TRENDING: Comedian tells 'special needs' joke at Palin event
September 3rd, 2011
04:07 PM ET
7 years ago

TRENDING: Comedian tells 'special needs' joke at Palin event

Washington (CNN) – In comedy, timing is everything.

And minutes before Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and parent of a child with Down syndrome, made her much-anticipated speech in Iowa, Los Angeles-based comedian Eric Golub told a joke that compared liberal political ideology to “special needs children.”

After commending Palin on raising her son Trig while balancing other responsibilities, Golub made the analogy.

“For that reason alone, the left should worship Sarah Palin and adopt her as one of their own,” Golub said. “Because the leftist haters are an entire political ideology of special needs children.”

Golub continued by saying that liberals are needy and feel entitled.

“And unlike Trig, they aren't very lovable,” Golub said. “All you hear from them is give me, give me, I need, I need, I want, I deserve, I’m entitled – no you don’t.”

Since announcing she had a child with Down syndrome in 2008, Palin has defended the special needs community in a number of instances.

In February 2010, Palin called for Rahm Emanuel, then-White House chief of staff, to be fired after he called liberal groups thinking of running ads against Democratic lawmakers “retarded.”

When an episode of Fox’s “Family Guy” mocked Trig that same month, Palin wrote in a post to her Facebook followers that it felt like “a kick in the gut.”

She also included a response to the "Family Guy" episode from her daughter, Bristol Palin.

“As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate,” Bristol wrote. “Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny?”

Palin never mentioned the remark while speaking at the tea party-affiliated “Restoring America” rally in Indianola, Iowa.

Charlie Gruschow, co-founder of Tea Party of America, said he never heard the comment or met the comedian before the event.

"Some of the people on staff had heard him speak before and thought he would be a good person to break up and entertain the crowd," Gruschow said.

This isn't the first time Golub made the comment. He also used it while speaking at a 2010 convention for the conservative organization Young America's Foundation.

Palin's team could not be reached for comment.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin • Tea Party
soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. Marjee123

    Over and Over the republicans call the Democrats names, they slur and lie about them. What kind of people are in the republican and tea bag party. And yet they want to portray themselves as a party capable to run this country.

    I don't know why the stupid butts in the media blame BOTH parties for this. I guess they are paid well by their masters, the conservative owners . But show me where the left is constantly calling the republicans names and urging people to take them out. You might hear a Democrat every now and then let loose but they are not all over the media talking about the republicans like they talk about Democrats. And God knows we as a group could just tell the truth about Rush which would last for ten years and the republicans would mess a brick.

    September 4, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. New Age Independent

    Considering Palin's family and history with such a subject. I find it impossible that Palin had any prior knowledge of the joke. For any liberal to even suggest such a thing is only another of the already numerous examples of the hatred of liberals toward her and her family. It's become more and more obvious to all that liberals are the most narcissistic, racist and hateful people who will literally do anything to advance their agenda.

    September 4, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Wise1Speak


    For the passed three years Sarah Palin has been correctly accused of being "thin-skinned". Recent thin-skinned accusations have emanated from Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and FAUX-News; and the accusations are beginning to stick.

    To show America that she is not thin-skinned, Palin staffers paid the comedian to tell jokes about Trig; but they request the jokes be intertwined with Palin's typical sprinkle of negative Democratic attacks and lies.

    September 4, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Discernment


    Pay attention people. The comedian Eric Golub was invited to tell Trig jokes to demonstrate how Sarah Palin is not as thin-skinned as former V.P. Dick Cheney accused of being.

    September 4, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Autism Dadd

    My special needs son has a greater intellectual capacity than Palin or any of the extreme right-wing nut jobs that call themselves Tea Partiers.

    September 4, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Lizzy10

    It was in poor taste. All "jokes" like this are in poor taste.

    September 4, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. once upon a horse

    if one is going to attack the use of the word, "retard" as being offensive, then Mrs. Palin needs to be consistant with it..and I can't believe you conseratives that want to defend her on this. She attack President Obama for making a statement about the Special Olympics with his poor bowling performace and he DID indeed apoligize for it. She attacked a Democratic member of Congress for using the word retard, BUT when Rush Limbaugh used thesame word in basically the same context on his radio show, when asked about it Sarah blew it off and said Rush was "just using satire" This just let's me know it's not what is said but who says it when it comes to Palin.

    September 4, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. AGuest9

    Actually, it's the parent, not the child that has "special needs"...

    September 4, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. TPF

    The only person in that family that I feel sorry for is the special needs child. Even he will be embarrassed by his mother when he gets old enough to understand.

    September 4, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Andrew

    What bothers me most about this whole situation is Palin's daughters commets. She mentions that her brother trig is less fortunate then other children.. Which is truly a horrible thing to say. That make her family less of a family. How is trig less fortunate? He has a loving family , right? Because he was born different we should immediately consider him less of an individual. The real insensitive person here is her.. If the child has support from the family , love and care , gets to live his life the fullest he can.. Then he's not less fortunate.

    September 4, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. jack

    Why does the CNN homepage headline read:
    "Ticker: Palin's controversial joke"
    It wasn't Palin's joke. I dont really see that it was a joke at all. Stupid thing to say, yea but not a joke

    September 4, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Svelta

    Sexist, and hate speech. ;] Let's use the useless leftists' tactics on them!

    September 4, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. Caral from SoCal

    Seriously, CNN? I am not a Palin fan, in fact I don't think she can be taken seriously as a politician, but I do think the headline chosen on the homepage "Palin's Controversial Joke" is not just misleading – it is a lie. That joke did not belong to her. The comedian owns it, he told it, and he should be held responsible for it. I hope the court of public opinion hold him responsible for his terrible judgement, and I hope the court of opinion begins to hold CNN responsible for the terrible judgement they show everytime a headline like this is written to attract attention, rather than deliver news. Shame on you.

    September 4, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  14. Steve

    Trig is probably less handicapped than MoM – she sure acts worse, are we sure she's playing with a full deck or is she just sucking all the money in for 'fun'

    September 4, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Charlie from the North

    To paraphrase my old pal Mark Twain: "Those you do not think have no advantage over those who cannot". Go pedal youtr crazy somewherelse woman serious times call for serious leaders you ain't it.

    September 4, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Gary

    In February 2010, Palin called for Rahm Emanuel, then-White House chief of staff, to be fired after he called liberal groups thinking of running ads against Democratic lawmakers “retarded.” ... nuf said – go Sarah ... drill baby drill!

    September 4, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. TM

    Trig deserves better than to be exploited as a PROP by his own mother. But Palin will USE ANYONE to advance her own agenda. Even an innocent child.

    September 4, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. KellyinBoston

    I can't stand Palin, but at least she's realized that "political correctness" is sometimes the right thing to do. Too bad it took her having an afflicted child to realize this. At least she seems like she cares about that baby, so God bless.

    September 4, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. DesertVet91

    Right up there with Obama's (the wanna be comedian) comments about comparing his bowling to the "Special Olympics" heh?

    September 4, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. cleareye1

    Jokes about special needs kids are out of bounds, for everyone it seems. Nevertheless, Palin had better toughen up, she wants to play with the big boys, she'd better get used to it.
    What's amazizng is that 4 years after being humiliated by Katy Couric she hasn't learned anything about the world at large. She still doesn't read the news.

    September 4, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. Root and stem

    The only controversial joke in America currently occupies the White House.

    September 4, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. Former Republican, now an Independent

    If this had been a democratic fundraiser where a special needs joke was made,the republicans would have been demanding apologies from everyone, including the comedian's parents for giving birth to him.

    September 4, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. Hooligan

    Why is ANYONE offended at anything this woman says? It would be like Nixon calling you a crook or Clinton calling you a perv.

    Palin rides the small bus to school every day.

    September 4, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. GM

    It's hard to support Palin's defense of special needs people when she says that when Rush Limbaugh calls liberals "retards" that it's just satire. I'm sure nothing will be said on this incident either. She's like these other non-celebs who have basically done nothing but everyone pays attention to. Oh, I forgot she was a governor who the people of Alaska elected but quit her job so that she could make more money doing speaking engagements.

    September 4, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. Steve Vaus

    This is BS – I was backstage at the event. Eric was on and off the stage long before Sarah was within miles of the venue. CNN shame on you for saying it was "minutes before" she took the stage. "Minutes"? Sure it's technically correct but there were LOTS of minutes between them. When Eric was on stage Sarah had not arrived. After him there were other speakers, then I sang then Sarah took the stage. She had no idea what he said. To suggest otherwise is dishonest.

    September 4, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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