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. phoenix86

    Great responses from the Obamabots. No big deal, as Obama made the joke. I'm sure they would have responded the same way had someone like McCain, or Limbaugh made the same joke.

    The hypocracy of liberals is more evident everyday.

    May 17, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. GOPHater

    Boner says he likes being outside? I didn't know they had tanning booths outside.

    May 17, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Fred

    Boehner's approval rating is 17 percent. Obama's is 65 percent. Nuff said...

    May 17, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. Peter E

    For a party that repeatedly tried to scare people off from voting last year with their racist innuendos and spreading the myth that he was an arab, republicans sure get upset once Obama finally replies to their crap.

    May 17, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. No more Republicans

    Like all Republicans John Boehner is living in a world of denial, natural tan my a–

    May 17, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Mel of Alexandria

    If one lies constantly there could come the time when telling the truth becomes impossible, be careful Mr. Boehner, eternity is watching.

    May 17, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Maybe Boner uses Tan-In-A-Can...Aerosol fake tan, applied generously.

    May 17, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Cynthia in FL

    For those who think Obama was making a racist joke, you're really stretching the limits of credibility. Obama wasn't systematically oppressing Boehner's rights and denying him access to opportunities based on his skin color; he was tweaking him for overdoing it on the self-tanner. And isn't Boehner the guy who makes fun of reporters' hair? He'd better be able to take a joke.

    May 17, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Perusing-through

    Republican Congressman John Boehner: "I'd rather be heckled than ignored".

    I take that as a genuine golden nugget of wisdom. Thank you Congressman Boehner. Don't always agree with your political ideologies or strategies, , , but your quote is good enough to live by.

    May 17, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Chad SLC

    All you other white guys out there making self-righteous comments about this being some kind of racist joke need to get a clue. Obama wasn't making fun of Boehner for being white, it was all about the tan-in-the-can. It has nothing to do with the man's ethnicity, it's funny because he turned himself orange in the middle of winter.

    May 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. jimmy-ohio

    if nothing else can the whck jobs on both sides please get their political smears right,,,,if you are on the far left you are a communist or a socialist(remember pallin's accusations during the campaign?).if you are on the far right you are a facist or a certain german party in the 20's40's i won't call any american that word

    May 17, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. harold

    John Boenhner... is just trying to be pro life.. with his healthy sunshine color...NOW John be PRO LIFE national health care... and think about the 50 million USA people without health care insurance..... nor do they have a healthy looking swuave looking tan like yours... Lots sunshine in the house...John?

    May 17, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. Perusing-through

    Obama is wrong when he says , , , “Although not a color that appears in the natural world”.

    It IS a color that appears in the natural world. It is called BUD LIGHT and it looks great on Congressman Boehner.

    May 17, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Vic

    Another example of the Republicans grabbing at ANYTHING

    May 17, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. Dina

    All you "only white men can be ridiculed" spouters out there: Stop your babycrying, and grow up. It was a joke. Get over it. Move on. It was funny.

    May 17, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Vic

    Another example of how Republicans will do and say ANYTHING to change the subject from leftovers of the Bush/Cheney administration.
    I'm sure Speaker Pelosi is delighted that they're letting her rest, but how ridiculour can one get!

    May 17, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Mr. Britt

    Im really beginning to think this man has a problem with white people

    May 17, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. harold

    Funny how suntan is so popular with some people trying to look better....... What about it boenhner.... is it wipe on tan or actual sunshine?.... vit D type?... Make you look kinda Pro Life national health care... John?.. Are You?

    May 17, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Betsy Nielsen

    In response to all your coverage on Obama and his address at Notre Dame. Please stop saying that he is "pro abortion." He is not! He is pro choice. There is a huge difference. When you say he is "pro abortion." you sound like Fox news.

    May 17, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. F-Dog

    It's a self tanning joke – not a racial joke...

    May 17, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. lucy

    i would love to know what cnn uses as criteria for comments that "await moderation" and don't get printed, if they are willing to print comments like the one from unnecessary1 TWICE when it should not have been printed once. Does anyone know?

    May 17, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Lynne

    Yeah...President Obama was wrong..Boehner is definitely a color...he's a pumpkin orange color.

    May 17, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. dj

    Good comeback, John

    May 17, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. NC Slim

    No platform. No party. No sense of humor. Hold on to that anger–that will solve the Great Republican Recession that has hurt the entire world.

    May 17, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. truthsayer

    Does John King only interview Republicans.

    May 17, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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