BY Bill Hutchinson
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
President Obama's historic appearance on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" was accompanied by a foot-in-the-mouth quip about the Special Olympics he later regretted.
Talking about his dismal bowling skills, Obama said he'd been practicing and had gotten his score up to 129.
"Oh, no, that's very good," Leno told Obama.
"It was like the Special Olympics or something," Obama joked, drawing laughter from the funnyman and his audience.
Conservative bloggers instantly seized on the President's remark, calling it "insensitive."
Before the pre-taped program even aired, White House officials were issuing a mea culpa.
"The President made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics," Obama spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One after the taping.
Obama's unfortunate comment came just hours after he appeared with California First Lady Maria Shriver, whose mother founded the Special Olympics.
It's not the first time Obama's humor has gotten him in trouble. He apologized to former First Lady Nancy Reagan for making a crack about her consultations with an astrologer.
"I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances," Obama said at the time.