May 17th, 2009
05:37 PM ET
6 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. Bobby

    Tan or not, white is a color. Then again, do ethnic groups that appear white to us, such as serbs or french, care about whiteness more than ethnic differences?

    May 17, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Not Ruth Lyons

    Holy smokes, the guy does have a sense of humor. Cincinnati Chilie for everyone.

    May 17, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. the rector

    The funny thing is that Boehner is actually darker than obama some of the time.

    May 17, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Bill

    As an Obama supporter, I applaud you Mr Boehner, nice response and you are not apologetic for your tan.

    May 17, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Cal

    There's no way he gets that tan naturally. It's there all year round and it isn't that sunny in Ohio and DC in the winter. He's got to have a tanning bed in his house.

    May 17, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. 60's survivor

    well there's a perspective I would have never thought of. refreshing. we all need to lighten up. uhhh no pun Intended! ;-)

    May 17, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. obambi

    Boehner is a class act–which is more than I can say for BO–who continually plays the race card in some form. Who cares if Boehner has a tan? he , at least takes his job seriously–which is more than I can say for Obama.

    May 17, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Dave from Jacksonville

    Perhaps he is getting that color as it "rubs" off Charlie Crist!

    May 17, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. j. stowe

    Good to see they can play nice.

    May 17, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Spencer

    To be honest I expected the response to be more ridiculous instead of reasonable. GOP members have repeatedly overreacted to everything not GOP mandated. Glad to see there is one reasonable GOP member.

    May 17, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. maria

    to Geri NY and ambrose....you must really lead miserable lives if all you do is sit and attack anyone, anything that has an ounce of integrity more than the messiah who sat and listened to Wright attack america and all whites. [And, I'm not even white!] Why don't you read barack's books and said all whites were demons? Is this the type of person/man you want to continuously follow blindley? appears so. bec you have no integrity or brains yourself. Sounds like you both are paid hackers who are paid to trash anyone who might appear to critizize barak. Shows you'll never amount to anything in your lives. good riddance.

    May 17, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. unnecessary1

    Figures that the first black president is the first ghetto president. he is arrogant, stuck up, inexperienced and clueless. he is going to get us all killed and we will all be broke and dependent on a Marxist government. All the while, his admin just throws our smoke and mirrors to occupy the uneducated while he turns us to socialism.

    And we care about boehners skin color... why?

    May 17, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Dan In Nor-Cal

    I'm completely shocked this guy had a sense of humor about it. With all his "No-Mommy I don' Wanna!" whining as of late with his fellow Repuklicans, I'm shocked!

    Alright boner way to go ! Stand up tall! Err...

    May 17, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. BeefMasterX

    Let's hear more jokes about the skin color of people!!
    Obama is the funniest white guy I've seen in a long time.

    May 17, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. sprkl12000

    Take note of what???

    Well if he any other response (i.e. negative reaction) he would have affirmed what folks already knew..he has a stick up the butt...this was dumb for King to even bring up...Boehner NEEDED to show that he had a sense of humor and was human on some levels...not a big deal...

    May 17, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. FCR

    kcl May 17th, 2009 12:41 pm ET

    What a great response. Take note America.

    What? You think Boehner's the next president? Really!

    May 17, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. smiff

    Sure hope his kidneys dont fail!!! Nothing common respect and decency I say.

    May 17, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Peter E

    I wish more republicans and democrats took each-others' digs with such smile, and argue over only real issues, not made-up controversies. Good job both!

    May 17, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. A. D.

    It goes you only hurt the one you love. If we go by what the other color guy says,Boehner, then you guys must love our President more than his supporters do. Because you and your Republican Gang have been on Obama's case since day one. Calling him everything but a child of God. Now Boehner wants us to believe that tan comes from him being outside. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! It seems I can't stop laughing.

    May 17, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    That is what is missing. Good natured humor. Please sir may I have some more?

    May 17, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Libertarian

    I watched the interview. Judging by his expression – he didn't take it so well. His response...."I spend a good deal of time on the golf course". Perfect, just want we want from our Congressional leaders. Out playing golf most of the time with Haliburton executives? Guess that beats hunting with Cheney.

    May 17, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. steve fielder

    "Yeah, I enjoy being outside" ... Where, John? In the Virgin Islands? The people from Ohio I know don't have tans like yours, especially in wintertime.

    May 17, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Helen

    Be careful Bone Head. You may get skin cancer if you stay in the sun too much.

    May 17, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Joyce

    It is about time a Republican responded with a smile. I didn't think any of them had a sense of humor. I don't like John Boehner, as I think he doesn't have a clue about average people, but for the first time, I liked his response. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel..........Do you think this is possible?????

    May 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Junie

    Boehner often scares me the way he looks when he disagrees with President Obama's policies/decisions. Today, I saw a very different side of him that not only pleased me but also made me realize that he does lighten up with humor and that is a good thing!

    Junie

    May 17, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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