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. Jesse

    Great, can't wait till we have Benie Mac and co. running around the White House. We'll still be the laughing stock of the free world, just with a different puch line.

    July 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. JB

    The joke Bernie Mac told went all over the internet several years ago (the CNN story is missing a lot of it) and it was sent to me by Republican conservatives, liberal Democrats, women and men (several times). A lot of folks found it funny when sending over the internet and now only because it was actually stated during a political event, many people are "totally outraged." These same people I guarantee are not so outraged when they hit "forward" on e-mails sending inappropriate jokes all over the place. But, I have enjoyed reading all of the comments above and all of those "holier-than-thou" folks just sickened by all of this.

    July 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Ron democrat turned independent

    obviously he saw nothing wrong with the joke. after all Michelle puts out the trash and plunges the- out of the toilet and Hillary is a regular Annie Oakley because she can shoot a gun and this guy wonders why he as trouble getting the women's vote. when it finally dawns on him then he'll go out of his way to show respect. yeah sweety you'll just smile and they'll forgive you. lol

    July 12, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. John Gio

    Obama is an empty suit. Without a teleprompter, he is a moron. He belonged to a racist church for 20 years. His chief fundraiser of 20 years, Tony Rezko, was convicted on 16 counts of fraud. He is friends with bigots like Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger for 20 years, and terrorist Bill Ayers. National Journal named him the most liberal senator, His wife has never been proud of the US. What a resume.

    July 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. BARACK OBAMA = RACISM AND SEXISM

    Simple as that. All you have to do is pull the curtain back just a little to see the real Obama.

    America will say NO to the RACISM and SEXISM of OBAMA in November.

    July 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Dwe5050

    For the crazy ones commenting that obama told bernie after rebuking him that he was just messing with him, what more are you asking of obama? Do you want him to to completely talk down a grown man and a professional before a live audience, espeicially when he was there in the first place to support him? Telling him to clean his act is good enough and very tactful and I believe, that bernie learnt from that. Telling him that he was messing with him, was a way to help him keep some of his dignity before the audience. Afterall, bernie did not commit any offence, he made a joke that he shouldn't have made espeicially in a forum like that.

    Obama is not a perfect man, and he has never claimed to be perfect. But people should judge him based on what he said not what someone else said. For a long time, his distractors have been scrambling for anything with which to pull him down, having seen nothing, they have now switched to blaming him for what someone else did or say. While Mcsame is going about making one gaffe or the other and nobody is talking about that. Very soon, the repulicans and anti obama groups will start blaming obama for mcsame's gaffes.

    Finnally, I will urge people to be mindful of the comments they make about the next president of this country, obama. If we embark on a malicious campaign against our incoming next president, what does that say about us as a nation? Better respect what is yours so that others would take a cue from you. A word is enough for the wise! May God bless America.

    July 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. RJ, CA

    called the comedian a "great friend." Bernie, you've got to clean up your act next time," he said. . . . . I'm just messing with you, man."

    So what, exactly, are you saying, Obama? Do you approve or don't you approve? This isn't rocket science - a simple, straight-forward comment would do!

    July 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Hillary supporter backing McCain

    Obama sucks!

    July 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Rob

    I wonder if this is the kind of material we can look forward to at an Obama inauguration?

    July 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. john

    barf

    July 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Fred

    The NObama quote that was theactual truth is "Hhey man I am just messin' with you."

    People better hear that... Those of you planning to vote for that empty suit marxist are being taken in...

    July 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Last Honest Man

    the Joke is Obama

    July 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Cody

    I am not a fan of Bernic Mac, nor do I found him funny, but not because he is "offensive." The kind of jokes he made may not be "politically correct," but by those standards, neither is a lot of stuff in our society. If you are really offended by it, then fine, but I get the feeling that people try to pretend to be something they're not just to sell an image. That's what really frustrates me.

    For example, Dave Chapelle says some pretty politically incorrect jokes, but they're hilarious because, you know what? People don't moan and complain, they actually use their brains and register the fact that they're just jokes– oh, and he's a comedian! Who'd have thought?!

    July 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. AJ in Fla

    Ignorance and bad taste at its best.....!!!!! God help us...!!!!!

    July 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. db

    Wow, Obama even tries to play it both ways on this one. "Just messing with you"? Come on Barack, this was a flat out misogynist "joke", and you should have condemned it outright!

    July 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Westexacan

    Don't pay attention to a comedian. What are we going to do about the 10 Trillion $ National Debt.- Health Care, cost of living, gas prices, education, Iraq, Iran, Homless, Hungry, crime ?????????????

    July 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Anonymous

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

    Senstor? Doesn't condone?

    July 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Timus

    They should have talked about what he was going to say ahead of time.Kinda like when Martin did Saturday night live. Apparently Lorn Michael had never watched Def Comedy Jam.......(and whoever booked BM hadn't either)

    July 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. john

    Ok, now let's say who Obama and Bernie really are based on that. People are so sensitive in this country. I agree that the joke was no appropriate, but you cannot say that defines Barack, or that the act defines Bernie. He made a mistake, tough luck, so what? Apologize and move on!

    July 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Alex

    WOW, a bunch of arrogant republicans attacked CNN website? On the miserable joke of some second grade comedian? Is it a joke? Is this the most important economical and political issue we face today?

    July 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. tyshunn

    good grief. he's a comedian. you guys make it sound like a he's a member of Obama's campaign.

    July 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. DJ

    The Comment was done in bad taste. Wrong place for a comment such as that.

    July 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Sheila

    What did you expect with Bernie Mac? Obama surely knew what kind of comedian he is. Well maybe not, he did not know much about Rev. Wright of Father Pfleger after spending twenty years with them.

    July 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Timus

    If you ever watch Kathy Griffith show, she does this sort of thing all the time and has the exact same response. Race has nothing to do with it. You have to know your audience.

    July 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. Dr. Rafael Alverio

    I AGREE WITH THE ABOVE COMMENT. RACISM WILL PREVAIL IN THIS COUNTRY. MATTERS WOULD WORSEN IF THIS MAN BECOMES PRESIDENT. MAY GOD HELP US.

    July 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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