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. Too True For You

    It only took us 5/12 months for Boehner's first non partisan, non-diversive, rhetoric-free statement.

    I am amazed he passed up the opportunity to find some way to use this to slam Omaba.

    May 17, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Boehner is a class act

    I would take Boehner over Pelosi or Reid or Barney Frank in a heartbeat. Congressman Boehner is a class act, and always has been.

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

    Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, a strong pro-life advocate, weighed in on the issue with Holly Robichaud by e-mail:

    “My favorite grandpa, Clem James Sheeran, was Catholic. Irish to the core, his favorite place (other than church) was Notre Dame. I can’t imagine what he would think as the university recognizes someone who contradicts the core values of the Catholic faith by promoting an anti-life agenda. As we learned today, our nation is more pro-life than ever before; it is a very important time to strengthen the message that every baby is created for good purpose and has the potential to make this world a better place.”

    May 17, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Robbi

    Well done, Boehner, a classy response to a harmless joke.

    May 17, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. perks

    So in Obama/Media world if I go to the tanning booth do I get some affirmative "action", pay a "fake sun" tax, or get denied cancer treatment by the local "health administrator"?

    May 17, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. marie

    Who doesn't find Boehner ridiculously funny? This man has ZERO relevancy. ZERO.

    May 17, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Bob

    Yeah right you moran, lets get Palin in on this.

    May 17, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Sarah K.

    Hey Geri, why do you have to take it beyond what it is. Obama made a funny joke, Boehner responded good naturedly, end of story. Why continue with an unprovoked attack on the Rebuplicans. Your party is beginning to sound like a party of hate.

    May 17, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Kel

    I like to see this. No need to get angry over a joke. While many people would take this opportunity to make this a controversy, Boehner takes it as it is... a joke. Similarly I thought Palin was a good sport about SNL until she blamed them after she lost... Her loss was nobody's fault but her own and McCain's for picking her in the first place.

    May 17, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. tess

    republicans have always had a great humor – it's the dems who can't laugh at themselves and take everything with such bitterness! if you really want to make a democrat furious, just tell a joke on them and watch out – they will start slinging vile attacks (somebody needs to teach those idiots how to laugh)

    May 17, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. Julia

    Nice. Good to see John has a sense of humor. He's usually wound just a little. too. tight.

    May 17, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. God

    If only he'd stay outside, permanently, the country would be better off without him.

    May 17, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Audrey in VA

    I hope he defeats Obama for prez in 2012.

    May 17, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. James

    "yeah I enjoy being outside"....yeah, as long as "outside" = "tanning bed"

    May 17, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. chris dobbs

    i'm sorry...it's not that sunny in ohio in jan., and feb. john "boner" is lying. that seems to be the republican response to everything these days. no original ideas on how to fix the economy,end the wars they started, hell all they do is complain. bunch of cry babies.

    May 17, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. JoeC

    This story omitted the real punchline....after a masterfully timed pause, Obama said, "Hey, John....wassup?"

    May 17, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. M J

    Boehner, considered yourself ignored. Please go away and do no more harm.

    May 17, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. George Delacruz

    I guess Boehner uses "Man Tan' a product from the 60's What a moroon...

    May 17, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Roberta

    I like it "I'd rather be heckled than ignored", what a good take on things.

    May 17, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    I thought the joke was humorous and I am glad that the Senator has responded in an accepting manner. I am sure he is aware of the fact that this was a night of humor even if I do feel Wanda Sykes did cross the line in her references to Rush Limbaugh. I do think her remarks about his kidney and the 20th hijacker was over the line.

    While the Senator may not have liked the joke, I am respectful of him for openly accepting it as humor.

    May 17, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. pj

    Surprised but impressed to see how light Boehner took the "person of color" joke. Seriously speaking, how come he got the tan?

    May 17, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. MJ

    I LOLed.

    May 17, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Sarah

    What else was he gonna say? I'm glad he responded with grace.

    May 17, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. BigSherm7

    At first I didn't get the joke, but then, when I saw Rep. Boehner I got it . . .

    May 17, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Milo

    Very funny! :-)

    May 17, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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