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. Dan J

    Funny that he came down so hard on an off-color joke, yet took year and tons of press to condemn Jeremiah Wright.

    July 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Sylvia

    What was Bernie thinking? His family t.v. show is squeaky clean- why on earth would he think that speaking before Obama at a high-dollar fundraiser was "Eddie Murphy" time?

    July 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Help is on the Way

    TO Lisa
    This is very unprofessional!!! These are the type of friends Obama will hang out with in the White House. Next thing you know Obama will give a speech how he doesn't condone this behavior then throw Bernie Mack under the bus. Don't worry, Bernie Mack has plenty of people to hang out with under there. The Grandmother, The Kids, Jesse Jackson, The Rev Wright, Bill and Hillary. Sounds like it's getting fun under there, soon I'll want Obama to throw me under there, only because Bill & Hill are there.LISA GROW UP!!!!!

    July 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Gubby Rao

    It is not surprising that all these Macks are his friends. Obama is shining with the help of media and young people. Moreover all failed demacrats joined his wagon. I knew Obama's con artistic ability and I never fooled by his gimics. That's why I was a loyal supporter of HILLARY. Now I vote McCaine, atleast for his honesty and patriotism.

    July 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Benjamin

    Some of Obama's biggest distractors have been people of color. Why can't we just keep our mouth shut and let the man win the election. A famous intellect once said, "Nobody knows how stupid you are until you open your mouth." On the other hand Obama's advisors will need to carefully screen and dictate what is said when someone is speaking on his behalf. Why get a comedian to announce your presence? Why not a sucessfull black lawyer, doctor, engineer, professor? SOMEONE WHO REPRESENTS WHAT YOUR PLATFORM IS ALL ABOUT. Leave the Ministers and comedians alone please. Now let's get back to the business of getting Barack Obama elected to the highest office in the land.

    July 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Sylvia

    By the way, I don't get the joke...probably a good thing.

    July 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. John

    This has been at the top of the ticker ALL DAY! Get bent!
    Oh, and I love how you moderation clowns put EVERY DARN PUMA post up there, but censor everything else...

    July 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. What the World Need Now Is Love!!!!


    July 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Hispanic For McCain

    Why is that now all these morons are Crying for OBAMA, it looks now that not only Hispanic (Latinos) but African American don't trust this BOZO Obama!!!! to include a BIG majority of the American People!!! He is not for change, but a politician from Chicago. Tell me what has OBAMA done for the Senate guess what NOTHING, NADA!!!!!!!! WOW he even hates the men and women that serve this great nation of ours USA. Again what has OBAMA done for the Latinos Community!!! NOTHING, NADA Latinos open your eyes

    Latinos for McCain, and people don't hate!! because Latinos happens to like John McCain!!!

    Hispanic for McCain

    July 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Hypocrites

    Choosing Bernie Mac was a mistake and someone needs extensive training. They asked for Bernie Mac and that is what they got, end of story. No hidden meaning, No Obama exposure.
    This decision pales compared to the people Bush had and has around him and the decision they made. And, McCain with Hagee, Parsley and now Graham to name a few.

    July 12, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. NO CONSCIOUS!!!!

    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?IDOIT!!!!

    July 12, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. piddypoo

    Clinton Fringer--I'm not THAT old, but I am white. Are you saying that blacks enjoy that kind of trash, but whites don't?

    July 12, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Gimme A Break

    LMAO @ The Obama haters. Who the hell cares. All of you imbeciles/racists were not going to voe for Obama BEFORE this or before any other of the controversies.

    Me and everyone in my neighborhood is voting for Obama in November.

    Bye Bye NeoCons.

    July 12, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. GOP4life

    Puma Democrates are great.... I've never seen such ignorant voters in my life... these brain dead puma dems are going to deliver Iran on a platter to us neocons... p.s. Jesus is great, high powered rifels are nice and a womans equality means nothing to us... LMAO

    July 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Jeane

    I don't know what to think of either Bernie Mac or Obama. They both used poor judgment in this situation . . . Obama for selecting Bernie Mac and Bernie Mac for his choice in humor at this type of political event. Barack Obama needs to start conducting himself in a presidential manner if he indeed intends to be our next president.

    July 12, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. obama 08-12

    hey! hrc, why you blaming obama for,get a life,we do not need your cheap vote anyway,you sound like a republican.

    July 12, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Rob indetroit

    If you are going to condem Obama for what people connected to him say then John insane mccain should be put in jail. to those so called

    HRC supporters quit crying , and get a life .

    IF i was barack HRC wouldn't get any help from me to pay off her debt the race was over but she stayed in thinking super delegates were going to back her, forgetting Barack had a lead in delagates, super delagates andpopular votes, you lost fair &square get over it.

    July 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Donna

    Can't anyone else see that Obama is an elitest and so are his supporters? Where is the woman who would represent all of America?

    July 12, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. Turn off the caps, clown

    You just give away whatever shred of credibility you were born with.

    Okay, here's the thing–both candidates will spend the rest of the election season apologizing for / distancing from / renouncing / whatever-ing others as long as the opposing campaign continues to throw its hands in the air in feigned horror. "What?!?! He ties his shoelaces LEFT over RIGHT?!?! Well, that just proves he's a communist!! I knew it all along!!"

    Yes, Obama's people should have either scrubbed Mac's script or skipped him altogether, but his 'offense' is no worse than the many vile videos of Rev. Hagee (which his people have now successfully bullied YouTube into removing), whose endorsement Sen. McBush actually sought.

    As long as the CONS keep calling attention to Sen. Obama's middle name, stretching to focus on weak connections with '60s radicals (a far cry from Kenny-Boy Lay, but Duhbya's squeaky-clean?!) or boo-hooing about flag pins (ferchrissakes), they are diverting attention from the outright lies (at best) and inadequacies of their pathetic candidate.

    Call them on it. Don't let them get away with it. Stick to the issues and leave the ad hominem attacks to junior high school, where they belong.

    July 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Steve

    This is one reason I am no longer supporting Obama, Jackson was right who does he think he is talking down to everyone else as if he's better?? I guess the spoiler Nader has my vote...

    July 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Kelby in Houston

    Why are black people bringing black people down. Bernie Mac should have definitely know better. First Jesse and now this?!??? What in God's name are these people thinking.

    BOO THIS MAN!!!!


    July 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. kate

    people people ... no wonder this country is going down the toilet. I bet the Chinese aren't hung up on this kind of stupidity.

    July 12, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Henry

    I am a Democrat and it hurts that I don't have a candidate to vote for in this upcoming election.

    Obama is a joke.

    July 12, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. Hussein Means Handsome

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. Why would you say that?

    July 12, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. BH DE.

    I never found Bernie Mac funny I think his diction is rude his jokes are rude how could anybody let Bernie Mac open anything for them as for an appearing dignatary or for anybody appearring anywhare for that matter. I never watched his show or any of his stand up acts He's corney as hell.

    July 12, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 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