May 18th, 2009
12:07 PM ET
8 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. Al

    CNN is the new FOX, didn't you hear?

    May 18, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Nan

    Oh yea, about Obama's joke...Rep/ Boehner evidently knows how to take a joke. Why in the world do you altake it to another limit. Take to man at his word. Let him laugh, even if you all do not think it is funny. DO THE RIGHT THING EVERY ONCE AND AWHILE....LET IT GO!!!!!!!

    May 18, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Bob

    At least he can get rid of his tan. Blacks are always black!!!!!

    May 18, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. harold

    My feeling is there has to be an underlying story about Boehner..... why use the sunlight light every night?.. He dresses pretty everything exactly in place..... may need a flower in his lapel.... does he hit the night life scene in D.C ?......... somethings happening right before our eyes... What a puzzle?..What movie actor has the same kind of Tan?

    May 18, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. B. Aidara

    I like how he addressed this incident. He responded with class and optimism, unlike many of his other Republican comrades. He made his party look good and I related to him. I'll pay attention to him more often, now.

    May 18, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Rumsfeld

    Beohner is a child. Negative attention is better than no attention at all.

    May 18, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. jim-in-PA

    Amazing... politicians who can kid each other... LOL

    Once I realized they enjoy ribbing each other, I started laughing.

    Bravo to both....

    May 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Biff Biffington


    Look at all of the.. "if a white man made a joke on color" comments...

    It thought it was the BLACKS who were supposed to be the hyper-sensitive ones.. guess when the shoe is on the other foot things are 'different'. huh...

    what happened to all of the 'lighten up, its a joke' comments?

    man... it was a 'tan' joke. and yes... the man does match the color of wood panelling. so what. it was funny!

    May 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Big Al

    The color of one's skin is not a joking matter.

    May 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Truth Be Told

    SoCalGal May 18th, 2009 11:23 am ET

    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.

    oh, you're so funny! then again, what do we expect from the likes of you. LOL

    May 18, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. carlo

    CNN, why are you trying to create controversy? It was a comedic moment, and no one thought of it after that day. You guys are so desparate for news you recycle crap. You make me sick.

    May 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. The People Rule

    I thought the remark referred to Boehner's behavior, as in colorful character? I do not think Preside Obama is stupid enough to to throw out anything about race considering he's half white himself. At least that's the way I took it. Hmmmm.....whatevs. I never noticed dude had a tan. All I see is the negativity that comes out of his mouth everytime he opens it.

    May 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Andres

    He looks like a freak, REALLY!!!

    May 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Really?

    Excuse me John, but that is not a nature tan honey. You are definately going under the lamp on a regular basis.

    May 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Frozone

    Mr. Boehner, I don't think that color comes from being outside. Tanning salons don't count as time in the sun.

    May 18, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. TH

    OMG – why does the media have to blow everything up into a huge controversy?? Obama made a joke. Boehner laughed it off. Get over it. There is no story here; if anything, it's an amusing anecdote.

    May 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Brian

    It was a joke about a tan not his natural skin pigmentation. There were plenty of jokes about Michael Jackson's reverse tan.

    Since when have republicans become so racially sensitive?

    May 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |

    President Obama's intelligence is above all you all haters/dolts pay grade. Get a life.

    Get with the program and realize that NOW you have a former Constitutional Law Attorney and Professor for a president and not a bumbling man who was better suited to owning the Texas Rangers.

    May 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Fred NH

    Why are some white folks SO sensitive?
    Get over it.
    We have a bi-racial President.
    Can you handle that?
    I think NOT!

    May 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. David

    This was already on the tickler two days ago. Now they are recycling it to make it news. wow cnn

    May 18, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Yeah, I enjoy being outside".

    You're lying again if you're trying to make any reasonable person believe that the sun will tan you ORANGE!. And see, that's part of the problem: when you lie about the stupid little things, like how you really get your tan, then we have difficulty believing that you won't lie about matters of importance!
    And please, PLEASE stop trying to tell our President that he's learning how hard it is to govern. You can't even govern your own Party, you don't have the mental aptitude of our President, nor the intestinal fortitude to reverse yourself if advisors say you're on the wrong course. It takes a ture leader to admit he's made a mistake and to seek to correct it, and you Mr. Bonehead are no true leader. So shut the he## up!

    May 18, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Gop

    I get a kick out of some liberals here. No matter what response a Republican gives to whatever Obama says they just cannot help but put the Republican down.

    Moreover, if we have a Republican that disagrees with the GOP party then these liberals say, that Republican is so much better then the rest and yet they may have been putting him down for years.

    You Democrat Liberals have been drinking the cool-aid for so long your brains have turned to mush. You lack all intelligent thought and reason.

    You spew hate and contempt for any one that does not agree with your warped sense of thought.

    May 18, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Rick

    Boehner has to be a tanning booth junkie. I live in Ohio and the only time of year we can get a tan like that is in July and August. He says he likes to work outside as the reason for his tan. Does he think we are all stupid? Have a sense of humor y'all. President Obama does!

    May 18, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Jayson

    The President took a jab at Boehner's tan, not his natural skin color. It was no more "racist" than the jabbing that actor George Hamilton who also is perpetually and unnaturally tanned has endured for years.

    Get a grip people. Then get pretend-outraged over something a little less trivial.

    May 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. harold

    John with his attire and his un-natural tan would make a big hit on the Washington D. c. night scene...... Go for it John... the republican party needs something that is pretty and are its shining beacon... now what about the 50 million USA people without Health Care....John.. that you ignore..!. AND the republican party plays like they do NOT even exist?

    May 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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