June 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Brown slips on 'Obama Beach'

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown misspoke during ceremonies for the 65th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach, France,Saturday.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown misspoke during ceremonies for the 65th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach, France,Saturday.

(CNN) – Even in a stirring, somber moment, the president’s last name can prove vexing to some.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown misspoke on stage during ceremonies for the 65th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach, France, Saturday.

Discussing U.S.–Great Britain cooperation during the invasion, Brown said, “Next to Obama Beach, we join President Obama in paying particular tribute to the spectacular bravery of American soldiers who gave their lives”.

He stumbled again on a second reference to Omaha Beach before saying it correctly.

There was no reaction on the face of President Obama during the slip as he sat next to Britain's Prince Charles.

For Brown, the visit to Normandy was an escape from political pressures at home, where his government is under fire and a number of Cabinet members resigned this week. In a move some thought may be an effort to help the embattled Brown, the White House said Friday that Obama had called Brown on the eve of the trip to discuss the world economy and his speech to the Muslim world.

The White House statement noted, “President Obama looks forward to seeing Prime Minister Brown in Normandy on Saturday where they will continue their conversation.”

But even the respite from domestic politics for Brown didn’t bring an end to his rough week.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    Understandable given Obama's demands for being treated as royalty at all times, ... no make that deity!

    June 6, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Jeanette

    Obama perhaps thinks the name should be changed from Omaha to Obama, same as changing war on terror was changed.

    June 6, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Flo

    Hey, is this story about Brown or Obama. Why is Obama haters turning t this into negativity about the president. Brown made an innocent slip. Think about it Omaha/Obama. Brown need some help back home and was probably thinking about asking for advice. Poor guy .............I wish bloggers wouldn't make a big deal out of this, he has enough problems back home.

    June 6, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. MPeter

    CNN has become an embarrassing joke of a news organization. It fails to report substantive news but always looks for some error on Obama and amplifies it. When Bush was sleepwalking through everything the last eight years, they cheered on, gushing like school girls. Today, CNN competes with fox and other loonies to tarnish a smart president. Grow up. There is no story here.

    June 6, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. John

    Look at all those Obama haters. Only 21% of Americans call themselves Republicans. The dumb part of the country. Still sour about the election?

    June 6, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Daniel Wilkes

    I'll declare and interest and say I'm British to start with... Let's be fair to Gordon Brown on this one, I think he gave a very good speech, better than Obama's in many respects- particularly as it sounded much more heartfelt, and much less like it was read from a teleprompter. (Don't call me an Obama-hater, I think the guy's amazing, but you have to admit he's not the best speech-maker in the world. Or indeed a Brown-lover, I think he has some rather glaring faults.)
    Had Brown not made this slip-up I doubt the American media would have reported any of his speech at all, as the Obama fixation seems to have wiped everybody else from history- even the BBC didn't include any of our own Prime Minister's speech, but illustrated the event at Coleville-sur-Mer with an extract of Obama!
    Obama himself made a couple of errors in his speech- he referred to the (British) Royal Air Force as the "Royal Air Corps" and committed that constant American error of calling us "England" and "Great Britain" when he really means "United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)"- something I find just a little bit unforgivable in a President, seeing as in diplomatic circles that's all my country is ever called!

    June 6, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Pro

    I am prepared for few early mishaps in the Universal Health care plan as my surgery resulting in Stroke cost ONLY 1.2 million $ in Cleveland in yr 2000. How many of us can afford such major mishaps? America get real.

    June 6, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Ex-RepublicanTX

    So WHAT..no one is perfect. I guarantee that other countries journalist is not making this a major article in their newspaper. CNN you can do better than this. There are alot of school who graduated excellent journalists this summer. Go hire some one who is willing to report important new. This is POOR.

    June 6, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Daniel Wilkes

    As a point of interest, the best speech of the event at Coleville was that of Nicholas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic. I don't like the man's politics, but it was a very passionate and beautiful speech, even when translated into English, somewhat unusually.

    June 6, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Deej

    Gordon Brown really is a loser, irrespective of your political beliefs. In the UK, there is a balanced media, so you don't have the same Right-left hysterical media gotcha debate/fears as in the US. Which means you don't have to be suspicious that it is some kind of right-wing political hit job to say that most of the public thinks that this Labour PM is crap. Sometimes stuff just happens and gets reported on – that is what happens when you have mandated fair and balanced coverage – even Murdoch's Sky News is normal unhysterical news. I don't think there would be much tolerance for these snake-oil soothsayers that Americans like to watch on their cable news in Britain.

    June 6, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Simmy

    This is funny......CNN ran to report this as if it's breaking news....PM Brown will get over it....It's the media that won't......I can't wait to hear hilarious Hannity's spin on this........Glenn Beck will be in tears as he tells his groupies how blasphemous PM Brown was to name a beach after the President.......FVP Cheney and daughter Liz will say the President is now putting the French and Brits at risk........Rush will say the Pres. promised Brown a post for saying his name.....Newt will say he should resign because he's too popular to run a country.....I say shame on CNN for looking for flaws in a perfectly beautiful ceremony.....It wouldn't hurt to leave the crumbs for someone else sometimes.....

    June 6, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. P. Y.

    Oh My God ! What the hell is wrong with some of you people ? You must have some terrible hangovers from something you are using, and, when ever you do, that makes it time for you to post on the blog. Something negative about Obama of course. Is this the only way you get your " jollies ".

    Gordon Brown had a slip of the tongue. It happens to EVERYONE at some time or another. Now, tell me, how does this become Obama's fault ?
    Idiots !

    June 6, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. BRANDON

    i feel you Brown, we love him too

    June 6, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Tom

    Not news. A simple slip of the tongue. CNN, try to have a sense of the occasion and what makes for a news story. Meanwhile, I'm off to MSNBC, Salon, and Talking Points Memo. Will you print this comment? I doubt it!

    June 6, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Les, Utah

    The idiots who even noticed and reported on it (including CNN and any other news(?) organizations) don't seem to have any conception of the meaning of D-Day and the extraordinary courage of the men who fought and so many died there, and how they changed history, probably for all time.
    Anyone with any understanding of this and without a deep sense of what the valor of those men and what they did to make their present-day reporting possible, and for those who chose to make any kind of political point out the simple slip of the tongue are clueless, brainless, and shameless.

    June 6, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. AJ

    What a pointless piece of news. Let us know when you have something worthwhile to report.

    June 6, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Billc

    Listen up Guys!
    Americans should be proud that we have a president who can represent us ANYWHERE in the world! President Obama is unique!

    We are Blessed....
    Let's join our presidend as Americans and make our world better.
    Stop bickering over CNN's childwood News reporting.

    I take that back.. listen/watch to GPS with Fareed Zakaria. He is the brains of CNN.

    Go Obama... God Bless You!

    June 6, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. james

    since veterans named radical terrorist by obama adminstration army recruiters shot down one dead because obama told FBI to stop investagating radical muslims and disabled veteran harrased about military stickers on vehicle us veterans declared war on

    June 6, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. usualone

    I wish someone would tell me if he/she has never misspoken. I doubt any of us are "perfect" in that or any other department.

    June 6, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Kilian Okanwikpo

    The bravery by american soldiers on Omaha Beach was remarkable; the bravery by americans in electing Obama president is remarkable. Perhaps that was what Brown really meant to say.

    June 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Sacchetti

    President Obama is definitely unique. . . . .

    June 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. usnuzuluze

    Obama thinks everything ought to be named after him, hell he probably told Gordon Brown to say it then say oppppps. Obama wants the world to worship him. Down with Obama.

    June 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. skyhawkdriver

    It's easy to see why his last name is brown..check out the end of his nose..if obumbler ever stopped short all you would see is browns toes sticking out..of course that goes for biden..pelosi..reid..kennedy..kerry..the list goes on and on

    June 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Ray

    Just a miss-statement, but don't you know that those idiots over at Fox news and all the Republican pundits will have a field day with it! The "chosen one" or the "usurper" has had the beach renamed after him!!! LOL

    June 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. james

    just tink the gulf war that saddam started never came to end even to this day people need to get story straight , read the veterans benefits book bush did not start war.

    June 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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