California’s First Lady Calls Obama’s Special Olympics ‘Joke’ Hurtful
March 20, 2009 - 4:19 PMMaria Shriver says President Barack Obama's joke comparing his poor bowling score to that of a Special Olympics athlete was hurtful, although she is sure he didn't mean it that way.
California's first lady issued a statement Friday, a day after the president made the gaffe on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama later called Maria's brother, Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver, to apologize.
The siblings' mother, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver, founded the Special Olympics and has championed the rights of the mentally disabled.
Maria Shriver says the reaction to Obama's joke shows there is still more work to do. She says laughing at such comments "hurts millions of people throughout the world."
Shriver, a Democrat, supported Obama's presidential campaign.
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