July 13th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama camp rebukes Bernie Mac over joke

The Obama campaign said Mac's joke was inappropriate.
The Obama campaign said Mac's joke was inappropriate.

(CNN) - Bernie Mac made a surprise appearance at a Barack Obama fundraising event Friday evening - but given heckling from the crowd and a rebuke from the Illinois senator's campaign for an off-color joke, the comedian may wish he'd just stayed home.

Introducing Obama at the high-dollar fundraising event in Chicago, Mac delivered a 10-minute standup routine during which he joked about sexual promiscuity and referred to women as "hos."

"My little nephew came to me and he said, 'Uncle, what's the difference between a hypothetical question and a realistic question?"' Mac said toward the end of his routine. "I said, I don't know, but I said, 'Go upstairs and ask your mother if she'd make love to the mailman for $50,000."'

"Hypothetically speaking, we should have $100,000. But realistically speaking we live with two hos," Mac said, delivering the joke's punchline.

Some attendees of the $2,300 per-person event immediately registered their displeasure with Mac's joke, and asked that he leave the stage.

"It's not funny. Let's get Barack on," one man shouted.

Mac introduced the Democratic presidential candidate shortly after and Obama called the comedian a "great friend." The Illinois senator also joked that Mac needs to "clean up [his] act."

"We can't afford to be divided by race. We can't afford to be divided by region or by class and we can't afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you've got to clean up your act next time," he said. "This is a family affair. By the way, I'm just messing with you, man."

But the campaign issued a statement shortly after the event that was decidedly more serious in its condemnation of Mac's comments.

"Senator Obama told Bernie Mac that he doesn't condone these statements and believes what was said was inappropriate," campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (790 Responses)
  1. HRC ALL THE WAY

    when is BHO going to take responsibility for his actions? I will not vote for him, not in November not 4 years from now, not ever!

    July 12, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Rich

    Well, then maybe they shouldn't of had Bernie Mac do the introductions then. Duh!

    July 12, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. A NATION OF WHINERS

    BERNIE SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

    THERE IS A PLACE & TIME FOR EVERYTHING.

    THIS WAS NOT THE PLACE & CERTAINLY NOT

    THE TIME.

    July 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. km

    This doesn't have anything to do with politics...it has to do with some people just not knowing how to act appropriately in different situations. Both campaigns should do a little better job of laying down the ground rules to guest speakers. I'm surprised they used Mac at all...he doesn't have many jokes that aren't crude or insensitive.

    July 12, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    I AM A HUGE FAN OF BERNIE MAC, BUT HAD

    I BEEN THERE, I WOULD HAVE GONE UPSIDE HIS

    HEAD, AS HIS GRAND MOTHER WOULD HAVE.

    WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU BERNIE ???

    July 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    For $2,300 a person, I think they could have gotten a better attraction.

    July 12, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. CE

    It is a dangerous time to be a friend of Obama. He is becoming an expert on rebuking his friends.

    The super delegates who are backing Obama should consider this very carefully. Most of the super delegates are not casting their vote for the candidate chosen by their constituents. Most of the super delegates are not casting their vote for the most qualified candidate.

    So, when Obama "rebukes" them, who will they turn to for support? Millions of Democratic Americans will not vote for Obama AND we will not vote for the super delegates who betrayed our trust. We will put new Democrats in those offices, elected officials who are not too arrogant to listen to their constituents.

    July 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Texas Trail Dog

    You said you didn't condone Rev. Wright's sermons either, but you set and listened to them for 20-years. How could you turn your back on your Uncle.

    How soon do you intend to be in office before you pardon all your bros in the pen on false charges?

    July 12, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. David Goldman

    I LOVE BERNIE MAC, BUT

    DID HE LEND MCSAME HIS MIND,

    OR BORROW MCSAME'S. DUDE

    THAT WAS NOT FUNNY !!!!

    JUST IN CASE YOU HAVE BEEN BUSY BERNIE,

    WE ARE ELECTING THE PRESIDENT OF THE

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    July 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. o0luigi0o

    what were you thinking bernie.

    July 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. val

    i like bernie mac.....and i actually like that joke, which i've heard before....but it has NO place at a political event.
    I mean....C'MON Bernie!! WHAT were you thinking???!!!

    July 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. DJ Los Angeles

    Ouch...well what did they expect invited him? He's like an Andrew Dice Clay style raunchy comedian.

    July 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. tom

    no surprise as jessie jackson said Obama is trying to keep the black man down. talking down to the black man.

    wake up white america or with Robert mug err.... i mean Barry obama "sorry i dont call him by his Muslim name" at the helm we will get the same thing zimbabwe got.

    July 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. WanderSF

    Worse. The joke is used.

    July 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Jackson

    Doesn't sound like a rebuke to me: Obama – By the way, I'm just messing with you, man ... forget Obama.

    July 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. An American Whiner

    You just can't take some people anywhere.
    The old generation strikes again.

    July 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. JimBob

    Right on, Barack. I like a dirty joke as much as the next guy, but when someone's running for president, some standards must be set.

    July 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. aware

    Give it up Obama!

    You have no moral center or core principles. Your only priority is winning! :(

    July 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. JimBob

    Plus, that's a REALLY old joke...

    July 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Voter

    Obama's true colors show in his choice of friends and surrogates. This jerk comedian is just another surrogate.

    I bet every day a few more voters get the picture of what this racist, sexist man is really all about.

    He sure spends a lot of time apologizing. This is just the beginning, ladies and gentleman.

    I feel sorry for his daughters growing with a man like that as their father!

    July 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. mike

    Obama says "just messing with you man" as if he doesn't really care what was said. Obama continues to disrespect women.

    July 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Patty

    Now, that's about "par for the course"!

    July 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. dennis from chicago

    it sounds like nafta when he tells the canadians to ignore what he is about to say about nafta while debating clinton on the issue of free trade agreements.........perhaps there is a pattern here..... do as i say and not as i do....

    July 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Jan From Boca Raton, Fl

    Why didn't he say it at the fundraiser, instead of releasing a statement
    after the fact. When Mac was on stage even after his remarks, Obama
    laughed and called him a good friend.

    This country is in BIG trouble if Obama is our next President.

    July 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Richard

    I never liked that comedian any way. Never!
    Amazing what celebrities would do to become and stay rich & famous. Ah if only the world knew.

    July 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32