Jim Roddey, the well-known Chairman of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania GOP, Tuesday at an election night party compared supporters of president Obama to the mentally disabled.
“There was a disappointment tonight. I was very embarrassed. I was in this parking lot and there was a man looking for a space to park, and I found a space for him. And I felt badly — he looked like he was sort of in distress. And I said, ‘Sir, here’s a place.’ And he said, ‘That’s a handicapped space.’ I said, ‘Oh I’m so sorry, I saw that Obama sticker and I thought you were mentally retarded.”
Noting that “Roddey has long been known for being quotable,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the “crowd hollered and clapped, and then Roddey went into the the usual thanks at political events for grassroots supporters of the winning candidate.”
Because there’s nothing more funny to old Republicans than making fun of someone different from you.
How is this allowable in 2012?
“I regret my comments,” Roddey said via a statement this afternoon. “I have a long record of supporting people with disabilities and should have remembered that before I spoke. My remarks were inappropriate and I apologize.”
Roddey’s apology came after much anger in Pennsylvania
“Jim Roddey should be ashamed of himself,” the Allegheny County Democratic Committee tweeted after learning of the former county executive’s statements.
Allegheny County Democratic Committee chairwoman Nancy Mills of Moon Township on Wednesday called on Roddey to apologize to the people he offended and to resign from his post as GOP chairman. She asked Republicans to press Roddey to do the same.
“If I made a comment like that my own friends would have called on me to step down immediately,” she said. “Furthermore, Mitt Romney needs to show leadership and hold his supporters like Jim Roddey accountable for their attacks. Romney should join me in denouncing Roddey.”
Reached Wednesday, Brown said, “I honestly don’t think he was thinking. To make a joke out of a person with a disability is unconscionable.”
Butler County Republican Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, who attended Vulakovich’s victory party, admitted the jest didn’t portray Roddey in the best light.
“It was clearly not one of Jim’s better jokes,” he said. “While no one can condone a joke made at the expense of the handicapped, I think he was probably caught up in the euphoria of the moment. Jim’s longtime involvement with civic and charitable causes is more indicative of the kind of person he is than one unfortunate, off-color remark.”
A petition calling for Roddey’s resignation has been started in light of his comments, Mills said. As of 3 p.m., it had 27 signatures.
We’re waiting for Sarah Palin to attack…
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