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A 'shocked' Sarah Palin joins critics of Obama's Special Olympics comment

March 20, 2009 |  5:19 pm

Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin with her Downs baby Trig

Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, herself the mother of a "special needs" child, Trig, who has Down's syndrome, expressed shock today over President Obama's quip on the Jay Leno show Thursday about his bowling being like Special Olympics.

The president has apologized to the head of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver, and the president's press secretary Robert Gibbs today called it a "thoughtless joke." Earlier this afternoon California's First Lady Maria Shriver admonished the president for his comment likening his poor bowling to a Special Olympics.

The Ticket main reports on that are here and over here.

This afternoon, Palin's office released a statement quoting her as being "shocked," that the comment was "degrading", that these special needs athletes "overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will" and adding she hopes Obama's comment does not reflect his true feelings.

Here's Palin's entire statement:

“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics. This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world.

“These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Getty Images (Gov. Palin with her Downs baby Trig).