February 2nd, 2009
10:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama takes a dig at Jessica Simpson?

Some thought Obama took a dig at Jessica Simpson.
Some thought Obama took a dig at Jessica Simpson.

(CNN) – Did Barack Obama take a dig at pop star Jessica Simpson?

A transcription error set the Internet abuzz Monday as viewers debated an off-hand presidential comment about the pop star.

The remark came at the end of the President Obama's interview with NBC Sunday, when interviewer Matt Lauer held up a copy of the latest US Magazine, which features first lady Michelle Obama along with daughters Sasha and Malia. On the left side of the cover was a picture of Simpson, whom the magazine said is in a "weight battle."

Lauer noted the magazine had replaced the president's spot in the family photo with the Simpson headline.

“You got replaced by Jessica Simpson,” Lauer said.

“Yeah, who’s losing a weight battle apparently,” Obama said, according to the network’s interview transcript, sparking a firestorm online. “Yeah. Oh, well.”

But the transcript misquoted the president who visibly only re-read the magazine’s headline that Lauer was holding up - “She’s in a ‘weight battle,’ apparently” - and did not say that Simpson was "losing" that fight.

In the future, the president may opt for safer, less controversial subjects — like government-funded contraception, or the U.S. relationship with Iran.


Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Nick

    The more I read CNN the less respect I hold for it.

    February 2, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. tanarg

    Man, I saw Obama on the TV news tonight. He looks just awful. His eyes convey that something is quite wrong with him. Anyone else notice how beaten and depressed he looks? Maybe he's finding it difficult to maintain the act of Mr. Cool and calm. The man looks like he's having a nervous breakdown. I think he may be incapable of performing his duties very shortly. It looks quite serious, actually. Well, I'm sure that the people who watch over him have things well in hand. Let's hope they don't let this charade go on for too much longer. After all, having an imposter in the White House makes the country look pretty bad, don't you think? I mean, that flubbing of the oath - do you really think that Roberts doesn't know the words?

    I'm thinking about taking bets about when the take-down occurs. Maybe I'll run a contest on my website. That would be fun. I mean, people are a bit uptight about having a Marxist in the White House, so a little diversion wouldn't hurt, right?

    February 2, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. Joyce Becker

    I am sure President Obama would never say anything bad about a beautiful woman like Jessica Simpson, he has more important things on his mind. Women would love to look like her and like Michelle Obama, two very lovely looking women. The press should just stop with this silly nit-picking over everything.

    February 2, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. bess

    well, since Godbama "made a mistake" of course he was 'mis-quoted'.

    can you imagine if GWBush had said something similar? he'd have been impeached already.

    this gushing of Obama can do no wrong and protectionism is sooooo wrong.

    February 2, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. logan

    president Obama is first and foremost the president, every president has dozens of reporters following him around every where he goes outside the whitehouse and largely inside as well. this is not surprising, and the american people necessitate the media hanging on every word, it is not an intrinsic quality of journalists.

    February 2, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. bessie

    that's not what he said or how he said it ! america please grow up! and if he did say it ,so what ! listen to the eibnetwork everyday of everyhour and see what they say about the president of their united states!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Amanda

    Who is Jessica Simpson and WHO CARES ?

    February 2, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  8. anonymous

    C'mon CNN; you can do better than this; stop wasting people time with this nonsense.

    February 2, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. Chris

    What's the big deal? JS is losing a weight battle. What a cow! What is she thinking? Could she have picked worse clothes (if you've seen the issue). Yikes. So sad. She was sooooooooooo hot in that Dukes of Hazard video she did. Man, that's terrible letting herself go like that. Just laziness.

    Sorry ladies. Size 12 is the new 24. Stop thinking that's attractive. All the brainwashing you try to do to fool everyone (and really let's admit it's actually to brainwash yourself) isn't working. You're just fat. Men are visual creatures. It's biological. Sorry but that's the way it is. Call us shallow.

    February 2, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. toby hill

    Michelle Obama ain't no skinny thing. Barrack Hussein Obama said what he said and it was in reference to a woman's weight which is the most moronic thing anyone could say.
    The MSM would have strung President Bush up had he said anything close to this.

    February 2, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  11. Choney Phiggunz

    Another reach by CNN. Whether it's stuffing 11 people and 13 laptops into the Best Political Table on Television, or sensationalizing politicians' words, we can always count on this organization to dramatize the most trivial of non-events.

    February 2, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. DJF

    We have americans dieing daily we have a country in chaos, and the president just spoke about what was on the magazine, grow up and spend you time trying to do somehting for our country instead of complaining about the chubby blond.

    February 2, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Pam for America & Obama

    For God's sake CNN. Please affirm you know how really stupid you sound!!!!
    You are MUCH worse that the tabloids because you claim to be the news.
    I dare you to post this you jerks!

    February 2, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. Clarissa

    Oh My Goodness! Give me a break. We are in a day when it's impossible to say ANYTHING without being recorded on tape and having what you say blown completely out of context! I saw the interview and understood completely what President Obama said & meant. Get a life people!!

    February 2, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Kathleen B.

    are you freaking kidding me. the man is trying to fix our country and we are worried that he is talking about Jessica Simpson. its funny how the world will make the biggest deal about a little issue like the president simply saying what the article was about. what does it matter if he thinks Jessica is losing or gaining weight. i think he has a lot more bigger issues than that. people need to stop making things look like they are bad when they have no meaning at all. this was a silly misunderstanding and does not even deserve to be considered news. come on now this is CNN. they are suppose to be dealing with the issues not the celebrity gossip. CNN should not be writing articles about a silly problem like this one. leave things like this to US Weekly. Obama has bigger things on his plate to worry about than to be thinking he bad mouthed a celebrity. the problem with this article is that it deserves no attention. he meant nothing by that comment he was simply aswering the comment Lauer stated. harmless.(191)

    February 2, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. yoyolite

    Norm don't hate, appreciate. As for those who talking about Michelle's body, black women were blessed with a bodacious body, not a flat butt. Others must like it because they are getting botox shots in the butt to get what are natural to black women. DON'T HATE THE PLAYER HATE THE GAME.

    February 2, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Justice

    There is no excuse: His cabinet is much better than any Republican cabinet in history. His picks are very good, very few people share your opinion on his cabinet, most Americans agree with his picks and his term so far.

    Pork spending is what the Republicans, the President and his cabinet have been pushing through Congress in the last 8 years. Once the Republicans put more than $3 Billion in grants to study some birds and crabs in Alaska. The last 8 years have brought our Budget Deficit to more than $10 Trillion dollars. Bill Clinton left this country with a small surplus and in less than a decade George W. Bush eliminated it and left us in enormous debts.

    Barack Obama & his Cabinet have performed very well in the time they have been in power. He signed executive orders to close down Guantanamo Bay, eliminate the "Mexico City Policy" which denies women their birth rights, ban & outlaw Torture, dedicate more to diplomacy by naming George Mitchell as diplomat to Middle East and Richard Holbrooke as diplomat to Afghanistan & Pakistan. He has also allowed states to set stricter auto emission standards than the federal standards, eliminated the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy. He has done an Excellent job so far!

    February 2, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. gl, Pittsburgh

    Who the hell care about Jessica and her weight problem. She is a none subject.

    February 2, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. Ethan in MA

    I love all these people who come on here and claim it to be a "non-story". All these "non-stories" have the greatest amount of comments and in my experience, the greatest amount of page hits. ;)

    February 2, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. John

    Of course they are going to monitor every word. The media set a precedent with GW Bush and dang well monitor every frigging word that Obama says as well. He deserves EVERY bit of scrutiny as any president has been.

    I'm waiting for the laughs and giggles on SNL, etc. as well. He deserves it just like every other one has gotten.

    February 2, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  21. German,Irish American

    Intelligent President? LMAO, Obama is so used to reading the answers of the media's prepared questions off of a teleprompter, he just gave an answer by reading off a magazine cover. And if he said it on purpose, he is just another Democrap racist.

    February 2, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Gil

    The truth hurts. I like the fact that we now have a president who is honest!

    February 2, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Ted:Canada

    Real SILLY Reporting!

    "media in the US gone wild"

    Last time I checked you were in a depression the likes we haven't seen for decades – forget that people are committing suicide and this is what you put up as news?

    small minds....equal small results!

    February 2, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. BC in NC

    To CNN-–I've always heard that "no news is good news"
    Gossip is not news.
    Bashing is not news.
    Dwelling on everyone's mistakes is not news.

    I congradulate you for good news.......................................................

    February 2, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
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