May 17th, 2009
05:37 PM ET
9 years ago

Boehner responds to Obama's 'person of color' joke

WASHINGTON (CNN) – GOP congressional leader John Boehner is brushing off President Obama’s recent joke about Boehner’s famously permanent tan.

At the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner a week ago, the country’s first African-American president said he had “a lot in common” with Boehner who is Caucasian. “He is a person of color,” Obama joked before a massive ballroom of celebrities and Washington journalists. “Although not a color that appears in the natural world,” Obama added, barely able to keep his composure as he delivered the dig.

“As I tell my friends, you only tease the ones you love,” Boehner said responding to Obama Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Yeah, I enjoy being outside,” Boehner added, trying to explain his persistently tanned appearance.

“I’d rather be heckled than ignored,” the Ohio Republican told CNN’s John King.

Filed under: Extra • John Boehner • Popular Posts • President Obama • State of the Union
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Good one

    That was a good comeback. I enjoyed both – the President's joke and
    Boehner's response.

    May 17, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Jean

    Obama calls for common ground on abortion. Well, that is like nothing we have never heard of before. Did his teleprompter make him say it?

    May 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |

    Funny joke by Obama, but not sure how this is political news.

    May 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Leading Edge Boomer

    I note that CNN has changed its front-page headline for this article from
    "person of color" to "racial".

    What's that about?

    May 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. ceepee

    This type of exchange could go a long way in helping to eliminate the racial discomfort to which Eric Holder refers. A good lighthearted job on both guys' parts!

    May 17, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Lauren

    The press is stirring up stuff again.

    May 17, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Sarah K.

    Hey, Mary. I am so glad you can read minds and know just what Boehner is thinking. Fake smile, I don't think so. Why is it so difficult to give the guy credit for being a good sport on this issue. You Dems have become such haters. I can't figure out why. Can you read my mind right now????

    May 17, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. Mysterious

    Can't we all just get along?

    May 17, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. pt

    Let's put this in perspective. If government workers cannot say "white board" or "black board" because it could possible be deemed racist, why should their leaders be allowed to make skin color statements? (Racism charges within the government really did include the color of boards.)

    May 17, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. Karen - Missouri's a non-story. Why should anyone take offense...everyone jokes about Boehner's "tan". It was all in good fun and for once Boehner sounds like a "normal" person.

    May 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Sue

    If Boehner thinks that that is natural than maybe it explains his whole political philosophy. DENIAL.

    May 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Neil

    I must strenuously object to the CNN headline depicting the Boehner comments as "racial" in nature. There was nothing racial about it. It was a joke. The same as Boehner has heard a hundred times. If your looking for an insult to perpetrate on someone try "liar." It's a no brainer. Just look in the mirror first.

    May 17, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. LAW

    If you want to understand liberals, read their comments.

    A few are reasonable, too few.

    I feel like I have to take a shower to clean off the filth after I make the mistake and again visit sites like this.

    May 17, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Royster

    He'd rather be heckler than ignored? Well that is certainly what he is doing to OBAMA! So I guess he must LIVE OBAMA since he is heckling him so much! Perhaps it is a case of tan-envy.

    May 17, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. w.l. jones

    Do not tell you know who a tan look good he will run to the desert and fall in a Coyote hole an call "RL" and :BOY" two tan the Repub will be in real trouble.

    May 17, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. susie

    If a white person had said that instead of Obama they would be in a lot of trouble.

    May 17, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Does he own a tanning salon on the side, or just have a tanning bed to keep his golden tan in shape?

    May 17, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. Jerry

    I think the joke was funny and I also think the John Boehner took it very well!

    May 17, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. Chris

    1. This was not a "race" joke. Just because a joke mentions skin color does not automatically make it a race joke. What's wrong with joking about a fake tan?

    2. Dear CNN–Just because someone appears on youyr Sunday morning show does not mean they are the main newsmaker for that day. I know news channels have to promote themselves, but don't mix it in with the "news."

    May 17, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. unknown

    White is a 'color' too, last time I checked; but I prefer the term Caucasian.

    May 17, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    Gee CNN, Do you think you could get 1 more story concerning Boehner on this ticker today? You people need to get a life! Seriously!

    May 17, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Aspen Professor

    "I’d rather be heckled than ignored,” Boehner, the Ohio Republican told CNN’s John King." Lets see if I remember it correctily, 80% of Americans are now ignoring the NO Party and the politicians without an apparent creative idea in their thick skulls.

    The only "friends" they have are the right-wing extremists who are leading the GOP into oblivion. It is sad to watch and listen to.

    May 17, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. torrington dem

    This afternoon it was "republican reacts to ribbing". Now it's "republican reacts to racial joke". Sounds like the night editor at CNN has an agenda.

    May 17, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. Charles Evans

    I'll make a deal with Rep. Boehner about global warming: I'll stop farting if he stops breathing.

    May 17, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. Lynn West Bloomfield, Michigan

    So, what do you call that color?

    May 17, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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