. c'mon people I think there are way more important issues to discuss


L Blake   March 21st, 2009 12:45 am ET

You have got to be kidding me?!?!
I am Canadian and so maybe I am cut from a different cloth than those of you in America that were or at least purport that you were offended by the quick, quick retort comment made in jest by your President, which actually when kept in context was actually humorous...President Obama was making a reference to his personal best in Bowling being compared with, in this case, relative scores in the same event as could be compared to those scores that may or may not be worse, equal too or better than his own from the participants in the "Special Olympics" what if his comment had of been referencing the Olympics period? Would then he have offended all of the Olympic athletes that compete for their respective countries globally? What of the comment that preceded his by Jay Leno...was Jay making a reference or an inference that because President Obama is partly of color that he must then be considering a basketball hoop in the White House because he is? Should then all people of color , President Obama and all those that play basketball be offended??? Good grief people, there are plenty enough REAL issues to become OFFENDED over but this is most certainly not one of them...give your heads a shake and give "yourselves" a break...using an innocent remark made in jest as an opportunity to grandstand and make a political mountain out of a mole hill for something that was soooooo clearly not intended in the vein some people are trying to represent it as...I think y'all have more to worry about than something as trivial as this at this point in time don't you? People should pick their battles a little wiser and although I am sure it will bring an International spotlight now to the cause and may actually do some good...the way in which those individuals are gaining notoriety for speaking about this is simply ridiculous!


David   March 21st, 2009 12:46 am ET

The president said his comments as a side or slip comment of a joke. As a disable person I was not offend because it was said in none offensive manner......better the question is how do people of special needs or the disable feel? rather the the CEOs or parents .... when the present made fun of Simon from American Idio nobody said anything


Camden Collins   March 21st, 2009 12:47 am ET

"it will all blow oveer..just bring the troops home"

"Oh Please!!!!!!!!!
Give me a break. I agree with tommie, bring the troops home. Talk about that for a change."

If the troops didnt want to be over there they shouldnt have signed the papers!!! I dont like to play basketball, I stay off the court!


David H   March 21st, 2009 12:49 am ET

He's a human, and we know it. He's not perfect, so are we. He said something that he doesn't mean it, we have said like that at least once of course. Everybody can make mistakes, the more important thing is that he can fix his mistakes. He must apologize people that he have hurt. And again, he is NOT a PERFECT guy and he do NOT have the intention to hurt any one.
If he apologize the disabilities, will you forgive him ?


uknowitstrue   March 21st, 2009 12:49 am ET

OMG, I can't believe larry's even dedicating time to this stupid innocent joke, it's been said for years, hey what's up retard. OMG, Timothy Shriver, the president of the special olympics makes it sound like obamma committed a hitler like act of war. i guarantee the president timothy is bankiing on this entirely to further his fund raising, money grabbing, telemarketing goals. and 90 percent of the money donated to the special olympics goes right into the groups management and executives. only 10 percent actually goes to the recepients. this is such a non story, get over it people.


sean evans   March 21st, 2009 12:53 am ET

It was only a joke people. If we cant laugh at ourselves then who can we laugh at. I think his appearence on Leno was great and nice to see him trying to conquer so many issues.


C Johnson   March 21st, 2009 12:53 am ET

Yeah, I agree that everybody can make a mistake, but we can not fix every mistakes we made. For example, David H cannot fix his grammar mistakes after submitting the comment above


Ping bock   March 21st, 2009 12:56 am ET

He is a president,isn't he?


Mary C.   March 21st, 2009 12:57 am ET

Let start a roll call of all the President and the bad statements that they made. Bush made many and we went on to follow his lead for eight tiring years. We are all human and make mistakes so all these critics out here needs to get a life.

Sara Palin needs to go hide because she did everything she could to keep people from knowing she had a special needs child. We saw everybody else with the child except the mama. The lady ran a very unsuccessful bid for the highest office in the United States and she had nothing good to say about Mr. Obama then and surely we don't expect her to be nice now. Sore Loser.

I have a special needs grandchild and I love her dearly and spend all of my time with her. I am a very outspoken person for special needs children and if I saw anything so wrong in what Mr.Obama said I would have been the first to say so. People need someone to pick on and Mr. Obama is a good choice. Anybody in their right mind know that Mr. Obama would not have gone on the air and deliberately chose the special needs organization or special needs people to pick on.

Mr. Shriver, I understand your organization much better than most people. If the statement had been as bad as you the public is trying to make it then that it is When I would have gladly written the President and told him how I felt. So he made a mistake we all do and if you have not made one yet keep living.


Teresa Vencil   March 21st, 2009 12:57 am ET

I'm infuriated that the one person set apart to represent and set an example in "leading" the most powerful nation in the world is so insensitive to the needs of "ALL" the people of which he has been given the privilege to represent!! You would expect our PRESIDENT, being the first African-American in U.S. history to serve the United States of America from the Oval Office, to DEFINITELY, without a DOUBT or SECOND THOUGHT, be mindful of EVERY individual citizen with dignity, respect and honor. I truly feel President Obama should be giving of his time and service to Special Olympic Events, in EVERY state, throughout his term as President , to repair the damage and pain inflicted on one of the most innocent groups of our country and the parents/ caregivers who share monumental challenges in their lives on a daily basis.


kathie   March 21st, 2009 12:59 am ET

I'm a post polio person, 50+. I have dealt with hurt-full words, pitty and ignorance from otherwise well meaning people as I grew up. Today there is more acceptance & respect for disabled now days. We cannot be protected from words, WE need to understand the able-bodied just as they need to be sensitive to our feelings & our deficiency.

If I been there when Obama said what he did, I would respond "Sorry Mr. President YOUR bowling won't make the cut". We the disabled can to respond with humor and spit, and learn to put a spin on it. I find it hard to be around someone walking on eggshells.

Parents of disabled can teach a response to ignorant comments. Lets move on, Look into Obama's eyes, hear WHO he is, he is about acceptance, tolerance, not meanness. . . much to say about nothing.


Barbara Harper   March 21st, 2009 1:00 am ET

I didn't personally see the Jay Leno show, but I just watched the video clip on my PC.... As the mother of a 60 year old Downs
Syndrom man,(who had absolutely no chance at schooling) & who is now living in an apartment with caring staff of Living Opportunities, Inc. in Medford, OR, I can see no problem with President Obama matching his bowling score with Special Olympics.. He at least shows he is aware of the Special OLympics program & he did not make fun of anyone...As to his appearing on the show, he is a human who needs to get out in the public eye as much as possible....He is to be commended for his awareness of all people...
Barbara R. Harper Medford, OR 97504


Dongan   March 21st, 2009 1:01 am ET

To Mom of a Special Olympian gymnast, You need to toughen up and stop worrying if the world is laughing at your child. How can you possibly coach your child to compete as a gymnast if you fall apart so easily. My autistic son dances like a girl. He has very feminine moves. When people laugh, I laugh along, clap and say "That's my boy....The Next Hannah Montana". I don't cringe with hurt and shame, I simply turn the laughter into something positive.


Renee   March 21st, 2009 1:04 am ET

I enjoyed and learning a lot watching the President on Jay Leno. As a bowler, I understood him to be speaking about his handicap associated with bowling and not the Special Olymics.


beverly lv nv.   March 21st, 2009 1:07 am ET

I HAVE A SON THAT'S DOWN SYNDROME HE IS 36 HE HAS BEEN IN THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOR YEARS I OBAMACOMMENT WAS VERY LIGHT HEARTY IT GIVES OUR KID SOMETHINGTO HAVE AGOOD SENSE OF HUMOR FOR OUR SPECIAL KIDS TO SMILE ABOUT IF THEY DON'T HAVE THAT WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT THEM TO THEM WOULD BE IN VAIN!!!


Bill shoston   March 21st, 2009 1:14 am ET

common people really-

WHO CARES!!!


detra   March 21st, 2009 1:16 am ET

People need to get a little thicker skin, he didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. I suggest they take a look at his policies and the work he has done for the mental and physically challenged people in America. I'm sure this administration will do far more for these people and the families than Regan,and both Bushs' combined.


US Citizen/Veteran   March 21st, 2009 1:21 am ET

I wrote a comment earlier, where is it????
I had to watch this clip twice to see what the hoopla was about.
TWICE. It was hard to catch which shows how much trouble someone spent to find it & focus on it. One had to either be there to catch it, be editing the clip or watch it more than once.
That's kind of extreme.
Why don't the news stations find something better to report like the NEWS?? and what is actually going on in the world?
I watch the news ticker scroll by with more interesting stories on it, why don't we hear about those?
What the President said, he meant in a harmless way, and I think everyone needs to STOP looking for things people say and do to focus on and destroy their lives with, by turning the public against them and I hope this comment of mine, my second one is not deleted.
If everyone elses comments can be posted so can mine!
Censorship is illegal. Freedom of speech is part of our constitution.


RMARTIN   March 21st, 2009 1:21 am ET

OBAMA SPENT 20 MIN WITH LENO. GIVE HIM A BREAK. HE PROBALLY SPENT MORE TIME THAN THAT IN THE BATHROOM THAT MORN. REPUBLICANS ARE SO JEALOUS OF HIM-HIS QUICK WIT, GOOL LOOKS ,ETC .ETC. ETC .ETC,


beverly lv nv.   March 21st, 2009 1:27 am ET

I HAVE A SON THAT IS DOWN SYNDROME HE IS 36 HE HAS BEEN IN THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOR YEARS I THINK WHAT OBAMA SAID WAS VERY LIGHT HEARTY OUR KIDS NEED TO HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF SENSE OF HUMOR BECAUSE WITH OUT THAT WHAT HAS BEEN SAID TO THEM ABOUT THEM WOULD BE IN VAIN!!!


US Citizen/Veteran   March 21st, 2009 1:34 am ET

I am sick and tired of people making something out of nothing.
To all those with special needs kids (& Iove them & have interacted with them before) if you are offended I apologize to you on behalf of the President, but he really didn't mean to offend anyone.
CNN please lets hear more about those news stories scrolling by at the bottom of the screen that are more newsworthy!
Is this what I am paying for cable news for? I am seriously considering canceling and I am also tired of hearing about Octomom and others who the news stations are turning their lives into hell by turning the public against them with their programs. Leave these people alone to live their lives good or bad please. People err & if any news anchor hasn't just live a little longer.


Linda Combs   March 21st, 2009 1:41 am ET

What is wrong with people today!! This President has inherited the monumental task of putting our country back on its feet. I cannot imagine the stress of being the President of the United States. President Obama is a very smart man. Going on the Jan Leno show, speaking to every day people while visiting other cities, or going on ESPN, why are people having such a problem with this? A lot of your average every day people watch Jan Leno where many of them do not watch the news or any of the political shows, so this was a brilliat way reach the American people to reinforce his plans as how he hopes to help get us out of the mess we are in today. Although he may be the President, he is also a husband, a father,a friend with a sense of humor who likes fun times with his family, basketball, laughing, and just wants to be himself some time. He is trying his best to put every thing he can into helping others. So shouldn't he be able to have free time with his friends and family once in a while, and visit whom ever he wants. Everyone needs a break to just chill and releave some of the stress. He is human like all of us, but God bless him because at least when he makes a mistake or says something wrong, he has the guts to admit when he his wrong and will take the responsibilty becasue he is the President and has the compassion to apologize and can ask for forgiveness.
That's alot more than what our last administration did. Most people don't care about all the name calling and bickering in Washington they don't have time for that . They are like me struggling to get throug each day and a little scared as to what the future will bring and how and praying that our children and grand children will have a safe and fruitful future.
I am a 64 year old mother and grandmother and have worked all my life and hope to retire next year, but now I fear that may note be possible. But I will do what I have to do. Just know that I am proud to live in this great country we call the United States of America.
It's not the soil of America, the greatest country in the world, that is failing, it's the some of American people who take advantage of their own fellow Americans that is failing and that's what so sad and heart breaking. I have faith in God and I know there are are more good people than bad in this country. It just seems we hear more about the bad.
I will continue to pray for each day for our country, the world and I will definitely pray for our President as he will need all our prayers and our help to get through this. I just wish all the politician on Capitol Hill would realize this and stop all the fighting and just work together. There's the old saying "All for one and one for all." America has to be ONE nation not a divided nation for it to stand.
Thank You for listening


Deanne   March 21st, 2009 1:55 am ET

Reina and Marla – I wish Sharpton, Jackson, Wright, etc. had given others a break when they made comments re African Americans. They were angry and the N word slipped out. Obama was having a good time and the reference to Special Olympics slipped out. Do you see any difference.

Right on!!! I'm with you – Kyle Stone, Patricia, Angie and Judy.

Ana of Massachusetts – and Leverne Neal Where were you???


Jameelah Abdulsalam   March 21st, 2009 2:04 am ET

I think for once this country need a president who can share jokes even when he farts, the president is a down to earth person just like anyone of us and thats exactly what we need in a president,not some president who had silver spoon in his mouth since birth and not allowed to make jokes in public. pleae give him a break!


Deanne   March 21st, 2009 2:09 am ET

Ann from Massachusetts I apologize for including you in with Leverne Neal.

I meant to put you in the Right on !!! group. You expressed my exact feelings. Thanks


Nancy   March 21st, 2009 2:17 am ET

As a special educator, I am thrilled that President Obama has increased the amount of money in the budget for special education. This is evidence to me that he cares about special needs individuals. President Obama was very sorry for his comment. Can we please move on to other issues??


Barb Lamont   March 21st, 2009 2:22 am ET

He has hurt many families in America. He needs to say he is sorry in the public, not to an organization.

In addition, someone who claims to have experienced prejudice and stereotypes throughout life, and has written about them in great detail, should be more sensitive and refined from life's lessons.

Furthermore, Obama claimed he was going to have the world think 'highly' of America again. Will this joke help?

For someone who spoke of equality as a creed. Does this joke match that philosophy?

For someone that said he would stand for all people. Does this stand up for those that participate in the Special Olympics?

The fact is Obama claimed a higher standard. To much is given, much is required.

Obama has just showed us that 'yes we can' destroy what a campaign stands for with a single joke.

During the campaign for the White House in 2008, the media criticized Palin for being ‘common,’ 'not-polished,' 'not-compassionate' and ‘not presidential.’ However, compare Sarah Palins attitude in the video created three weeks ago for the Special Olympics in Boise, Idaho.

You decide who is more presidential.


Joan Noisette   March 21st, 2009 2:50 am ET

I WATCHED THE SHOW AND I LOVED THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW, EVEN THOUGH I HAD BEEN PRE WARNED BY THE VICIOUS MEDIA, THAT OUR PRESIDENT HAD ERRED AND POKED FUN AT THE SPECIAL OLYMPIC.

WATCHING THE SHOW, PROVED THE MEDIA WRONG AS USUAL. OUR PRESIDENT NEVER DEGRADED THE SPECIAL OLYMPIC, HE ONLY SPOKE OF THEM IN REFERENCE TO HIMSELF. HE NEVER SAID ANYTHING NEGATIVE. THE NEGATIVITY WAS IN THE MIND OF THE BEHOLDER (THE MEDIA) WHICH 'SUPERIMPOSED' THEIR NEGATIVITY TO OTHER WEAK MINDED RECEPTORS (LIKE SARAH PALIN) THAT ALLOWS OTHERS TO THINK FOR THEM.

THE PRESIDENT GAVE THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS, RECOGNITION AND A "POSITIVE " PLUG. HUMOR IS GOOD FOR THE SOLE WHEN IT IS NOT NEGATIVE. THE DIRECTOR OF THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS SHOULD ACCEPT THIS OCCURRENCE AS A GREAT BLESSING, FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO HAVE THEM ON HIS MIND. WHEN HAVE THE SPECIAL OLYMPIC RECEIVED SO MUCH RECOGNITION BY MILLIONS OF VIEWERS?


Hans Kindt   March 21st, 2009 2:59 am ET

well some guy back there said the new attitude is – just walk away – someone else will take care of it." and I'm not entirely sure what it was in reference to, but I was thinking well, he (Obama) DIDN'T "walk away" at ALL – he actually realized his gaffe almost immediately and acted quickly to apologize (something Bush NEVER would have done!) so I admire that. Often it';s very tough to admit a mistake and be up front and candid about it – I almost admire THAT more than blandly being politically correct and being flawless all the time.. because that very often seems contrived and rather false. I think MOST of us (e.g.: most people in reality, whether they're willing to admit it or not) make mistakes and errors and have faults and imperfections, so to imply or act otherwise to me is being disingenuous. Designers – Carry on!!! *grin*


STAN GREEN   March 21st, 2009 3:15 am ET

I WOULD VENTURE A GUESS THAT IF ANY OF US REGULAR FOLKS HAD HIS TO DO LIST, WE ALSO MIGHT MAKE UN-POLITICALLY CORRECT BLUNDERS. LETS NOT MAKE HIM A BUSH CLONE YET


Ruben Guzman   March 21st, 2009 3:16 am ET

Obama is a bad person i can't believe that he would actually say that about someone with special needs. I guess that's why he believes in Abotion he doesn't want different in America.


julio L.   March 21st, 2009 3:17 am ET

Hello larry, I live in Pheonix AZ. I watch your show all the time, About President Obama's comment. Get over it America, he apologized and accepted responsibility.
There is controversy now, and Special Olimpics will benfit from it, evryone is talking about it. Its a good thing more than a bad thing. I would like to hear about the latest information on Sheriff Arpaio from Phoenix. keep u the good work.


Autumn   March 21st, 2009 3:19 am ET

His comment was without malice, give him a break people he is trying to keep us updated while fixing our country.


Lynn   March 21st, 2009 3:19 am ET

At least President Obama not only watches the news but participates in television programs. Former President Bush only made his mistakes (so many) during those rare obligatory appearances. And former President Bush bragged about keeping his head in the media sand by not watching or participating in this public medium.

President Obama should receive a "get out of jail free card" to make about a million mistakes before he has to worry about catching up to the republican and Bush administration mistakes of the past 8 years.


Jesse Montoya   March 21st, 2009 3:21 am ET

Hello, I think you and every other reporter out there is wasting your time on such a small issue. The president slipped, but im sure ALL OF YOU have made a comment or two just like this in some kind of conversation in your life. Come on grow up/ Don't we have something else to talk about. Maybe global warming, war, disease, or ALL the good that has come out of this president so far? Come on, if I had a dime for every time anything came out of Bush's mouth I would be a billionaire. Come on, talk about something worth talking about or go on and start chasing B. Spears or something. That would be some news. Leave OBAMA ALONE!!


KLC   March 21st, 2009 3:23 am ET

President Obama makes a comment about Special Olympics and calls the Chairman to apologize. If someone high up in politics were to make a joke about race, religion, or sexual preference, would they be able to make a phone call from their VIP Plane and "fix" the situation, or would it scar their career? Just because he is the President, it shouldn't make it okay for him to make reckless comments and get away with it. Apology or not he should know better as he fills the position of President for the next 4 years and rectify the situation with the American people, not just the Chairman.


STAN GREEN   March 21st, 2009 3:25 am ET

I FEEL BETTER ABOUT "OUR COUNTRY" SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE, HOW ABOUT YA'LL?


Doug Wilson   March 21st, 2009 3:26 am ET

I THINK WE ALL MISTAKES ,WISHED HE WOULD OF BEN QUICK ENOUGH TO CACTH IT THEN AND APOLGISE THEN TO MANY BLUNDERS ALREADY 2.2 TRILLION NOT SEEN VERY DISSAPOINTED


Leege   March 21st, 2009 3:31 am ET

The sad thing is... it's you people that FORCE the 'discrimination' issues. "Oh, we aren't being picked on enough for recognition... what can we find?" YOU MAKE YOURSELVES DISCRIMINATED!!!!!!!!! Try breaking the cycle some time... morons!!


Judy Trapp   March 21st, 2009 3:36 am ET

My cousin proudly bowls in the Special Olympics. She love the Special Olympic. She bowls better than most people bowl on leagues. In a perfect world she would be accepted on those leagues and wouldn't be limited to only being able to compete in the Special Olympics . I am offened by his comment , as well as comments made offhand about any group of people. When people are segregated and set apart from the mainstream they are most likely to be stigmitized than accepted. That is why people make thoughtless comments about certain groups of people.


M.J.Fritz   March 21st, 2009 3:36 am ET

We all make mistakes. Ok, yes, he is the President and is held to a much a higher standard but to discredit his efforts for that one "gaffe"? Lets be serious. Our economy would be far worse if we were all condemned by a single mistake. And most people do not attempt to correct the mistake. He did, lets move on. He has a lot on his agenda and is working toward bettering out country and world. And the fact that he went on the show says he is trying to reach out to all people of our country; a thing I like to refer to as "keeping the common touch." I'm sure the President can work from anywhere in the country, on Air Force 1. To criticize him for having an opinion on sports, participating on late night shows...I highly doubt thats keeping him from looking over the national budget or taking a look at education reforms. All of us do not work 24hours a day, but get what we need to get done. THe Presidents job is truly no different than Bill Gates' job. He is entitled to live outside of the Presidents work.


Doug Wilson   March 21st, 2009 3:37 am ET

Very mad about all .reuplican and democrat neither one worried about the people just boosting there popularties time to get all these fools out of there voted on a stimuls package they never even read this comming from there mouths ,they were actualy saying this week that they could not understand it well why did you vote for it.then hearing today of another 2 trillion they didnt know about .(WHAT DO THEY KNOW) if i was to make these kind of mistake i would be fired that day shame we cant fire all them


Cherye Korthuis   March 21st, 2009 3:38 am ET

Your President , is only human.......he has taken on a big job of "stuff" from past president's...He made a mistake....God forbid if we ever did! He took time off with Leno....a well needed break....why not?....We do it...perhaps this is not a a gimmick for what ever purposes/reasons you think. The economy is the US is not the fault of Obama's .....He walked into it !!!

Give this man a chance......You may be surprised. Don't concentrate on a statement...that any of us could of made.....get over all the nick pickin ....... come together, be a part of the solution, not the problem. Don't get mad....do something about it.

He is what he is .....a man/human being whom became President.....He walked into a "bad marriage" so to speak.....only married to millions of people who want answers and solutions....NOW!


ALICE SMITH   March 21st, 2009 3:45 am ET

LARRY I AM THE MOTHER OF A SPECIAL NEEDS BOY WHO WAS INVOLVED IN SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOR 8 YEARS, AND I FIND WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID WAS NOT OFFENSIVE, IT WAS DIRECTED AT
HIMSELF, IT SEEMS THESE DAYS PEOPLE GET UPSET OVER THINGS THA DON'T MATTER WE HAVE MUCH BIGGER ISSUES IN THIS COUNTRY THAN WHAT OBAMA SAID LET HIM DO HI JOB...


KL   March 21st, 2009 3:53 am ET

RE: I think that anyone who wasn’t bothered by the Presidents
comments should examine their heart and their attitude.

"Laughter is good medicine."

This is what's truly first. Doctors often examined and researched
to try to understand why I ALWAYS survived while most others didn't.
President Obama's joke, as usual, had no malice and caused me to
laugh during a challenging time.

Those speaking words of outrage while a role model for disabled
children don't speak for me.

Written by a senior citizen disabled since 2 months old who chose
to laugh instead.


JRO   March 21st, 2009 3:55 am ET

Someone already had to have blogged this , so to be redundant: If anyone who was offended of Obama's comments about Special Olympics would take the time to research on Google, the Stimulus Plan, they'd learn his plan gives over 50 Billion dollars to Special Education in the elementary and highschool systems around the US. How could a parent blog against Obama for his comment on the tonight show when he is the first president to offer that sort of money to help kids who have learning disabilities in the education system. So instead of everyone clapping their hands at a special Olympics event cause Eddie made a lap around the running track instead will now be clapping because Eddie had the opportunity to graduate from highschool because of funding for Special education from President Obama's Stimulus plan. The Stimulus plan gives more opportunities for the schooling system to receive the dollars it needs to help kids with special needs. If ya didnt know folks, kids with special learning have to learn within school systems that dont have the funding (not even remotely) to help those kids keep up with the "statistic norm". Fact is, this is the first President in too long to actually address the education issue with kids that have special needs. So instead of making a guff about a comment he made, take a look at his action, his 50 Billion action that is. And be thankful your special needs kid will be assisted by Obama's endeavors. PS: please spare me on the "over spending" of Obama. Look folks, we just printed 1 trillion dollars this week that we didnt have. We dont have demand in the US so the President spent money on things to create demand and IF we are going to spend money we dont have, darn it,,lets spend it on things we need: Highways, education, altenative energy, healthcare, etc. Thats what the Stimulus Plan does and the 5% that hold 90% of the US's wealth shutter at Obama's Stimulus idea because that means more sharing of the wealth and we wouldnt want that would we?.


Amanda Roche   March 21st, 2009 3:58 am ET

Why must we look for all petty things to try to bring our President down? Why can't we focus on the positives rather than the negatives? Is it possible to understand that we all make mistakes, that President Obama apologized for something that caused a stir? Why are we so petty? My goodness, everyone gets upset so easily, I think we have a lot of disatisfied people, angry, and feeling miserable. We are taking our frustrations, our anger, our desperation and projecting it on our president. I'm so glad President Obama is just a regular guy, and not someone who acts as though he above everyone. I'd like to think that my President is accessible, a human being just like all of us. President Obama, I'm so glad you're part of the human race. Everyone is making a big deal of the offhand comment, but I don't see anyone focusing on the most important issue–the economy and why you are taking the measures you have taken. Did anyone have anything to say about it. Did anyone concentrate on the positive things our president had to say, on what he thinks is right, and what is doing to turn things around? The media can get petty. Everyone is looking to see how they can jump at the first opportunity to tear President Obama for the most infenitesimal of things. It's so sad to think that people are looking at the shortcomings, the mistakes, the mishaps, which any human being can make, and forget all the good things. Grow up people!


Tim   March 21st, 2009 4:07 am ET

It was a mistake and everyone makes them...... "Let those without sin cast the first stone." I really am not a supporter of Obama but he is human so give him some slack. We elected him to lead us so let him, and since we are the one who put him there he does not have to apologize, or let alone answer to us for mistakes that he makes. Once again lets give him a chance to do his job, after we are given chances to do our jobs.


Mary Ann Rohrbough   March 21st, 2009 4:31 am ET

President Obama was poking fun at himself in reference to the bowling comment. He was not trying to make fun of the special needs kids. I have a grand daughter who has special needs and I did not feel offended at all. Let's not be so small about this.
UGH! to those Republicans who are so closed to strong leadership, great communication, a prudent man with good common sense and a strong desire to help the American people! Yes, we have such closed Republicans (and a few others) in our society, but they can still get more involved with America by working positively together with President Obama. Some Republican responses and Wall Street have been only destructive to helping Americans. Bush had damaged the USA and the world so badly and we are trying to dig ourselves out of this mess. Autocracy is never the answer. Bush did this for eight years. Obama has only been in office less than two months. He has so much to do on his agenda. He has already made some significant changes. I'm esp. glad about the stem cell bill because it will help hundreds of thousands of people. He IS OUR PRESIDENT and we have HOPE that things will be getting better in our tough economic times. Yes, he must keep up his fast pace of solving these multiple problems. If not, it will only worsen! Something good has got to come out of this. We support you, Mr. President!


Robert K   March 21st, 2009 5:06 am ET

To preface my statement, we have a disabled son who had been referred to as a vegetable by doctors and nurses at one time or another in his early life, after so saying they ceased to work for us at that point. He wasn’t supposed to live past the age of 4, but here he is now 29! And still our “baby”.

That aside, I am so tired of the tissue skinned PC whiners nit-picking every cotton-picking word/phrase/innuendo, looking for something, anything to pitch a hemorrhaging fit about! Get a focus on something real and worthwhile in life, and quit making yourself and everyone else miserable.

Laughter was/is/and always will be the best medicine for many things that ails you. I would be very happy if my son could “ride the short bus”! I would be thrilled if he could take part in the Special Olympics bowling with the gutter bumpers! I would be ecstatic if he could do anything other than be my most loving and cuddling “forever baby”, which is more than enough for me every time he looks into my eyes.

We joke about things that he does, and looks that he gives, and noises that he makes. Not to be cruel, but to include him in family conversation.

What the president said is a NON-ISSUE, get over yourself and move on, there is nothing to see here!

This goes double for the Bozo talking head of the Special Olympics organization, get over yourself, the president didn’t say anything offensive.


Jason   March 21st, 2009 5:06 am ET

I think The comment he made is being way overlooked give him a break.


Stephen Johnson   March 21st, 2009 5:14 am ET

I think America need to stop been such a stiff, these are different times that's why we have a different president, a president that's actually "alive"! Get over yourself and stop acting like grumpy old people!


adnan bashir   March 21st, 2009 5:18 am ET

give the guy a break, he was just joking, sometimes you say things you dont mean, americans are making a big deal out of it. And for his appearance at a comedy show, when pervez musharaf was at the daily show, he was hailed all over the world. Why is obama being punished for being there? I believe he has won a lot more support of the masses by connecting with them.


Ron   March 21st, 2009 5:21 am ET

People need to get a thicker skin. The speech police have attacked again. While I did not vote for Obama I do support his right to say special olympics, retard or what ever he wants. People need to get over themselves and quit thinking everything said is meant to offend them.


Thomas   March 21st, 2009 5:23 am ET

My daughter has CP, and I watched the interview last nite on Leno. Does anyone c how hard this guy is working? U Rock Mr. Obama!!


Rio   March 21st, 2009 5:23 am ET

obama in not just down to earth, he's a balanced person, he jokes, he works


marvin   March 21st, 2009 5:25 am ET

Everyone has said something similar if not worse. Be it racist, sexist, etc. Stop being bleeding hearts and accept your own faults before condemning someone else. Even if he is the president, he's allowed to make mistakes. You people think the world will be better by singing Kumba ya. Relax, stop taking offense to everything, and let the man do his job. Bleeding hearts are what"s the wrong with the world today. Go to Iraq and preach your goodness and see if you don't end up on t.v. getting your head cut off. That is what the terrorists love. Dissention in our own government. Support your president and shut the hell up


john ralton   March 21st, 2009 5:31 am ET

Another example of mountain from molehill. America seems to be full of people with transparent skin. Pretty sure there are bigger problems at the moment than a thoughtless comment 99% of us know was not intended to offend. Also on a separate note. I always find it laughable that Amy Holmes will not just admit she is a "Republican"


Bryon CLeaton   March 21st, 2009 5:37 am ET

I am glad to see the President out and about so people can see him. It makes the American people feel more involved in the system. The American people are not dumb and know that he is not just going to these appearances and not doing anything else. I am sure he gets briefed and knows everything going on with the economy and issues in the world at every minute of the day. Its not like he flew out to Ca. just to be on Leno he was schedule with many meetings and appointments leading up to the Leno appearance. Just remember he his human to and sometimes a step back from his job like a appearance or a basketball will help to stay focus on his job....


EROMS   March 21st, 2009 5:42 am ET

OBAMA CAME AS THE MOST CARISMATIC LEADER OF ALL TIME IN A CRUTIAL TIME IN AMERICA'S HISTORY. IF HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO KEEP UP WITH THIS MAGIC THAT HAS BROUGHT HIM SUCCESS, HE MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO GET THE ECONOMY MOVING AGAIN.


Bryon CLeaton   March 21st, 2009 5:43 am ET

Come people get over it . We have all said something we didn't mean. Thats just life. I have volunteered in special olympics before and its a rewarding experience but to the people complaining get a life. If you ar e offended over that than hate to see how you react when you get stares in the grocery store. If you get offended over something everytime says something than you should lock yourself in a room and not go out. Again get over it life is to short.....


yvette jarvis   March 21st, 2009 6:05 am ET

I am a volunteer and member of MDA Hellas and have been volunteering for people with disabilities for over 17 years including Special Olympics. What comes to my mind is the ease at which we are all so critical of the President because of the gaffe. It was tasteless to say the least, but if we are honest who of us can say we have NEVER made similar statements? It shows that the Presidient is first of all one of us!!! We have all said things we wish we could take back. The blessing is that this is an opportunity for the world to begin to see the human being behind a label. It is an opportunity for us to begin to understand the incredible gifts that these people have and the courage contained within their souls and the strength within their families and their hearts. I apologize for my president and for myself for all too many times having used the word retard, handicapped or special needs to describe deficiency in any way shape or form!!!


Bobbie   March 21st, 2009 6:19 am ET

We are all the same. We all have talents and limitations. If you understand this you are less offended by comments such as the President's on Leno's show. What I heard him say was, when it comes to bowling I am limited.


Bane Robarch   March 21st, 2009 6:21 am ET

No one can work 24 hours a day. I hear the President usually puts in 16 hour days wqorking for US. If we require more than that from him, it goes without saying that the quality of his work and his judgement will be impaired. This country has become sick with the new expectations demanded of our President. It is HEALTHY to spend time relaxing and doing things for personal enjoyment, and by so doing, recharge the mental batteries. I DO NOT want or expect to have the 'man in charge' overworking and depleting his internal resources. Believe it or not, even the President of the United States has to have some personal time to rest and enjoy some normal, non-work activities.
As to appearing on Jay Leno, I think that President Obama continues
to connect with the average American. We grew used to the previous
administration's penchant for secrecy, hiding out on the ranch, or otherwise incommunicado at the White House. To me, as with many others, we welcome the President to use whatever means available to communicate with the public openly. What better way to connect with millions of viewers than to appear on the most popular late night talk show? Try to imagine Bush or Cheney exposing themselves to
public criticism on a simialr format....hmmm. I see the 'word for word' critics examined each word spoken and found what they labeled as
an inappropriate comment by President Obama. This was a sad but typical attempt by the right to take something out of context and brandish it to assault the President. We have had enough of this type
of libel, and showed our displeasure with these methods last November. How about showing some support and loyality to our country and our leaders instead of negative criticism?


Eddie C.   March 21st, 2009 6:56 am ET

Obviously, even if he did not mean any harm because he is is a public servant to all and its so great that people that had a limitation conquered all obstacles to acheive their sucesses, the President has to be careful with words which are a powerful source to get ones message across to the public.
In other words it was in poor taste and one should not use words in humor that associate it with people with special needs, senior citizens, culture, language, etc.
Let us think before we speak.


Emmanuel   March 21st, 2009 7:14 am ET

You Americans are funny, for the first time you have a President who is doing his job well and enjoying it. A guy with a sense of humour who makes an off-hand remark and has apologised about it and you are all about town over this.
By the way don't special needs people feel better when we treat them like everyone else, instead of running a special "sensitive" ring around them.
I guess as a leader you can never win it all. The other day the British PM was being accused by his people of being too serious. So what exactly do people want. Looks like we are all waiting for the Ha Ha Gotcha!! moment from our leaders.


World citizen   March 21st, 2009 7:16 am ET

I laughed when I heard the joke and thought of nothing. It's just a joke. People are getting paranoid about nothing. You can't please everybody, some will get offended and some won't.


jerry   March 21st, 2009 9:00 am ET

PALIN IS a very confused person, a hypocrite, was surprised M Romney put her on a pedestal on L King's show..is she really receiving 11 million to write a book ? well, now she can fly to Sak's & Neiman's & buy what she wants, rumor has it she bought her hubby silk shorts $75.00 !


Alexandra   March 21st, 2009 9:41 am ET

I am a working mother of 2 wonderful children ages 6 and 4, one of them with Autism. I was so dissapointed about the PRESDENT of the UNITED STATES coments in the tonight show about special olympics. I was offended not only because of my son but for the people that work so hard to put this event together. Mr. Obama you should feel bless that you have 2 healthy daughters and more than an apology you should be exposed more to special people so you will know how much you can learn from them.


Lynn Woods   March 21st, 2009 10:32 am ET

I saw the interview with President Obama and I wasn't offended by his comments on the Special Olympics. He probably wishes he hadn't made the comment now but he is only human and we all make mistakes. However I do believe Tim Shriver is making to much of the comment and I watched Larry King last night and someone should rain Mr. Shriver in because he was taking it way to far with his criticism going as far as to mention the word "retarded" and I never heard Obama use that word. Take a step back and take a deep breath and get over it.


Dennis Blanchette   March 21st, 2009 11:39 am ET

Dear Larry,
I'm a quardaplegic in a wheelchair for 40 years now. The Sara Palen and other drama Queens who are using us disabled members of society as their tools to bash President Obama, should give it a rest. He apologized and we disabled get over it, so should you. Personnally I'd love to bowl with the President. At that game with his score I may have a chance to win. So witch is worst, the few joking words of the President or the drama bashing.
Dennis Blanchette
London, Ontario, Canada


eddie   March 21st, 2009 11:58 am ET

Mr Shriver took this too personally, his bro in law, the Gov of CA said it right.....Mr President did not mean this..he was poking fun of himself..we have mentally retarded in my family & 1 child w/Autism..GWBush removed all programs from public schls for special needs kids...Obama & Biden will do much better....


karen schmitt   March 21st, 2009 12:02 pm ET

Get a grip! What matters most is a person's ACTIONS, not an occasional slip of the tongue (for which he apologized even before it was aired).

Obama has provided FUNDING for special needs children, while Sarah Palen (who has come out criticizing the President handily for his gaffe), has REFUSED federal monies to help the very children she professes to care about. In addition to refusing almost $300 million economic recovery dollars for education and special needs children, she is also refusing money to help the unemployed, the homeless, the aged, and other groups of needy individuals.

Like I said...ones ACTIONS say a lot more than his or her words!


karen   March 21st, 2009 12:17 pm ET

Some people will blow up ANYTHING into a big deal, just to beat someone up politically.

OK. So a few of you voted for McCain and lost. Just remember. You lost in a FAIR and SQUARE election, and you lost by a LANDSLIDE. It wasn't even close. You need to be patient and give President Obama a chance to clean up the mess he was left by the previous administration. The rest of us gave Bush the first six or seven years before we "lost it" over what he was doing to the country and the world.

No one should be surprised at what is happening in our government any longer. We don't have to worry about SECRET torture camps and govt spying or secret meetings to determine energy policy. This president told us what he planned to do while he was still a candidate, and keeps us updated constantly on the internet. If we don't like something, we have an and outlet: we have been given an email address where we can complain or make better suggestions.

Congressional bills are now on the internet, so we can read them ourselves, word for word, and we can search for things the Republicans tell us are in those bills. For example, the railway from Vegas to Disneyland.,..a complete but very oft-repeated LIE.

I think we ought to just sit back and thank GOD President Obama is willing to help us get out of this mess left by Bush!


Malcolm Perry   March 21st, 2009 1:15 pm ET

Hi Larry King & CNN you people should be a shame of your self for having on Tim shriver he is so phony. all he is a big con like his family.
He said he was hurt about the special olympics comments get a clue.You need to have on your show a real news report.CNN needs to clean there act up and get some good reporters. Your starting to get like Fox news clueless incompetent.CNN reporters need to stop interrupting the President when he makes a speach.Have some class and stop reporting the same nagitive storys over and over.


Judy   March 21st, 2009 1:21 pm ET

What his "joke" shows everyone is his lack of judgement and common sense. If he can't go on Jay Leno, in a relaxed atmosphere, without insulting people, how will he successfully negotiate with the crazy Iranian government leaders? God forbid he ticks one of them off!


beth lee   March 21st, 2009 2:12 pm ET

Just a stupid comment.You'd think he 'd approved torture,committed mass executions,etc.Oops!Wrong president. It was definately not cool,but not intentional. I can't turn on th TV without hearing it,over and over and over. I suspect he'll invite that SO bowling champ to the White House for a match,which is fine,but let's get onto real issues.


kenny   March 21st, 2009 2:17 pm ET

anyone who has never made a mistake is either dead or not doing anything !


Cindy   March 21st, 2009 2:54 pm ET

Where is Al Sharpton now? W hy isn't he out screaming about discrimination for Children with Special needs.Obama should be worring about our country instead of out doing comedy shows that is what the people thought he was going to do when they voted for him. I am sure he didn't see anything wrong with his comment because he never did see anything wrong with the comments that the Rev Wright made about white people. Where are all the people that cry discrimination. The Special Needs children are alot more intelligent than the president, but no one thinks they are important enought to step up and defend.


Andrew   March 21st, 2009 3:09 pm ET

I also believe it was just a slight blunder with no harm intended.

However, this might be an opportunity to take advantage of this (new awareness) as a learning opportunity. There is a lot of disrespect in our society towards people who have disabilities. Take for advantage the recent Ben Stiller Movie "Tropic Thunder" and just the other night , Bill Marr using the "R" word during his show.

I believe many people who have an intellectual disability (on hearing the "R" word) are just as offended as an African American would be if he/she heard the "N" word.

People with disabilities have been through a lot over the years (consider the death camps in Nazi Germany, which many people today are not aware of, where thousands of people with disabilities were murdered as well as people who were Jewish) (even today there is still a lot of debate concerning disabled rights as human beings)

I hope we can learn from this.


isadore   March 21st, 2009 3:52 pm ET

Tim Shriver looked as tho he was going to cry..he's never wanted for anything...he really doesn't know what it means to be down & out...there is so much to be angry about,,the war in Iraq & the 4300 /?/ lives lost...he's probably worried about his parents getting older & his Dad w/Altheimers...we all have our concerns & problems...


gwen   March 21st, 2009 4:33 pm ET

Americans are at it again making such stink over what most of us do many times in our lives, make a comment ,not to hurt anyone but just to say something. I live in Minnesota where we host the schools for the deaf ,blind and up until a few years ago we also had the state school and hospital which was referred to the "nut hut",the deaf were all "deaf and dumb" and the blind were "cane pushers" . Just in the last few years the termanology has been corrected but up until that time you could make these comments so why don't we give the pres a break for trying to make a joke like so many of us do and get over it as like for all of us who make the same type of comment today and not think twice about it forget this and find something to really complain about Oh one more thing I grew up with that "deaf and dumb" brother who had to live through all the jokes but for your information he too got over it and is by far smarter than most


Pteri   March 21st, 2009 7:29 pm ET

Obama is showing his true colors. This guy is arrogant. Other people in the spotlight have been fired from their jobs for the same type of disparaging comment.


Glenn Nelson   March 21st, 2009 9:37 pm ET

AOL did a survey, 56% of those who take it were NOT offended by the Presidents Special Olympics comment. IT is the media that has blown this out of proportion. GET OVER IT FOLKS.


Janette   March 21st, 2009 9:40 pm ET

next jerry springer after judge judy!!! Live!


Heidi   March 21st, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I am a person who had a stroke giving birth to my first child. I AM DISABLED. However, I have regained my competency. I CAN COPE WITH MY DISABILITY. It is not a "disability" to me. It is an ability. I was NOT Offended by the Presidents reference because EVERYONE HAS A DISABILITY. However, this was a case of extremely gross medical malpractice and I have documentation to suggest the case was settled while I was incompetent, recovering from the "trauma". So please ask the President to make up for his slip by listening to me and how crippling a woman for the rest of her life has made many attorneys rich.


Locklear   March 21st, 2009 10:17 pm ET

I feel that as a nation we require too much of our President to walk a straight line all the time. So what if our President has a since of humor? At lease he has a good talk and has a way to make you laugh, our passed members of office were so boring :)


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 21st, 2009 11:50 pm ET

Prejudice Defined:
Prejudice is a cultural attitude that rests on negative stereotypes about individuals or groups because of their cultural, religious, racial, ability or ethnic background.

We need to look at not what was said, but what President Obama intended. (There is a big difference) He appeared trying to be funny towards his own bowling scores. There was NO malice! He apologized before Jay Leno even aired.

We need to lighten up! This is as much out of control as AIG!


Justice for The Righteous   March 22nd, 2009 12:34 am ET

Rev Wright has produced a disciple.


Kathleen   March 22nd, 2009 12:58 am ET

Before you cast a stone, look at yourself...how many times have each and every one of us said something that we later would have liked not to have said? It is utterly ridiculous how the nationwide media is making a mountain out of a molehill ....President Obama has apologized for this gaffe and it is obvious he did not mean it in the way some people who like to blow things out of proportion would like to think. Those who complain the loudest must be the "do gooders" who never make a mistake.


Bernard Montgomerie   March 22nd, 2009 6:04 am ET

Why are you Americans so precious.

Give Obama a chance. He has done more for America in 100 days than what Bush destroyed in 8 years and at least Obama was elected in his first term.

I love Larry King Live – it is one of the best programs on TV.

Cheers

Bernie


Carol   March 22nd, 2009 9:59 am ET

I am disabled but was not offended by Mr. Obama's remark. All it did was remind me that I haven't contributed yet this year, and I have just done so. Hopefully, this is a common reaction that brings about a better awareness of this worthwhile organization.


Sandy   March 22nd, 2009 11:24 am ET

OK...I heard it and wondered myself, where that came from;-the Special Olympics comment-However, the media's made it more of an issue than it should be. Why wasn't as much timen spent on some of Bush's issues like: lying to Americans and the world about so many issues like: illegal search and siezure issues, and suspended citizens rights under the constitution like wiretaping, like starting a war based on lies that's taken too many lives on both sides.
Hey Media! Let's let President Obama do his job and show him some support. What a concept...because it's for the people and the people includes you.


aj   March 22nd, 2009 11:31 am ET

It made me gasp when he said it. It was thoughtless. Maybe he was trying to impress Leno with his comedic skills. It didn't work. He apologized. Let's move on.


Elle Bennett   March 22nd, 2009 1:07 pm ET

I thought President Obama was making fun of himself; not those children.


preston   March 22nd, 2009 4:11 pm ET

I am a parent of a special needs child , and i think the president made a bad mistake with his joke . I have read several comments and they are from people like the president ,who have probaly never spent any time with people with special needs. If he makes jokes about this who or what is next. he has two healthy daughters , but for the grace of god one of them could have been born with special needs, then would he still think of it as a joke .Like i tell people who make fun of special needs people walk a mile in their shoes , or walk a mile in the parents shoes i bet half of you couldnot do it . If a child or an adult was making fun of your child with or without special needs wouldnt you be mad


louise   March 22nd, 2009 7:58 pm ET

we have mentally retarded kids in family plus Autism..he was poking fun at himself.....now he will open white house & swing set to all disabilities..& he will learn how to bowl..no more gutters like in the campaign..does he bowl left handed ?


Linda Marsh   March 22nd, 2009 9:10 pm ET

I think it is a case of "much ado about nothing!". The man meant nothing by the remark except to be self-deprecating. Why the heck does every little comment have to be scrutinized so? Let it go, people!!!


Denise Walker   March 22nd, 2009 9:36 pm ET

I watched Jay Leno, and the President spoke fine and made valid points. I see nothing wrong with him going out and speaking out about what needs to be done in this country.
He is quieting the fears of the public and i applaud him for his efforts. GIVE the man a chance. He is no worse than any of the others!! People did not scrutinize George, George, Nixon and no other President like they do him. What they should have done was impeached their reublican president but the didn't so SHUT up!


john childers   March 23rd, 2009 5:05 am ET

Are you serious??? Larry.... I watch your show every night and tonight I am....what's the word?....stupefied! Mr. Obama truly meant, whatever I might have said, with no disrepect to anyone. This gentleman from the special committee of whomever certainly has every right to speak his mind but I think your producers are just looking for controversy for a story. They're missing the boat in my opinion.


Albert Kohol   March 23rd, 2009 2:55 pm ET

I have to say I'm amused at all the fuss. The moment I saw the clip, I instantly understood that what President Obama was trying to say was that he is disadvantaged at some things as well. He never intended any malice. I'd say he was in fact being empathic. They may be "Special," but they're people. They are just disadvantaged in some areas, but then we all are in some way. Making them objects of pity is disrespectful. The fact that President Obama apologized to those who misunderstood him is just a testament to his sensitivity to everyone, particularly those who "chose" to be offended by his words. I personally feel he owes no one an apology.

Before I'm accused of insensitivity, my only younger brother (whom I loved more than life) was born with Cerebral Palsy. He never did anything for himself all 18 years of his life (not even feed himself) till he died peacefully in his sleep 6 years ago. But he lived very happily. He was not treated with pity, but with all respect afforded a normal child. This allowed his mind to flourish, being one of the most brilliant children I've known, even teaching himself to read. He was an avid Trekkie, understanding concepts like Temporal Physics (time travel theory) .

I'm writing from Nigeria, & these things concern us too. America is lucky to have President Obama. If anything, he is the one that deserves the apology. I feel Americans should stop looking for him to slip up but should rather work with him to move the country forward.


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