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. peg

    How disgusting. And just as disgusting is Obama's statement that he is "just messing with you". T
    Obama is supposed to be running for president of all the people: no special exemptions for crude, black jokes.
    I am deeply offended.

    July 12, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Josh,NY

    All these guys from Rev. Wright to Bernie Mac are going to be all over
    the White House. This country is going down.

    July 12, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. mike

    LOUD NOISES

    LOOK AT MY POST; I MADE IT EXTRA BIG FOR YOU TO READ

    July 12, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. ANGIE

    ONCE AGAIN YOU CANNOT BLAME THE CANIDATES FOR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY ITS OUT OF THEIR CONTROL

    July 12, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Barry, Bronx, NY

    Bernie should have known better. He is quite capable of delivering clean jokes. This was definitely not the place and time for off-color jokes.

    July 12, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Josh,NY

    If Obama picks Hillary as VP and I were him, I wouldn't ride in any motorcades in Dallas for the next 4 years. Her supporters are venamous.

    July 12, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. robert

    I bet you that is what McCain believes about the economy and that is why Graham came out with that comment

    I would be surprised if he had not said himself to Phil Graham !

    check it out , "he does not speak for me " but then what is Phil Graham doing ???? speaking for John McCain

    This is the truth coming out at last !!!

    and what about that thing about the social security ????
    the fellow is nuts !!!
    challenging the fundamental mechanism of Social Security

    no slip ups , he does not embrace these issues, nor does he know anything about them !

    WE WILL BE CRAZY TO VOTE FOR A MAN LIKE THAT !

    His ad about love for country – he said himself to FOX he did not love America until it was taken away from him ???? so where was the love for America to start with ?

    July 12, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Betsy

    What a reaction from Obama?!! Ha Ha, the guy is a jerk, he liked the jokes and was just afraid of the reaction from his handpicked white audience. Obama is a joke in himself.

    July 12, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. ginger

    sentsor obama?

    really?

    either CNN or the Obama camp should spell check.

    Obama is a coward and a fraud and here I am going to be stuck voting for him.

    July 12, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    I am SO done with Obama. He is less relavent than Michael Jackson and less popular!

    The DNC better wake up. Are you super-delegates still behind Obama! What a disappointing loser.

    July 12, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Corey from Texas

    wow ... must be a really slow news day?!?!?

    July 12, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. McCain=the draft

    I don't approve of this one bit.
    And I don't approve of McCain when he called is wife a c**t in public.

    July 12, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. White-Marsh

    Earth to Bernie Mac!
    Earth to Bernie Mac!

    Just in case you’ve been under a rock for the past 16-months of debates and primaries!

    There are 18-million Hillary voters and 10-million are of the female persuasion and a bit sensitive to sexist joke.

    Earth to Bernie Mac!
    Do you read me?
    Over!

    July 12, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. bernice

    Shirillary supports are now just PATHETIC!! Go Away already. Vote for McCain already or SHUT UP.

    July 12, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Hussein from 4:01,
    maybe Senator Obama forgave them because GOD forgive us. And thank GOD for that, otherwise people who have extreme views would already be hanging with the fallen angel who I call knucklehead.
    Knucklehead.

    July 12, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. In Living Color

    Bernie Mac is a fool! I still support Obama but Barack needs to control the people within his campaign. His success has excited a lot of folks but they need to relax. This race ain't over until November and John McCain might steal the show!

    July 12, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    I don't get the joke...

    July 12, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. rachel

    Dont tell me Barack had no idea what Bernie was gonna say. I simply don't beleive that. Its a joke yes but there is a place and time for it. If Bernie had opened up like that for McCain all the obama supporters would be saying oh look puma's and bitter hillary supporters look what he thinks of women. I am tired of any obama does beign white washed and beign okay, just like he is white washing(err refining) he orignial stand point on many issues.

    July 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Nancy

    Let's all watch Obama backtrack on gender and everything else! I am one of the 19 million women who will not vote for 1st time ever. Now he wants a Republican as vp instead of Clinton=just as we thought a total sexist jerk

    July 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Meela

    I fear for this country if anyone in either party gets seriously worked up about this. Poor taste, sure, but it's a joke.

    July 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. T.H.

    Give me a break!!!!! BaI'm not a supporter of rack Obama and i disagree with everything he does. But but for christ
    sake, they were at a fund raiser and Bernie was doing what he does best.

    HE IS A COMEDIAN.!!! People need to calm down and stop making a big deal out of nothing. Have a sense of humor everyone.

    July 12, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. WestCoastMessenger

    I suppose Bernie Mac is now off the short list of possible VP candidates.

    July 12, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Nathan

    This is news... HOW?

    July 12, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. T.H.

    Give me a break!!!!! I'm not a supporter of Barack Obama and i disagree with everything he does. But but for christ
    sake, they were at a fund raiser and Bernie was doing what he does best.

    HE IS A COMEDIAN.!!! People need to calm down and stop making a big deal out of nothing. Have a sense of humor everyone.

    July 12, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Framarais

    Mr. Obama should have said more than "I'm just messing with you." He should have had the fortitude to amicably rebuke his friend for the ungentlemanly and tasteless behavior of a supporter. But it seems more and more that Mr. Obama does not have that quality or ability to do the right thing. The votes in Denver have not yet been cast or tallied. DELEGATES TAKE NOTE! Many Democrats, like this writer, are very disturbed by the ominous signs and signals Mr. Obama is sending. Mr. McCain is looking more and more appealing.

    July 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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