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. J in MD

    I wonder what the press would have said if a Caucasian politician had referred to an African-American politician's skin tone as unnatural. I'm guessing CNN would be howling, not chuckling its smug collective little head.

    May 17, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. ELJ

    How funny. I seriously thought the President was referring to Senator Boehner's "color" of ties.

    May 17, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Tim

    I'll give him a golf clap on the response. Good to see some people can take a joke–at least occasionally.

    May 17, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. RZ

    It is refreshing that both parties can joke about each other without going psycho about it.

    May 17, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Rickymo

    This is news?

    May 17, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. hellokitti

    I think some playful chiding is a very positive thing. Congrats to both of them for the give and take.

    May 17, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Yossi Gestetner

    Listen mister Ambrose Smith: some jokes ARE funnt and are made to accept easy. Other jokes, including the one about Palin & Limbaugh, are NOT funny at all.

    May 17, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Gop

    Well ok, so a Republican takes a joke from Obama as nothing more then fun and you liberals still try to put him down.

    If a Republican had said this about your God the mighty Obama you have your panties in a bunch and want him thrown under a bus by the GOP.

    For the person that wants to parrot the same tired old line calling the GOP a party of No better understand maybe when your president is spending trillions of dollars on worthless projects that will not help our economy you want someone telling him No.

    I recall the Democrats telling Bush No every time he asks for money for the wars. Yet no one in the GOP was calling them the party of No. When your child wants something that is bad for him, do you Liberals just say yes to them? Sorry but some times saying No is the right thing to do.

    But then again I have a hard time believing you Democrat Liberals know right from wrong!!

    May 17, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. No Incumbents in 2010

    At least Boehner is honest and admits his vanity.

    May 17, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Larry

    President Obama,who's your daddy ??

    May 17, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. David Thomas

    Thanks, Congressman, for a classy response to a classy joke. If we could just have more of this is in Washington, someone might get something accomplished for the benefit of the country.

    May 17, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Dace Tucson

    This hideous liar can't even tell the truth about his tanning bed. But if we wait a day he will have press conference saying the exact opposite. Just like he did when trying to frame Pelosi saying the CIA never lies – yet in the recent past he is on TV saying they lie. How can you tell when a GOP is lying – when their mouth is moving.

    May 17, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Stephen

    I'm a Dem and when I heard the joke I kinda worried how Boehner might take it. Nice to see he had such a good attitude about it.

    May 17, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Slow news day!

    May 17, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. gl, Pittsburgh

    Bohner actually took the joke with a smile? and that is a first. Thank you President Obama – you he can move a mountain.

    May 17, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Glen Shouse Jr., Georgetown, IL

    Boehner seems to be a good man to me. Many republicans lately would have taken that and tried to turn it into a negative. Good for you Boener. People usually talk about people they either dislike or people they respect. In the atmosphere that the joke was made I see it as a show of respect. Wasn't that the tone of the whole thing anyway? Didn't everyone else have jokes?

    May 17, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Joanna

    Oh that was so funny when Obama said that. I was doubled over. What is up with that spray tan John?

    May 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Georgia Gal

    Okay, so I'm going to lecture here for a second (sorry, but I had someone very close to be die of skin cancer and I am fair skinned (not that Boehner is, but still it can happen to anyone) too, so its something I take very seriously). He may love getting out in the sun, but he needs to be careful. The ozone is practically nil and more and more people get skin cancer every day.

    May 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. rob

    With all the hecking he does of reporters about their hair, he ought to be able to take a ribbing. Well, glad to see a Repub with a sense of humor. They are rare.

    May 17, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. glen

    Good response. Ridicule is one of the top 5 ways radicals teach to try to bring down their opponents. Way to beat them at their own game,Bohner.

    May 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. The Broker.

    God is Pink!

    May 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. glen

    Great response!! Way to beat him at his own game!

    May 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. ray

    Boehner took that joke with a lot of class, when I first saw the title, I thought he would be anry and hostile but he responded very classy. This restores my hope in the republican party although I will never vote for them.

    May 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. glen

    You let Geri N Y say the Repubs have nothing but the SOS and my very respectful comment –needs moderation! What a joke! But very typical
    of L

    May 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. D. Tree

    "I enjoy being outside"

    LOL, is that seriously his answer? They guy has no idea he looks like Ernie from Sesame St? :-D

    May 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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