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. Terry

    joann wrote: "... being an Italian-American, who easily tans when outdoors, I'm deeply offended by your remark about a color you suggest is not from the natural world! My color is just as natural as yours is!!! "

    Personally, I am deeply offended by people who are deeply offended. Those who choose to be offended so often have chosen for themselves the role of censor-in-chier and thought-policeman. In their opinion, it is our duty to figure out what might offend their delicate nerves and tiptoe around those topics.

    Being "offended" is a choice. You could choose not to be offended just as easily.

    May 18, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Judy

    The joke was funny. The way the President told it was even funnier.

    May 18, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Kin

    John B. – if you can see a person then you see color... bright white or tan white it is color... keep your sense of humor... cuz...

    May 18, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Angela

    As usual a double standard. If whites are called out about racist jokes then so should a black man or mixed or whatever the heck Obama is. All this is is reverse racisim at its finest. And by the president. How sad and sick!

    May 18, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. mw

    The bonhner is such a pretty boy. He would be NOTHING without his tanning bed.

    May 18, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. KLK

    oompa loompa

    May 18, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Mario

    If Bush would have said something like that, the AFLCIO would scream to have his head, blacks like Jesse Jackson or that fat slob Al Sharpton would be calling for a revolution against the white man, but nothing was said or taken out of contexted. It is a double edged sword the libs like to play...typical morons.

    May 18, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Seattle Girl

    I don't know anyone who maintains a tan like his by just walking outside and playing golf...especially in the middle of winter (he sports the perpetual tan!!) . Boehner should spend less time in the tanning bed and more time adding constructive idea's to help get us out of the mess left by his friend G.W. Bush!!!

    May 18, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Renee

    Obama was using "natural color" as in the man is tanned, and tanning via the sun isn't natural...Just like George Hamilton is a man of color and his tan isn't natural...not sure why people don't get it...he was not offensive in any way. The haters just want to find anything to complain about and slam when it comes to Obama.

    May 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Kin

    Terru – where did you go to school... Simple math says the Son of an African Black Father plus a American White Mother equals a True real true Afro-American 1st generation man.

    I am an Afro-American man, but 6th generation and that makes me not truly equal. Simple math...

    Mr. Obama is true in every math or scientific solution...

    Wake up and check your mouth...

    May 18, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Jadie

    Boehner is just about as cute as Huckabee. They think they are still the "darlings" of the Republican party. Idiots.

    May 18, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Why SO bitter, Dems?

    dominican mama 4 Obama....

    I can only assume you voted for Obama since it's how you identify yourself on this stie. If you didn't vote for Obama because of his skin color (which I agree, no one should), please tell me what list of "abilities" (that Obama has) did you vote for? I'm still trying to get an answer for that from ANYONE?

    May 18, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. donttreadonme

    It is time to stop identifying ourselves as a color and start identifying ourselves as citizens of the US. I do see the irony here that this is "ok" coming from the left -but lighten up our color doesn’t make us who we are! Support a true color blind society.

    May 18, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. sickofthelibs

    Sure it's a joke if a democrat says it, but if a republican said the same thing, they'd be called racist. You gotta love the democrat double standard

    May 18, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Troy

    Being the "perfect Republican", I'm surprised Boehner isn't demanding an apology!

    May 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. John Garrett

    The same joke would be a white guy saying that a light skinned black man had something in common with him because they were both white. It would have no racial connotation whatsoever just like this joke had no racial connotation whatsoever. To say otherwise demonstrates a lack of common sense, and more importantly a lack of a sense of humor.

    May 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Bev - NYC

    So much for moderation CNN, how did you let Richhard B's comment at 10:54 slip through?

    May 18, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Ms. Dee, Texas


    You sure have posted a lot on this particular topic . . . all negative against our President. Get a life. No one cares what you think, like or dislike about President Obama.

    Your party is OVER . . . . stick a fork in yourself . . "YOU ARE DONE!

    May 18, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Joan , Ontario

    The Canadian Cancer Society strongly suggests that we wear sunscreen when out in the sun for any period of time. Don't they suggest that in the US too?

    May 18, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Pragmatic

    Good thing the Senator has great health care ... he's going to need it when skin cancer sets in ... wish he had spent more time on the alternative GOP budget (19 pages – no budget numbers or details) and less in the tanning booth.

    May 18, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Barbara

    Would Boehner really have us believe he gets his color outdoors?

    May 18, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. mike

    WOW what a double standard this is.
    Just hilarious
    If John Boehner had said that about Dictator Obama OMG
    this would be a different blog

    May 18, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. a little bit of work for the people, senator?

    or your lifestyle is not for negotiation?

    May 18, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. WhoCares?

    I see we have the Repugs and their fake outrage all up in a tizzy today.

    May 18, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. S.S., MD

    There's other important issues CNN should be reporting on, instead of what a person have stated on another faux skin color.

    May 18, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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