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. F-Dog

    It was a self tanning joke. Boehner took the joke well and deserves some props for that. Obama delivered it pretty well (he was laughing while telling the punch line) and deserves some props for that. Boehner's orange tan is pretty bad. Remember, it was a joke – or people just looking for any excuse to fight?

    May 18, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. RJ in NYC

    Tunstall said:

    "Why do I feel that the majority of whites just loves to say that Obama is half white?"

    Why is it, he is refered to as black when he is bi-racial/mixed?

    to me it seem like certain individuals are trying to 'discount' part of his backround while selectively pointing attention toward the other.

    May 18, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Dale


    Huckabee is from Arkansas–not Kansas. Get your facts right

    May 18, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Becky

    "Maybe you just don’t like the cool-aid remark because you been drinking at that same trough for years!"


    May 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. No More Incumbents

    This matters?

    May 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Greg Rodgers


    Boehner would "Rather be heckled than ignored"...

    Get out of the GOP then!...

    Its being heckled and ignored!!

    Funny stuff!

    May 18, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Gop

    The news is whites could care less if Obama is half white or not. The problem with Obama is not the fact he is bi-racial but he is a full blooded Socialist!

    Maybe whites get tired of listening to people of color keep calling him black! And these same people that call him black only like him for the color of his skin.

    Obama is a man with delusions of grandeur and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin.

    May 18, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Kevin B

    RJ in NYC,

    Note the: "Barack the magic negro" flap from RNC chair last fall, also the "he is a muslim" rumor refuted by Mccain, oh, and do not forget the famous the "he is palling around with terrorist" remark to name a few.

    If these untruths can flow so freely off of republican lips in the open, what makes you think worse isnt said in private?

    May 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. deb

    Joann, et al,

    Get a grip!! Where is your sense of humor?! President Obama was referring to his "unnatural" tan from tanning beds or that awful orange lotion people use for a fake tan. Geez, the bloggers here are unbelieveable!

    May 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Gop

    Thanks Becky you make my point! Now go back and drink from your trough some more!

    May 18, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. JML

    K, so what is the problem. It's true he's from Ohio and who else in the State of Ohio that is "tanned" in the dead of winter? No one just this person.

    May 18, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. lovable liberal

    Boehner to Obama: Apologize to all bronzer-Americans!

    (Yes, I'm joking.)

    May 18, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. harold

    Last Republican to have a TAN like that was the Senator from... Idaho.. if I am not mistaken.... John I would head south on that score... and turn to your natural color.. You look good enough white... just as you are......Get rid of the Tan....of course its a free country.. By the way John what do the un-insured people in your district think about you opposing health care for everyone?

    May 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Becky

    "Thanks Becky you make my point! Now go back and drink from your trough some more!"

    so lame

    May 18, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. senior

    at least mr. boehner can tan. bambi must burn and get darker

    May 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. PiddlyD

    As a registered Republican who finds a lot to disagree with Obama about in policy, I've got to say this story brought a smile to my face. Bringing a little bit of fun and humor to politics can't be a bad thing for the nation.

    I'm also a white guy who occasionally has a tan and lives in Ohio. The same people who are trying to play the race card on this are likely the ones who like to complain when Sharpton and Jackson play the race card on other issues.

    If you want to make someone change their behavior, role-model the behavior that you think they should follow.

    May 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. true daughter of the american revolution

    i think boehner needs to spend a little more time INDOORS working on the problems of our country rather than – tanning? give me a break.
    what the heck is that all about? his TAN is important to him? we ALL notice how unnatural it looks. does he realize how funny he looks?

    May 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. JAC

    maybe we are finally getting away from all this PC cr*p. No one can take a joke anymore.

    May 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    Its funny that CNN gives morons like Mississippi Mike and phoenix 86 a " free pass " to spout off idiotic comments repeatedly yet will censor and block EVERY comment I try to post! I smell a DOUBLE STANDARD here!

    May 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Sean in DC

    Obama has a Boehner.

    May 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. sharon, newport news, virginia

    CNN – you just like to stir things up so you can fill your 24/7 news. If he doesn't care, why should you or us????Didn't this happen more than a week ago??? Wow is this responsible journalism????

    May 18, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Back in the not too long ago days, if someone who looked like our President even dared to look at a White woman he'd be in deep doo-doo, if not swinging form a tree. So for all intent and purposes: our President at first glance will be seen as a Black man. Having said that.... does it really matter? Sure, historically the fact that this mixed race person has obtained (legitimately) the highest office in the land says a hell of a lot as to how far we've come; but a lot of the blogs on this subject say a lot more about how far we've yet to go when we continue to judge a man's performance based on the color of his skin not his abilities. Oh well....

    May 18, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. jt

    So much used to of Bush's humor which is often so stupid and stubborn, bad habbits die hard....

    May 18, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. harold

    A former senator from Idaho... used to go for Tans a lot... for the social life I guess....What a group ..and republicans.. you would think they would shake it off and go for the REAL agenda.. that is to help the American people.. for instance... WHY not enact a PRO-LIFE national health care program?........ JOHN... you won't be stripped of your tan.. We promise....Nor ANYTHING else you have a talent for?.

    May 18, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Jimmy

    That person of color joke reminds me of Seinfeld thinking his dentist became a Jew just to tell Jewish jokes. Lots of Obama stuff on I found some more of his jokes there.

    May 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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