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. John Lennonrific

    You say anything against Bush on CNN and they delete it.

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

    Strange...wanting an apology for an astute and correct observation from Sir Paul.

    June 4, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Tom Jacobus

    Very sad! Visitors from other countries should stick to the politics of their own country and in Sir Paul's case, stick to entertaining. It is what he has done best. He may have been given knighthood in the old world but over here in the colonies, he ain't squat.

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

    I think Sir Paul said it like it is . The republicans can sit on it. They can take their drunken leader and pound sand where the sun don't shine

    June 4, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Christopher

    Boehner should worry more about controlling members of his own party calling the president a "raghead" than what foreigners have to say.

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. JIM El Paso Tx

    If anybody would know about lack of grace or respect and comments being offensive it sure as hell would be that hack Boehner and the Right -wing NUTS!

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. felicia

    Well it's true, for the last eight years the last administratio tore this country clean up. And these are the end results due to iresponsibility.

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Dan

    Boehner said "I hope he'll apologize". Hardly sounds like a "demand" to me. CNN sensationalize much ? And, like most entertainers, Paul McCartney would do well to keep his political opinions to himself. Our former president is far more literate than Sir Paul will ever be.

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. glarn skleebleman

    Paul, you don't have to apologize to me. I agree with what you said.

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. RCasson

    Shut up Boner. All he did was tell the truth and you racist idiots can't stand it.

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Mike

    Amusing, Boehner is upset over McCartney's remark but never denied the truth of it.

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. John Wilson, Racine, WI

    The first lady, who was a librarian, certainly didn't help King George any with his speaking or command of our language...

    As for Mr. Boehner, well what would one expect from an ORANGE colored Republican, who has done absolutely NOTHING for the good people in the great state of OHIO!

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. barryg

    Boehner needs to go back to the tanning salon and get a life!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. black gold

    if it ain't "ol stone in your shoe" boehener. upset about what has turned out to be the truth. lets be honest ; all you had to do was watch the SNL skits. the president then bush was fodder of many jokes as w/ all presidents...... mr. tea party ......... so now can you repeat after me. DO YA'LL MISS ME YET? -– ALA-- GW BUSH. AND THE ANAWER IS HELL NO.question; what ties do the bushes , saudi arabi, marylin matlin, j, carville , [and their consulting firm] ............... dick cheney's [halliburton] , have to BP . don't worry good ol HUFF-POST will find out.

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Tom in Millstadt

    Jeez, Boehner. Go Cheney yourself.

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. TMB

    I agree that an apology is in order. That was neither the time nr the place to make such a comment. It would be all over the European newspapers if an American entertainer made such a comment about one of their leaders in the presidential or prime minister's home. Shame on Sir Paul. His songs are not now, nor will they ever be on my IPod!

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Mark LeBonner

    I have never respect the Beatles espcially John Lennon, Yoko and Paul. I find them repulsive people and do not understand why people find them a legend!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. RBNH

    If John Boehner is defending GW Bush, then HE needs to be slapped!

    You tell 'em Paul!!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Ken R

    Who is Boehner to speak?

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Sarah

    Yea, there's definitely a time and a place, and this wasn't it. The very fact that Mrs. Bush is a librarian, took on the daunting task of teaching children to read from a very young age, and both of them doing so much to stem the growth of illiteracy in children makes his joke not only classless but tasteless as well. McCartney should stick to what he knows; music.

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Lisa DeSanti

    WHAT? You mean PM can't say the truth? It is what most of us think about GWB. I know the truth hurts! AWWW tooo bad...waaaa!

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. RDKirk

    Actually, a few years ago Mrs Bush herself joked, "Marrying George must have been destiny, considering that I was a librarian and we still managed to meet each other."

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. tommy

    WHAT? Who does he think he works for?
    He's a artist not a politian trying to get votes!

    June 4, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Good for McCartney. When Bush was elected i thought Ms Bush would help education. One bright light. Instead the situation got worse and a lot of money wasted.

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Donnatella

    Boehner needs to take his cooked and baked self back to where he came from. Who really cares what McCartney said about Bush, it was the truth.

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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