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. Jason

    Stay classy Obama

    May 18, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Rally`

    Cnn became focused more on "Entertainment Tonite" or "TMZ" type news... it's all for ratings, hits and money.

    May 18, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    Yep..... if Bush had directed a similar joke at a dem, you can just imagine the outrage.

    May 18, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. bebe

    Recycling an old non-news ticker item, CNN?

    May 18, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. bob j

    i am glad everyone is taking this as good humor

    May 18, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Lynn

    Isn't this the second time for the same non news event?? I would have thought that there would be another blog about the Presidents' speech at Notre Dame and an apology from CNN for exaggerating and inflating the scope of the dissension at the actual university.

    Whoops I forgot...CNN never apologizes....they just keep on telling the same old lies..

    May 18, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. jimmy-ohio

    gratzto boehner for having a sense of humor

    May 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Chris

    I swear since Ted left you guys have really forgot what news worthy reporting was all about...JEEZ!!! Who is the editor of this site?

    May 18, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    I agree with all the comments about WHY this story is even NEWS???

    CNN, if you need some ideas for news stories, all you have to do is read the New York Times!

    May 18, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Lost in Austin

    @ Richard B:

    That 'NSOB" you referenced is your President. An overwhelming majority of Americans voted for him. That's right. America has a black president and a black first lady with a beautiful first family.

    If you don't like it, move to Austria. (Head's up. They won't take you.)

    I've heard it a lot, now I'll say it! "America, love it or leave it !!!"

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

    Wow it is a good thing a white republican didn't make that comment. It would be on the front page of every paper and news web site until the elections in 2012.

    May 18, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    The joke was actually pretty funny...I love working outside too and as an Italian I can get a great tan goin but there is somethin funny about a him being as tan in December as he is in July. Im just sayin...

    May 18, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. SoCalGal

    Obama has nothing more than a toddler's mentality. He always wants to be in front of a camera, makes stupendously stupid comments, knows nothing of basic constitutional nor economic history or philosophy and thinks he is the center of the universe...just an everyman, certainly not presidential.

    May 18, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Dana

    The joke Mr President made is not that controversial. Maybe he want to make certain kind of image of him being very connectable to people and media. By this video, people might get more interested in John Boehner and Mr. Obama. Rather making Boehner's and Obama;s relationship apart it seems it connected more. It is also see Boehner taking the joke and actually not making it controversial deal.

    May 18, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. rds

    @Richard B..the joke wasn't about his race it's about his obviously overly tanned appearance..and for the record the word is SNOB!

    May 18, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. rw

    so is it ok for me to make skin color JOKES now that the president does it? (i am caucasian)

    May 18, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. paul oregon

    whats wrong cnn dont you belive in freedom of speech?

    May 18, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Casy

    Some ask whats the news, the news is that if a white person made a "innocent" joke as Obama did about a black person that many people and the media will be screaming racism and the protests will begin with Al Sharpton and the NAACP right in the forefront!!!!!

    The double standard is almost intoerable!

    May 18, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. C W

    It was a very funny joke, which most people appreciated, including Boehner.

    Next!

    May 18, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Ted Tartaglia

    Boehner himself said he would rather be heckled (referring to the joke) than be ignored. It he isn't upset, why is everyone making such a big deal about it. Get a life, people.

    May 18, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. harold

    John Boehner, the republican house minority leader... is he married?.. Surely he does not get under the sunlamp every evening to please his wife?...Its a deep Tan for sure.... No wonder Obama made a comment...... lets investigate why JOHN is trying to win somebodies heart or someone out there?

    May 18, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. mary smithy

    Obama is a racist.

    May 18, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Zion

    When Pres. Obama was first asked about what type of dog he was going to get he replied, "A mutt just like him." I did not hear one protest from white voters. Why are (some) white voters now acting like victims? Geez.

    May 18, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Jack Fl

    Hey Richard B, to late now, you have already shown us your color! It's called bigot. Why do some folks insist on someone of 50*50 mixed race one side or the other?

    May 18, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. j

    Lets open this up and start at the TOP, not at the middle or bottom. Lets not forget where ( Pres. and V-P ) were and when this "torture" started and why. ---- Anyone with half of a brain can see this is all about deflection of blame. - If WE are holding ourselves to a higher standard as we say we are, lets clean up our house for EVERYONE to see. Lets look at the CIA`s records--- if you can believe them !!!

    May 18, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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