May 17th, 2009
05:37 PM ET
9 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. Joanna

    Obama missed his calling ... he should have been a comedian ... oh wait ... he is !!

    May 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Joanna

    Oooops .. I forgot to add ... he is the joke.

    May 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Barbara - Atlanta

    Boehner couldn't help but be amused...the President was funny.

    May 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. ella

    Natural tan? Now that was the biggest joke I've heard in a very long time.

    May 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Mary Clark

    Can we all stop with the very denigrating remarks – both from the far left as well as the far right? I'm a strong Obama supporter – a devout Catholic – supporter of abortion rights, etc. – so much for labels! Rep Boehner responded to the joke with class so can't the left give him some credit?? It is so depressing to read some of these remarks from the left & Democrats – as well as the far right. And yes I know the far right is also way out of line. But let's all try to maintain some kind of decorum and respect for other folk's point of view.

    May 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Gambi

    Most of the time I cringe everytime John Boehner responds to the President........this time I appreciate his comments and being a good sport about it.

    May 17, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. mary

    Boehner, did not like the joke, it's written all over his face. He is so anti-Obama. Now, if they would all work together to get things right, can you imagine how far they would have gotten with all of the problems that we are facing today, John Boehner, the ring leader of the Rebublicans are showing the entire world their true COLORS and a fake SMILE.

    May 17, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Ellis

    'Ain't Obama sweet? Yes, let's see how funny Obama would think this is in reverse. Double standard, but who made it that way
    American white men? You get what you work for.

    May 17, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. SRB --- Wisconsin

    OMG Its a joke simply that, it wasn't racial. Only the GOP would SPIN this into anything other then a simple joke. He picked on Hilary Clinton. Is Obama going to be tagged for that as well by the GOP. This world of two parties is driving me nuts maybe we should add more parties this way we won't have to deal with this crap.

    May 17, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Zion


    Pres. Obama called himself a mutt when he first got his dog, and he laughed almost without restraint. I'm so tired of white people like yourself (I apologize to whites with a sense of humor) playing the victim card. Don't accuse blacks of playing the vicitim card when you are more than willing to play it yourself.

    May 17, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Annette in Atlanta

    Hey....What's with the title of this story being called Obama's Racial joke?

    May 17, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |

    Boehner can't react too stronly because then he appears to be insulted by being referred to as a person of color...this is rich!!!

    May 17, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    Why is it that the Democrats and Obama are the only ones that are bent on injecting the race issue into our country? If a white person or a Republican had cracked this humor, they would have been cruicfied in the press!

    May 17, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. David in West Virginia

    Do you mean to tell me that it took John Boehner a week to respond to the joke? Like all republicans, they are a day late and a doller short. I'm surprised they even get the joke!

    May 17, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. andrea

    The GOP congressional leader frequents tanning salons? That's funny!! Diversity is always good. Nice to have an adonistic congressman

    May 17, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. welches, oregon

    .....and the conservatives have absolutely NO sense of humor.

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

    When is it nice to be petty and snide? I think the joke was below the President and Bohner was being gracious.

    May 17, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Michael Poligone

    John Boehner's opinion that Cheney, Limbaugh and Gingrich are not hurting the Republican party tells me something. At the rate they're going, they can hold the next Republican National Convention in a good sized church.


    May 17, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Eric

    Was the joke racial??? Nice change of headline, CNN (spin things up a little).....

    May 17, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Proud American

    I guess my question would be is it such a bad thing to be an African American?

    May 17, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Flappdoodle

    I understand you can only be a racist if you're in power.

    May 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Dave

    Ellis, your comment makes no sense except to label you an angry white man.

    May 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. LesC

    Suntan? Just shows you how little I know. I'm one of his constituents and I have always thought that his skin color came from all the cigarette tar leaching out to the surface of his skin.

    May 17, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Tony Justin

    Mr. Boehner's skin color reflects the application of a sunless tanning cream or foam. If he had a tanning bed or was outside, he would have a different hue to his skin color (less orange, more brown). I think he could be an effective spokesperson for the sunless tanning industry.

    May 17, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Susan in NC

    Could CNN possibly give John Boehner any more coverage today? Enough already!

    May 17, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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