Jim Roddey

Allegheny County's GOP chair and former county executive Jim Roddey has long been known for being quotable, and he added to that reputation tonight in a joke equating Obama supporters with the mentally disabled.

Roddey as usual acted as MC at the election night party for state Rep. Randy Vulakovich, R-Shaler, who won the special election to fill convicted state Sen. Jane Orie's seat in Pittsburgh's northern suburbs. Vulakovich beat Democrat Sharon Brown at about 74-26%, which Roddey said "is the largest margin we've had in 50 years!"

That got a huge response from the partisan GOP crowd of about 200 people at Vulakovich's party, whereupon Roddey went into his Obama joke.

"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."

The crowd hollered and clapped, and then Roddey went into the the usual thanks at political events for grassroots supporters of the winning candidate.

Roddey has long been a vocal supporter of Mitt Romney, even before the GOP presidential field was settled, and has joined GOP voices supporting the state's strict new voter ID rules -- at a Romney event last month he joked he had re-done is will so he could be buried in Philadelphia and vote from the grave.

UPDATE: Roddey has apologized.

Comments (10)Add Comment
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written by jayzach1, August 09, 2012
This is what is wrong with America. We are no longer a nation of ideas but nation of name calling whiners.

One would think a 75 year old man would have more sense.

If he had an ounce of decency he would step down and let someone with common sense, integrity and intelligence represent his constituents.
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written by racqueteer, August 09, 2012
After his remark, did he disappear behind stalks of corn as a banjo played?

1:33... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or-ZGtg3BPM
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written by davgerb, August 08, 2012
*t is unfortunate for the rest of us that Mr. Roddey is unable to do better than to put down people in order to try to appear clever to his audience. Looking at the photo of him in his crisp tuxedo, clearly the clothes are not enough to make the man.
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written by Anne, August 08, 2012
Oh, wonderful. We have a county GOP chair, and a roomful of GOP'ers, all a-hootin' and a-howlin' at his "retarded" joke. Glad to see all you 5-year olds having such a grand old time at the expense of a needy population. Make jokes, and cut their funding. Jim Roddey will never be a real man.
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written by latinjum, August 08, 2012
Where's all the Sarah Palin outrage about the usage of the words "mentally retarded" in this joking way? I expect it's not coming ever.
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written by ginzberg, August 08, 2012
Good job Tim. You made Huff Post, with 600+ comments to boot

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/jim-roddey-obama-mentally-retarded_n_1755690.html?utm_hp_ref=politics
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written by RevDi, August 08, 2012
As a minister, I find the use of the word "retarded" to describe anyone who does not agree with him highly offensive. As a disabled person who relies on handicapped parking spaces to be able to exit and enter my ramp van, I find his casual assignment of those spaces equally offensive. In case Mr. Roddey is not aware of the law, handicapped parking spaces are for people with physical disabilities who need extra space for their wheelchairs or walkers, or who are unable to walk long distances, or have other medical conditions.
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written by theactualtodd, August 08, 2012
Pitt students and alumni, I thought you may want to know that Jim Roddey represents you as an Emeritus Trustee on the board.

Maybe we can change that.
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written by JenEngland, August 08, 2012
I'm really distressed to hear this. As a member of the Advisory Board for Best Buddies PA-Pittsburgh I find the use of "the R word" patently offensive. When used as a pejorative, which is basically what Mr. Roddy did, it demeans a community that already faces serious barriers to social inclusion. Shame on Mr. Roddy. This "leader" did not show much leadership by insulting individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) or his political opponents.
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written by SausageSimon, August 08, 2012
Very sad to hear the leader of the Allegheny County Republican Party has dementia...

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