June 4th, 2010
01:24 PM ET
5 years ago

Boehner wants apology from McCartney

President Obama on Wednesday awarded Paul McCartney the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song - a lifetime achievement award given by the Library of Congress.
President Obama on Wednesday awarded Paul McCartney the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song – a lifetime achievement award given by the Library of Congress.

(CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner is demanding an apology from music legend Paul McCartney after the Beatle took a slap at President Bush during a recent White House ceremony.

President Obama on Wednesday awarded McCartney the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song – a lifetime achievement award given by the Library of Congress. Upon receiving the award, McCartney deadpanned, "After the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is."

The comments generated laughter and cheers from the audience in the East Room, but Boehner said the remark showed a "lack of grace and respect."

"Like millions of other Americans, I have always had a good impression of Paul McCartney and thought of him as a classy guy, but I was surprised and disappointed by the lack of grace and respect he displayed at the White House," the Ohio Republican said in a statement provided to CNN. "I hope he'll apologize to the American people for his conduct which demeaned him, the White House and President Obama."

Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith added the comments were "particularly offensive" because "the [former] president and first lady (who is actually a librarian) did so much for literacy."

McCartney's comments came at the end of the ceremony and Obama did not reference them.

Presenting the award, Obama said it was given "on behalf of a grateful nation, grateful that a young Englishman shared his dreams with us."


Filed under: John Boehner • Paul McCartney • Popular Posts
soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Yahoo

    Did he demand an apology from the Dixie Chicks?

    June 4, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Margaret

    I agree with Paul McCartney. Laura Bush of course is very acquainted with books and libraries, but, G.W.? Not so much.

    In fact, the word on the street is that his presidential library is already known by many as a 'liebrary'.

    Just calling it like it is folks!

    June 4, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Anna Maria

    Do you all remember the last pres. with the upside down BOOK duh

    June 4, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. RW Crum

    Boehner's spray-on tan is offensive but you don't see people asking him to apologize for it.

    Boehner needs to get over it. Why should McCartney apologize? It's his opinion, shared by many, and he's entitled to it. Quit grandstanding.

    June 4, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Dylan from Pennsylvania

    It was certainly offensive. Then again, so were the previous eight years. My question is which instance was more offensive?

    June 4, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. jst saying

    Paul McCartney should have his say and the republican party should start electing intelligent, educated politicians if they don't like it. Heads up, Boehner.....Sarah Palin will create more of the same.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. outlier

    Hey, B-ooo-ner. You loser, did you get beat up a lot as a kid? What kind of stupid name is Boehner? If you take Viagra do you actually get taller?

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Jim in Bisbee

    Did Bush have his own library? He couldn't discuss books he claimed to read. Literarily, he was an empty suit. Does Sir Paul have to apologize for telling the truth?

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Markus

    Boehner has no room to talk about grace and class. He's at the bottom of the barrel on both counts.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Brook

    What universe is Boehner from? He should go back to it. Does he know ANYTHING about the Beatles? Paul was quite restrained... Boehner should be happy Paul didn't say what he REALLY thinks!

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Nellie Bly

    I, too, would like an apology when it comes to President GW Bush, but not in the same manner as orange Boehner.

    An aside, lighten up, Boehner (no pun intended) – it was funny.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Paul Rocks

    McCartney was absolutely right, and everyone know it. Boehner (Mr. Orange Man) needs to shut his hate spewing, propaganda brewing, useless mouth.

    I love McCartney that much more!! Bush is critically dumb. He could drop dead from being dumb.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Michigan Patriot

    Of course he should apologize.... He cann't come here and make a comment like that, especially about our former president. Like Mr. Boehner said, its a lack of respect and grace. I thought McCartney was a gentleman, but I was mistaken.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. jrr1948

    Laura may have been to a library or two – but the likelihood is GWB never saw the inside of one!

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. L Neely

    How dare Paul McCartney disrespect our former president. George Bush has more class in his little finger than both Obama and McCartney. I will never listen to McCartney again. He has just ripped his popularity here in TEXAS.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. aatami

    Okay Boehner (if that is in fact your real name), back to work. Try and do something meaningful. We have a gulf full of oil and two wars. You should probably realize that the world and most Americans view the 8 years of the Bush presidency as comical at best and criminal at worst. If the worst thing to happen is a reference to Bush's intellectual challenges then consider it a good day for you and the rest of your out of touch cronies.

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. TP

    Boehner and his fellow repubs owe the country an apology. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

    June 4, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Carol

    Oh Please! Paul is British, and that's just the way they joke. We have more important things to worry about!

    June 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. keiththeklam

    Boner thinks he's awfully important, doesn't he?

    June 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. JR

    No apology is necessary, the man is absolutely correct! The previous eight years leadership turned our country into the laughing-stock of the world. It will take a lot of good people a lot of years to rebuild our reputation, but at least now we're trying.

    June 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. coach

    Hey Boehner ... get over your self and your self-righteous act.

    June 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. Lisa

    I'm sure Paul McCartney really gives a rats a__ what John Boehner thinks of his comment. I would say that 75% of the country would agree with his comment. I thought it was quite funny but must have hit a nerve with Mr. Boehner. He wants respect for a past President who left our Country in the biggest mess we have ever been in ever???? Who tortured, lied to The American people about Iraq, started two wars that he never paid for and a prescription drug plan he never paid for eigther, that's just a few things. Mr. Boehner didn't demand respect for our current leader when he was giving his State of the Union and one of Mr. Boehners fellow republicans called our President a "liar" and that speech was being aired all over the world. made our congress and house look just GREAT!!! What a blow hard Mr. Boehner is, sometimes you have to learn to laugh things off. I would be very dissapointed if McCartney apologizes it was a good joke!!!! Grow up Boehner

    June 4, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Joe

    Next time, Boehner, do what the hypocrites in the Bible do. Rip your clothes and scream "He blasphemes!!!"

    June 4, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. kenz01d

    It was a joke, John. Just like the Bush presidency.

    June 4, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Preston

    Sir Paul, in preparing his remarks, had probably forgotten about "My Pet Goat". Once again, Mr. Bush was misunderestimated.

    After all the vile things Mr. Boehner has had to say about the current President, it is amusing that he is complaining about anybody's "lack of grace and respect" toward our previous one.

    June 4, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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