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. Bob in Newport

    Imagine what its going to be like after Obama is elected and all his supporters can really let their hair down. Most of them are taking their anti-crazy pills right now. I'm scared to see the celebration after this one.

    July 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Moses

    Another Obama friend gaffe. And he called him a great friend, right after denigrating women???

    July 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Dr. Bob

    Hussein has some questionable friends.

    July 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Bart

    Talk about a slow day in the news.

    July 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Mary

    Perhaps this is not the Bernie Mac he once knew ? Will that be his excuse this time ?

    July 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Angus McDugan

    Well... Although I don't support Obama, I believe he did the right thing here.

    July 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Oregon4Obama

    Thats a comedians job, to make jokes at everyone elses expense, and sometimes their own........But if you have a comedian speak, you need to let him know who his target audience is, thats the goal of all speakers.......

    Stephen Colbert at the white house dinner was hilarious because he knew his audience and all the inside political stuff that made his comedy work for that audience

    Oh well, other than that the night sounded good eh? eh?

    July 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    It Probably Would Be Funny In Some In Another Setting! Cant Wait To See How The Mccain Camp Spins This To Make It Seem Like Obama Said It!

    July 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Gaffney

    How is this news? If there were no stuck-up snobs in the crowd who could not take an 'edgy' joke, this would not be an issue. People freakin' amaze me. Lighten up.

    July 12, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    It's sad that in this day and age, a candidate can't even be seen as a friend of a comedian. Let's all relax a little bit.

    July 12, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Stephy

    what did you expect? It's Bernie Mac?

    July 12, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Geesh. That is horrific in every sense of the word.

    And, I'm sure Phil Gramm is going to say some people are whining about the punchline. But that isn't even close to being funny.

    Bernie needs to take 3,000 steps back and make amends for that ridiculousness.

    July 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. WORST PERSON!!!!

    Shame on you Bernie.......... The joke was inappropriate!!!!

    July 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Matt, PA

    "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."

    Is Obama afraid of offending Bernie Mac or something? Don't say your "just messing" with him. Condemn what he said and stop using him for fundraisers. Where's that good judgment your always talking about Obama? So far we're only seeing bad.

    July 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Kathy in Oregon

    Obama can't even take a clear stand on something as simple as this?

    Obama: 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."

    So which is it? Was Obama "just messing" with Bernie or was he telling the comedian that he would have to clean up his act next time?

    What a wishy-washy, spineless POLITICIAN. He doesn't want to allienate either SIDE, so he simply rides the fence. Unwilling to take a stand on something like this...What is he AFRAID of?

    I'm still wondering if Obama have any PRINCIPLES.

    July 12, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. TerryDo

    Black comedians just love talking about Hos, whethers it is their wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, simply states they thinks women are Hos..

    What is the opposite of Hos, Pimps Bernie Mac, you just pimped yourself and lost your whole stable... BYE BYE

    July 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. John

    Barack cannot even have a direct statement or take a direct stance on something like this? "By the way, I'm just messing with you, man". Does he condone what Bernie said, does he stand by his own moral convictions, or is he just messing with us man?

    July 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Van

    why do people insist on making things so hard for Obama?

    July 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Kurtis

    Give me a break. All these so-called condemnations coming from Obama directed towards black men in the last few months (Wright, Jackson, and now Bernie Mac for crying out loud) are all intentionally staged and designed to make him look less black to whites in the south and the steal-belt . So transparent.

    BO has been playing the race card all along. Idiot dems...picked the wrong candidate again. Now what the hell are we suppose to do?

    July 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Mahe

    Senstor ?

    July 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Black guy

    I'm a very very disappointed in Bernie Mac for this joke at such a setting. What an idiot! I'm not giving another dime to him for his movies since he doesn't have better judgement than this. Now I really don't like him.

    July 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Dennie

    I'm an Obama supporter, but this was not appropriate. I think the campaign planners, or advance team could have done a much better job.

    July 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Brian

    And this is the kind of crap you'll get with President Obama!
    That was plain and simple STREET TRASH LANGUAGE!
    Either you condone it or YOU DON'T.....
    None of this " ....by the way.....I'm just messing with you...." garbage.
    Obama may be a grown man but he has the morals of an adolescent.
    Now go away......

    July 12, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Stephen

    I just hope this continues the push to clean up pop culture of its tastelessness. So much of it is contaminated with destructive, off-colour, misogynistic (and misandry, too), and hyper-sexual content. There's no way we can heal the old wounds and divisions if this is maintained.

    (Now I'm no "Bible-thumper", "Puritan", or "hyper-feminist." I'm just tired of the lack of decency in pop culture these days. It never was this bad years and decades ago.)

    July 12, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Janet

    Here we go again.."This is not the Bernie Mac I know," Obama is saying.....He says," clean up your act", and then he says," I was just messing with you man." Give me a break, I can't believe anything Obama will say....

    July 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 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