July 13th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
10 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. WestCoastMessenger

    Hey Goldman,

    This is a Democratic event involving a Democratic candidate and an I-don't-know-what comedian. Your attempt at cuteness with the "McSame" label to somehow smear McCain out of this is just shameful.

    July 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Women take such a place of honor in the eyes of younger black men. I am tired and disgusted with the b.... and h..... words. However, it is African-American women who keep their familites alive and instill hope and morals. I am tired of African-American men attempting to tell us that there is an African-American Culture....... there is..... but it is made up of mothers and grandmothers who do not abandon their children, disrespect women, and blatantly disregard court-ordered child support. Jesse Jackson was right about the hypocrisy and lack of responsibiltiy that has plaged the African-American community for far too long. Why would Obama seek out Bernie Mac for a fund raiser? Easy. Obama makes poor decisions. How's the fund raising going, Barack?

    July 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Georgia for Obama

    Should have went with Steve Harvey.

    July 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. janet, ohio

    So Obama called Mac his "good friend" ?

    Senator Obama, if it wouldn't inconvenience you too awfully much, could you please introduce the public to at least one good friend of yours who is neither racist, nor sexist, nor a scumbag? Do you actually have even ONE decent friend?

    July 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Amos, NY

    There goes Obama again, telling "brothers" what to say and what not to say. He's just another elitist as people are learning.

    July 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Beatriz Perez-Sanchez

    Who cares? With his vote to allow the government even more power to trample on Americans' civil liberties through increased 'surveillance' ('snooping' or 'spying' would be more accurate), Obama is becoming 'whiter' and more like a Republican by the day. For many who believed mistakenly that Obama represented change, the only option now is Ralph Nader.

    July 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. robert

    and he would most certainly FORGIVE you
    that is the type of person he is

    you are a sad fellow you are !

    I happen to think HUSSEIN is a lovely name !
    you r not offending anyone but yourself with this horrible attitude !

    July 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. SD

    HRC ALL THE WAY we don't need you now or 4 years from know.

    July 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Peter in Alabama

    I'll agree with J in Tulsa. Where is Jackson and Sharpton? Why the double standards? Remember the Imus story some time ago...not once but twice. Maybe the Reverends Wright, Sharpton, and Jackson will guide and counsel Mr. Mac because we never want our ladies portrayed or referred to as "HOS", do we Bernie? What a "CROCK".

    July 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Robert

    I've been an Obama supporter since I started gaining interest in the 08 race. I voted for him in the PA Primary, and I would do so again because at the time he was the best canidate.

    But, so far, after becoming the Nominee I am rather unimpressed with his campaigning style. He hasn't shown me anything to get excited about besides the thought of not having a Bush or Clinton in the Whitehouse.

    If McCain wouldn't be the worst canidate to hit the General since Dole in 96 I would really consider voting republican for the first time. McCain is a great American, don't get me wrong. His time in the military and in the House and Senate are a sign of his love for America. But his views rival that of Bush just to much for my taste.

    At this time, this Democrat is staying home in Novermber. Neither of these men are worthy to be our President.

    July 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Remus, Wi

    Do Obama tell Michelle what to say too?

    July 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Marc PDX

    Well, I won't chide Obama over Bernie Mac's comments. I don't think they reflect B.O.'s opinions. But I will chide him over his political positions, tax/energy/national security plans, lack of experience and LACK of judgement – including not foreseeing that inviting a guy like Bernie Mac to speak at his event would lead to something like this. Same lack of judgement he has had with his other relationships – too many to list here now.

    July 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Donna

    I love the people who hate on Obama. It was a surprise guest. Bernie has always been that kind of comedian. It's nothing new about what Bernie said, but it's okay for a person who is running to be on McCain's VP ticket calls the nation a bunch of whiners and that we are not in a recession. Is McCain always with that person (names fails me), Is he a reflection of McCain? STOP trying to find reasons to hate on Obama.

    July 12, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. tpage

    Wait, you ridiculous liberals keep praising BO for having responsible judgment. Isn't it his "incredible judgment" that led him to vote against the war in Iraq? Haha! Great judgment Obama, you moron...too bad Richard Pryor wasn't still around, then we would have actually laughed as he made your campaign melt down! McCain 08!!!

    July 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Edith Arkansas

    People like Bernie Mac just needs to stay at home from Obama if they have no more to offer. That was distasteful and depict something telling about Bernie Mac. There are people out there that would hold Barack Obama accountable for other people distastful actions, but people like me and most others never choose Barack Obama as the candidate by what others do or say. We listen to what he says and not how the media and others take it all out out of context We are not subject to being traders because he broadning hisplan on the bringing the troops home in 16 months by saying he will define his plan. That only means he is going to perfect the plan as needed. What is so idiotic about all of this is that his bottomline is that he will bring the troops home all this in between things does not matter stick to the bottomline point of view. The other thing is Obama based upon his volunteer backers of donations he made a decision not to take the Federal Money of some 85 mil a good thing. He was bashed for that as if one have to always walk a straight line in a straight jacket without the right to change their mind he is not a prisioner. Common sense should tell all of us times maybe bring about changes but the first intention of the bottomline is still in effect. My Lord its unbeliveable how as soon as the McCain camp or the media throw out attacks against Obama people seem to have no mind or judgement of their own its like the wind throwing them too and fro, that is the way they go. I am hard pressed to believe anything McCain says my experience about Republicans is that they are very judgemental of others, arrogant, and hipocritical and do not live up to their own standards on their views. The experience has taught me that it will be a long,long time before I vote for a nother Republican again if ever They are great for twisting the other persons intentions around to mean what they want it to mean that is what McCAIN do to Obama. BEWARE VOTERS!!!!!!

    July 12, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Uncle Tom, Utah

    Obama-don't be telling Bernie Mac what to say--are you judge and jury?-who tells you what to say?-ever heard of free speech? You becoming a tyrant, man and you ain't in the House yet–

    July 12, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Electress

    This is the kind of rot that took hold during the primary season.
    It continues to be a big festival of sexism, and even the wives and daughters, and sisters have joined in. They don't care what anybody says about women, and they will continued to sing and dance all over again during the general election.

    Unbelievable, no one wants to slow it down, or clean it up, and I can't help but wonder are they that accustomed to this?

    July 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Roz

    Bernie is brain dead. What is appropriate for a comedy club is not appropriate at a campaign rally hoping to elect the next President of the United States.

    July 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Marquise

    If Obama loses is there going to be a riot?

    July 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Roz

    Bernie Mac doesn't get it. What is appropriate for a comedy club is not appropriate at a campaign rally hoping to elect the next President of the United States.

    July 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. A Centrist....

    Who is this character that made those .....remarks.?..I'm sure Sen. Obama was being diplomatic....as he always does. Bernie...and I loved his show,re-runs as they are...needs to give up "the Ho thing" was his Mother a "Ho" ? Can he tell a joke without being "sexist" or "Racist" and he calls himself an Artist.....! Wake Up "Rip Van America.....Barack has the "Right Stuff"

    July 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. RyanD.


    Please stop, trolls. Its getting obnoxious.

    Obama 08'

    July 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. KHAL

    Get of the Stage Bernie Mac....Ho chaser......!

    July 12, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. K

    KP...this is everyday kind of news and it is definitely an issue!

    July 12, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Marc PDX

    Obama to Ahmedinejad: "If you attack Israel or our other allies we will defend them"... "ahhhh, I'm just messin' with ya...." 🙂

    July 12, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 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