May 18th, 2009
12:07 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.

soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Biff Biffington

    Nothing short of stunning that this is the top item in the ticker. ... still.

    What HAPPENED to you, CNN ?

    May 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Ty

    Ok, why is this news? Geez.

    May 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Ben

    I can think of a more clever joke involving the name "Boehner".

    May 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    John looked pretty disturbed when he was watching the footage on State of the Union yesterday. Some people just can't take a joke.

    May 18, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Kelvin

    Now Caucasians are being sensitive over tan comments? Not to worry a tan is not permanent like my African skin.

    May 18, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Richard B

    obama is black so he can make all the raceist jokes that that NSOB wants too.

    May 18, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Linda

    It was all in good fun, and it's nice to see that Boehner isn't taking the media's bate by trying to turn an innocuous ribbing into a manufactured controversy. Kudos to Boehner for having a sense of humor.

    May 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. old timer

    Mr Obama is half white but he wants to pass himself off as something else so that he can get the vote of the uneducated and the uninformed.

    When are you going to show your tru colors Mr Obama and invade the state of Virginia or Georgia or Texas to show everyone just who you really are

    May 18, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Deb

    Was it me or was the tan not as pronounced this weekend?

    May 18, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Advocating Maturity

    The joke regarding his tan is not racist. Grow up.

    May 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. S.A.

    Could you imagine the press if the joke had been the other way? OMG! Boehner would have been labeled a racists and the NAACP would be up in arms. Shame on Obama and to think we have 3.5 more years of him!!

    May 18, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. KC

    Such a classy thing for the President of the United States to be doing. It is just a shame that this gutter humor is found funny and acceptable by the American citizens. We should require more of our leaders. Unfortunately this country is bogged down in a cess pool of filth that so many Americans deem "cool and funny".

    May 18, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. CitizenJane

    CNN what has happened to your news coverage? I quit watching live broadcasts months ago for exactly what is now happening on the CNN ticker. Of late, CNN interests have become nothing but childish and nonsensical nonsense. Soliciting the "squawking" point parrots from FOX News is exactly why CNN rathings are tanking.

    May 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. linda isom

    But since Obama is black, he is safe to make "color" jokes. This just really burns my hide. If a white president had joked about Obama's color, we'd have a race riot in Washington–but that would be ok too–people have rights you know.

    May 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. Jim

    Its OK because its Obama making the joke. It would be wrong if Boehner made the comment.

    May 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Gerald

    If the comment was made after Obama who is half white by the way went to the big island that he looked darker there would be protest in the streets. There must be no such thing as a racist black man i guess

    May 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Kevin B

    I am sure the millionaire AM talk radio host as well as Fox news will have field day with this one, trying to twist these comments into something more insidious than the light hearted ribbing it was intended to be.

    Trust me, behind closed doors and out of ear shot of the media the republicans have said much worse about the the president.

    May 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Puff the Magic Dragon

    For real, this is a minor thing when you compare it to George Dubya invading Iraq based on utter BS.

    May 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. sick of complainers

    John King is a loser. This is not news nobody cares what that idiot bohner thought of the Presidents comments. After all his comments were true, bohner is orange.

    May 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. John Corneli

    I really disapprove with the way these news outlets are TRYING to start controversy. C'mon!

    May 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. IndyVoter

    “I’d rather be heckled than ignored,”...Good point! That's the most intelligent thing I've heard him say since the election.

    May 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Frankie

    Wow, Richard..."NSOB"???
    Who's the racist NOW? Obama consistently takes the high road. Try it yourself, sometime.

    May 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Lisa B

    Who cares about Boner's fake tan. What disturbs me more is watching the "new CNN". And John King and his wife, Dana Bash are
    proof that CNN has decided to try and steal some of Fox Noise's ratings. More and more over the past few months it is obvious CNN is leaning more to the right and playing the "gotcha" journalism that has become so nauseating on Fox Noise. CNN..you are going to loose even more ratings. Those Fox Noise people are not going to change their venue at this late date. Looks like I'll be watching more MSNBC. Hey, have you guys ever thought to go the way they did? Ed Schultz is fabulous. John King has to go. Wolf and Jack are still great!

    May 18, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    Who watches John King's state of the union to begin with? What a crock that show is. Boehner's tan looks much better than Nobama's.

    May 18, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Anonymous

    boehner, is such a clown.....how do you actually pronounce that name. every time i say his name my friends correct me..........

    May 18, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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