MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Was it intentional or just a simple mistake?

That’s what many people are wondering today after President Obama flubbed the name of the new NBA world champions, referring to the Miami Heat basketball team as “the Miami Heats.”

During a fundraiser last night in South Florida, Obama said, “It would be incomplete if I did not congratulate the city of Miami for having the world champion Miami Heats.”

“You guys earned it,” Obama said to applause.

“And since one of my favorite people is [sic] Alonzo Mourning is here and Tracy Mourning,” he added. “I just want to give them a special shout out. Alonzo looks like he can still play. Hasn’t aged a bit … looks the same, except he doesn’t have a flat top.”

CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller who was at the event Tweeted out the message: “Pres Obama congrats Miami ‘for having the world champion Miami Heats here in town.’ He said ‘Heats.'”

ABC News called it an “apparent slip of the tongue,” saying: “At the top of his remarks at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Obama said his public recognition of dignitaries and special guests would be ‘incomplete if I did not congratulate the city of Miami for having the world champion Miami Heats here in town.'”

But radio giant Rush Limbaugh says while the utterance is getting some coverage today, “I don’t know that they are making the right big deal about it.”

Limbaugh believes it was an intentional insult to Miami Heat fans, likening it to Obama flipping them the middle finger.

“I think what you need to know is, this is how, in certain sectors, you insult people,” Limbaugh explained. “You mispronounce the name of their team. You remember, you’ve seen during the campaign in 2008, Obama would scratch his face only with his flip-the-bird finger while talking about McCain? That’s what this was. He was flipping the bird to Heat fans by calling them the Heats.”

He said because Obama himself is a fan of the game, the incident was completely intentional:

“Barack Obama is a huge NBA fan. His team is the Chicago ‘Bull.’ That’s his team. The Chicago ‘Bull.’ The Bulls. People are asking, does he really not know that the name of the champion, NBA champion, team is the Miami Heat? Does he really not know that? I mean he does think it’s ‘Cominsky’ Park in Chicago. Folks, he knows it’s not the Miami Heats.”

One WND reader said Obama makes verbal gaffes all too often, noting, “the worst one was when speaking of the USMC, he stated Marine CORPSE [instead of Corps].  HELLO?!  This jerks is supposed to be the commander in chief?  You don’t want to know what I call him. He is no president of mine I can assure you.” today sounded somewhat forgiving of Obama, but took a slam at the national media for what it perceives as a double standard in political coverage:

“Anyone in the public eye – especially a high-profile politician with an extensive speechmaking schedule – can get tongue tied occasionally or say weird things. It happens all the time. But it is also fair to say that if some so-called out-of-touch Republican like former Gov. Mitt Romney made this gaffe, the mainstream media would be running wild with this story rather than downplaying it.”

Video of Obama congratulating the Miami “Heats” can be seen by clicking the photo below:

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