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.