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. Sabilla

    Good sport. Now that's refreshing.

    May 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Peter E

    You who's most mad about this repsonse, right? It's the media. They couldn't push yet another made-up controversy onto the public. It was only a joke, it was taken as a joke, nobody got offended. The media has to find a different made-up controversy now.

    May 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Pat in IL

    Nothing political here......just a josh between these two, and the one who got "joshed" took it at face value and didn't go on and try to make something more of it – unlike some other politicians. I like someone who can take a small joke.

    May 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. RufusVonDufus

    Great reply to a good-natured ribbing. Good job, John!

    May 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Peter

    This is nice, he is laughing it off. Limbaugh will kill him

    May 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. been there

    I don't believe there is much he can say, don't you agree.!!!!!!!!!! I don't believe you can get a tan like that in the winter time, didn't think so.....

    May 17, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Ray Fisher

    Color is more than simply skin pigment, I took the President's comment to allude to his colorful speaking and creative truth bending, am I delusional???

    May 17, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Conservative and Proud

    No, MRS. Palin doesn't like criticism of her family. She appeared on SNL after they made fun of her, right? Plus, you become the most criticized person in the world, let's see how thin your skin gets.

    May 17, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. lo

    Ha... Just about the only exchange between a senior republican and Obama that hasn't been ugly...

    May 17, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. barry

    Now that's the way to answer...with a civil word, a smile and a great counter-riposte...who wouldn't want to love that guy. This Republican is showing members on BOTH parties the way...

    May 17, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. geo

    Imagine the national rioting if that comment were reversed! What a pathetic one way street this liberal crap is.

    May 17, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. RJJH

    kcl,
    Exactly which line is the great response? " As I tell my friends, you only tease the ones you love,” “Yeah, I enjoy being outside,” “I’d rather be heckled than ignored,”
    I mean seriously, are lines like these the best that the Party of old white guys like the Newt and the Face Shooter can hang their hats on?

    May 17, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. ken

    have to agree i cannot believe the senator took the joke as well as he did. wouldn't it be great if these people just did the work they were supposed to without all the hoopla and grandstanding its like they all feel they are still courtroom lawyers trying to win a jury over

    May 17, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Hammer

    Try that "joke" in reverse with Boehner saying that about Obama and watch the hate mongers on the left and in the black community scream.

    May 17, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Bill in Austin

    I'm surprised. He didn't find a way to spin this into something negative that affects national security, the economy, or the admininstration.

    May 17, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. A.G.

    I'm just now really getting that joke. I thought he meant a colorful person because he has an over the top personality. I'll never forget the time he cried to make it seem like he was making a passionate point. I still think it was fake. He's more interesting than the rest of the GOP except for Palin of course.

    May 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. John Farren

    Now if we could keep all politics light-hearted and civil, just think how much better of country we would be.

    May 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Mark

    I'm glad Boehner took it so well, even if I totally don't believe his tan comes from anything resembling spending time out-of-doors. The likes of Palin and Limbaugh should definitely take note.

    May 17, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Maggie

    I am caucasian and brown, tan and beige have alwaasys been by favorit colors therefore when I see the person I do not think of a color I dislikeIt is what is upstairs I think about. Some people's brains are just evil and some are not. what they do or say is what counts.

    May 17, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Claudia in Houson

    Boehner admitted he's on the golf course all day which gives him his tan. Is Boehner being paid to play golf on your time and money, he's suppose to be a senator and not a professional golf player who plays all day.

    May 17, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. swamper68

    Glad to see a little lighthearted banter in these stressful times. Enjoyed Mr. B.'s take on all subjects he spoke on this AM.

    May 17, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Kate

    Now, THIS is how you respond to a joke! Thank you!

    May 17, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. magella

    Great joke, and the first part of Boehner's response was good too. As for him being a person who spends a lot of time outside–isn't he from Ohio? Last time I checked it was pretty hard to get a tan there between October and April.

    May 17, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Bonnie

    Looks to me like he would also rather be black than white.

    May 17, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. WanderSF

    I'm surprised the repubs didn't call for an investigation.

    May 17, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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