February 2nd, 2009
10:34 PM ET
6 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. CW

    And just as soon as he said this, I knew the hypersensitive would jump all over this. Let's grow up, people.

    February 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Peter

    I am sick and tired of this country and the media that is hiding behind the camera disrespecting the president......

    He is American President. I watched what he was saying but he read the magazine title.....

    Looks like the media can not wait for Obama to make a mistake...

    February 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Abraham Lincoln

    Anyone who saw the interview, knows what he said.

    February 2, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Ayanna

    people are stupid to think he really gives a about Jessica's weight

    February 2, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. TjayeInLA

    Oh be serious. He was clearly commenting on the magazine cover. Why do this? He is not Brangelina, so let's not play TMZ with him.

    February 2, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Brandon Taratoot

    I love our President.

    February 2, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Leigh

    Very sad. He needs to look a little closer to home! We are all not perfect so no comment was necessary. Would he have said that if it had been someone of color?

    February 2, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Michelle Bell from Alabama

    It was clear that he was only reading the headline. I hope no one thought he took a jab at her. For the record I think she looks beautiful, women are supposed to have curves.

    February 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Voted for change in Texas

    If you know the transcript was wrong, why are you using a misleading headline??? Is this a tabloid of news organization???

    February 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Linda in MS

    Now this is really stupid and a total waste. Can't you guys finds something better to report?

    February 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. Erin

    SERIOUSLY??? SERIOSLY......THIS IS NEWS TO YOU.....YOU GUYS REALLY NEED TO GET A LIFE.

    February 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. J.P.

    I'm no fan of Jessica Simpson, but leave the woman alone. Most American women would be thrilled to be only as "fat" as Jessica Simpson.

    Sorry folks, real men don't like stick-figure women. Catty, gay fashion designers do though, because they see women as walking flesh-based coat-hangers on which to display their fashions.

    Now, as for Jessica's choice of unflattering "mom jeans" that day, well, I can't defend her on that one. Sorry lady.

    Let's hear it for all the curvy women! ;)

    February 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. naqib

    Too funny...

    He shouldn't be concerned... she's just a typical white sweetie

    February 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Sean in DC

    Makes you wonder about the people in charge of transcribing things for NBC. Pretty cute how they just made up and threw in a word Obama didn't even say, huh?

    February 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Brandon from Ohio

    I find it amusing. I watched that interview. It was 100% meaningless. Just another Republican-leaning CNN article trying to blow something up out of nothing. More of the same. Sounds like something that would be on Campbell Brown's show.

    February 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Jeff

    This is HUGE!!

    February 2, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Michael B

    That wasn't a very Presidential comment.

    February 2, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. chris@stl

    C'mon, CNN – is this news? Why do you waste the bandwidth with a no news like this?

    February 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Truth B Told

    If he was so worried about looks he would take something for that little wormy body of his. Or be concerned about Michelle's hip's that apparently require their own zip code.

    February 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Duh

    Lets see how many of you commenting really read the article.

    It was a typo in the distributed transcripts, Obama actually just read the articles headline.

    Watch everybody, see those that are mad and didn't read the article.

    February 2, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Lorna, NY

    Don't you guys have anything better to report? No wonder you are losing money.

    February 2, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Big D

    Wait – so how is anything Obama's fault? You're not going to start reporting on his presidency like you repoted on his candidacy, are you? You're not going to take every little thing and then twist and distort it to make it look bad for Obama, are you? He clearly read a headline and that was it. And then somebody misinterpreted that and then THAT became the story?!? And how is this Obama's fault?!? I got so tired of this kind of so-called reporting during the election. Please work harder and have a higher standard for the news stories that you cover.

    February 2, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Big Ed

    He's human, there was a transcription error, she has gained weight (and still looks good as far as I am concerned). I doubt very seriously he said anything that was meant to hurt her. Let it go – let's work on the more important issues at hand.

    February 2, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. Anne of Medford, NJ

    really? i mean people will grab at anything..so sad people..he really is a good guy and you just can't stand it

    February 2, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. McBride, SLC, UT

    Same old press. Haven't learned a thing have you!

    February 2, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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