May 17th, 2009
05:37 PM ET
5 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. Lori

    No, I think most Americans prefer Boehner be ignored.

    May 17, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. MaryanneAZ

    It could be that Boehner suffers from Addison's disease or some other condition that results in a permanent tan not explained by outdoor activity. Since the event was a roast of sorts, the jokes should all be taken with good humor.

    May 17, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. Mack

    Boehner looks like someone from the 80's–stuck in a time warp. I don't like to listen to him cause he can't speak well.

    May 17, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Cheryl F

    It's a fake tan, just like everything else about him.

    May 17, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. texasgreenacres

    well when I was just about ready to throw in the towel on you .you make me change my mind. you do have a sense of humor. I really liked your response better to be heckled than ignored.

    May 17, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. Sean

    For all those who say that the GOP is class-less, take note of Boehner's response. that was pure class. Everyone who cracked jokes at his name should learn from him too.

    May 17, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Dave

    Come on CNN, you can't properly label this a "racial joke." That's just giving repuglicans fuel for the fire.

    May 17, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Someone With Sense

    These comments are hilarious!!!! People see Michael Jackson and says he looks white...is that racist? No, not if it's true. Is it not true that this man has color to his skin complexion? SMH.... every little thing huh!

    May 17, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. George Carlins got to be laughing

    Whats the matter John,your diaper on too tight?

    May 17, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. mayday

    we obviously have the most arrogant president in the history of the United States!

    May 17, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. HoldenLitgo

    racial joke? I heard it, saw it, nothing "racial" about it. what's with the press starting fires like this? shame on you, CNN.

    May 17, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. Arack Bobama

    Obama is a person of Tasteless and Insensitive Humor. He should stick to telling Catholics how much they need to be "understanding" in the abortion debate – i.e. accept the Obama baby killing doctrine and keep their mouths shut.

    May 17, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. vinnie

    boehner could have been a jerk and derided obama for the joke. glad to see he took it in the spirit in which it was delivered. class act...i'm normally not a fan of the guy, but i'm giving the guy credit.

    May 17, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. republicguard

    So if Boehner had said Mulatto wasn't a natural color found in nature Obama would have been amused?

    May 17, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. Sherry

    So true......so many of you out there that are prejudiced , yet try to get real dark in the summer.

    May 17, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  16. Terry

    I voted for Obama because he is white, myself. It is about time for white men to be able to relax a little about the concept of race.

    May 17, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. Dan

    Mary.....
    Your post caught my eye. A devout Catholic...pro-choice. That is inconsistent...you can be pro-choice....but you can't call yourself a "devout" Catholic. You may consider these things "labels" but members of the Church consider it an article of faith. Instead of calling yourself devout why don't you use the term "cafeteria" Catholic that would be more appropriate.

    May 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. jsb

    That particular shade would be Sunset over Venus # 2, or cheap tanning bed on the high setting for 20 minutes too long.

    May 17, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. PJ

    Boehmer is "Oil Can Harry". The man has no integrity, has never known integrity and will never know integrity. He is a perfect republican bonehead. He even looks fake with his fake tan and oily look. A true snake in the grass. So Obama, a half white/black president makes a joke...Big deal. Grow up. Same like Gingrich, sour angry, white old men.

    May 17, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. Nat Turner

    LOL! This clown must sleep in a tanning bed! Only proves he knows that black is indeed beautiful.

    May 17, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. barking republican ankle biters

    His poor mother must of had second thoughts after this clowns birth.

    May 17, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. Jessie

    Boehner should chill. My god these politicians are nothing but a bunch of babies. If they knew how to do their jobs, we wouldn't be in the predicament were in. And I am blaming both parties.

    May 17, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Jeff

    Boehner is going to end up looking like heavily weathered luggage... or chocked full of skin cancer, not very smart...

    May 17, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Thin skinned Repubs

    What was Obama's response to Prime Minister Berlosconi's two jokes about the President being "well-tanned"?

    Nothing.

    Boehner and the rest of the "everything is reverse racism unless we tell a politically incorrect joke then it's ok" crew should take a lesson from our President, Mr. Obama.

    May 17, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. Malbert

    Glad to hear a classy response.
    Nice touch Boehner!

    May 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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