May 18th, 2009
12:07 PM ET
4 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. walleye

    Bohner was a heads up guy by taking this at face value as just a joke. I would add however that there are jokes that only blacks can tell, and this was one of them. I think it may be offensive to some narrow minds if a white person had told it.

    May 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Karen S Crow

    Rep. Boehner .. I have 4 words for you .... Sun block & skin cancer. Use one .. avoid the other.

    And THAT is your PSA of the day!

    May 18, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. harold

    Boehner says the GOP will go out to the people and listen to what is on theri minds.... Well John Boehner....YOU oppose having national health care for everyone.. are you sure you want to LISTEN... to all those people talk to you about health care.. and ask YOU why you do not want the 50 MIllion to have health care.?.... How would you like to be stripped of your government health care?.. And sit home if sick,, no waiting line there is there John?....You spend to much time on a tan and not enough on health care, John.. do you care?

    May 18, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. big papa

    ...Only racists see racism in the President's joke...

    ...why don't you minority hating confederates give it a rest...

    ...You know what you are, so do your family members, your neighbors, and co-workers...

    ...so stop with the faux indignation at the President's poking fun at Boehner...

    ...who is NOT a "naturally" tanned person...

    May 18, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. nikki

    The joke was not racist! Obama is 50% white , it would be crazy to be racist against your own race.The joke was funny.

    May 18, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. harold

    AN un-natural TAn should be something on the news to lighten things up... are you lightened up ? Or thightened up?

    May 18, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Dave C - NJ

    It's perfectly permissible to make fun of a FAKE tan, which is the point of the joke, kids.

    May 18, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    So cute to watch people behave as if they have a "gotcha" point to make here. Sorry fellow caucasians, we've got no toehold for claiming racism on this one. All you're doing is furthering the case for how stupid GOPers truly are.

    May 18, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. WhoCares?

    "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! "

    You, and the others of your ilk getting your news from Hannity, show once again you have ZERO idea of what a true Socialist is.

    Oh BTW – Make sure the next time your house gets broken into or is on fire that you don't call those SOCIALIST organizations called the POLICE and FIREMEN.

    May 18, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. shs

    Boehner generally comes across as a grouch and a fool but lets just give him credit for being a good sport here and let it go at that. I didn't think he had it in him to make light of being made fun of, so I give credit where credit is due. But don't make any more of it than that; certainly it was not an improper joke on Obama's part.

    May 18, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Bubba

    You don't turn that dull orange color from 'being outside.' I think he's a case for Dr House. Beta-carotene is obviously entering his system though faulty kidneys or a bad liver and being deposited on the surface of his skin.

    May 18, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. carlo

    I would like to know why is everyone so upset when Boehner's tan is something he does ON PURPOSE. I've had my tan all my life and its never done a thing to help me get ahead, but maybe it different when the tan can fade. Anywho, Boehner is totally vain. Anyone can see that. He keeps a tan 24/7, his hair shalacked in place, those clothes.

    Boehner is in love with himself and he can't understand why others don't feel the same.

    May 18, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Sandy

    That congressman looks more orange than tan.

    May 18, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. carolyn payne

    Even though president obama is the first african american president I wonder how he feels that his caucasian side is ignored. He was raised in a white environment and yet we seem to ignore the ones that developed such a awesome person. His mother and grandparents deserve to be acknowledged also when it comes to race actually he is both black and white.

    May 18, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Gonzo in Houston

    Obama made a joke, Boehner took it as a joke, and both men came away looking reasonable and rational. There's a lesson in here somewhere,,,

    May 18, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Peter (CA)

    How is a racist joke? Do you know any other orange people in the world? Obama was sarcastically making light of racist jokes. But I guess the president's humor goes over everyone's head.

    I see the usual cast of right wing whiners are on here helping John King make something out of nothing.

    Get over it people. To his credit, Boehner did and that is one of the first positive things I have yet to see him do.

    May 18, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Bubby in Va

    Pelosi may not remember what happened during a meeting seven years ago where she couldn't take notes or speak to anyone about it’s content.

    What about all the illegal crap of the last eight years by the Bush/Cheney administration that purposefully terrorized our nation with lies and exaggerations to keep us fearful of ourselves and the world?
    And Obama makes a cute joke about Boner’s over use of a tanning bed and the citizen Repugs are outraged?
    What a joke they continue to be.

    May 18, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    By the way, whiners, it was the WH Correspondent's Dinner. Jokes tend to be a little more out there at that event. Sort of like last fall's Al Smith Dinner when McCain and Obama both told jokes about each other.

    And they were both pretty funny.

    May 18, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. GOP, you picked the wrong guy..and gal!

    Props to John Boehner, I think he just took it in jest. So not a news story.

    May 18, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Glen

    I am surprised we haven't had Sharpton and what is his name writhing in agony and beating their breasts that someone was talking about black (?) skin and trying to be Afro-American without their permission. I just know that there is in this, somewhere a racist , I can just smell it

    May 18, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Brandon

    This was a joke about TANNING, you morons. Not race.

    May 18, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Bea from Texas

    really pushing CNN aren't you?

    May 18, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Harry

    "I'd rather be heckled than ignored".

    Sorry John. 80% of the country doesn't even know who you are.

    May 18, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    Boehner, (pronounced in its native nazi deutch -> Boner), looks like a greased up used car salesman. He even talks like one.
    A heck, he is one.

    PS did you know this creep, Boehner, passed out tobacco lobbyist checks worth $10,000 on the congress floor?! (you dirty nasty greedy Republican politicians, you are all filthy)

    May 18, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Cynthia in Michigan

    Isn't it time to get a new tie John?

    May 18, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9