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. Merri Jo

    whatever – get over it – government has more important things to worry about

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

    agreed , it was classless and disrespectful,,,,,,,but what else would you expect from America hating libs

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Mike

    Give us a break. The Republicans are constantly making negative and otherwise offensive remarks – directly and indirectly – about President Obama. So the Republicans don't like it when the shoe's on the other foot, and they want an apology? What was said about President Bush is mild compared to the general sentiment about one of the worst presidents we've ever had.

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

    Suprise Boehner. He isn't a politician. Making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill here.

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. danielatlanta

    If Bush isn't a dunce, then he is evil. Those are the only two choices that explain the way he mis-governed the nation for eight years. Or, perhaps he is both.

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Get A Grip

    What a creep you are 'Sir John' for taking that cheap shot.

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. scoot

    Apologize for speaking the truth? Typical republican't!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Greg

    Wow.. Way to be an idiot McCartney..

    June 4, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. sunny

    maybe you should use the library and read up marriage and physical abuse,
    shame on you,
    you should apologize ...

    June 4, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. JM

    I'm sure he'll offer one up right after Bush apologizes for trashing the Constitution.

    June 4, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. ron

    Bush was an embarrassment whose lack of leadership and cerebral fortitude led to the worst terrorist attack on US soil, the economic meltdown in 08 and quite possibly the beginning of the end of US dominance in the world.

    Boehner needs to go, he is a corrupt, evil man...

    June 4, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. jeff jackson, alabama

    I came up with at least eight times the U.S.
    came to Great Britain's rescue militarily and
    financially in the last 110 years. Six of those
    times a Republican was President.
    So, Paul, take your limey ass and go straight
    to hell by way of Great Britain.

    June 4, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Marilyn

    McCartney has no reason to apologize. He was merely speaking the truth. George Bush was and still is an embarrassment to this country.

    June 4, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Joel

    Really?! Really.

    Are Repubs so juvenile now that they cry like little babies over the fact that a Beatle made a joke about their beloved GW?!
    Well, grow up and grow a pair mothers.....George was a joke all on his own.

    Really.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Travis Grizzard

    get over yourself boehner. bush was an idiot hence why obama has to work so hard now to save our country. freedom of speech is what this country is based on. now why would you negate that freedom by asking him to take back the statement? if i were paul id give this comment NO REPLY :) even though that song has nothing to do with this situation.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Spunky Munkey

    This is worse than what the Beatles did in the Phillipines, in regards to the first family at that time. I look at it as perhaps a bad choice of words, misspoken, or perhaps Sir Paul still fits the persona of a rocker speaking his mind and not taking into account that discretion is the better part of valor in public opinions.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    This guy is such a tool! Thats what makes our FREE country great, FREEDOM OF SPEECH. But of course you calling our crurrent preisdent a socialist, liar and whatever else you can come up with is OK. Go back to your tanning booth please mr. boner.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Bruce

    Well, I've been a Beatles fan for decades, and don't think much Of GW Bush. However, it's fine for the family to critisize the family, but let no "outsider" dare to mess with us!
    Paul should not have said what he did. The fact that he is absolutely correct doesn't change this.
    Apologize Paul. John was a big enough man to apologize. Now it's your turn.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Stephen Hayes

    Senator Boener is upset? That means some truth was spoken in his vicinity...He hates that stuff! Anybody who defends bush is now included in one of the greatest political failures in American history. Welcome to the club Boener haed!

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. TeachersRock

    Bush did so much for literacy? Oh, right, like pass "No Child Left Behind," one of the biggest blunders in the history of public schools.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. BrianInMesa

    What??? Boehner wants an apology. That is really funny. I would like to see an apology from Boehner for all of (what I consider) the offensive things he has said about liberals and progressives. This guy has got to be the king of tools. Go get another spray tan have a few drinks and then ask for the apology while you fight back the fake tears.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Realist

    I suggest the following apology:

    I'm very sorry that former President Bush doesn't know what a library is."

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    I imagine if McCartney said something negative about Obama, he would have been run out of the US in mid sentence Stick to music Paul and leave the politicking to people who can actually vote here! I like your music (Wings in partuicular) but what you blurted was STUPID, CLASSLESS, and UNCALLED for! Cherrio!

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. rdepontb

    Boehner, now's not the time.

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. TCM

    McCartney is a burnt out hippie...who cares what he thinks? Of course he's going to slam Bush, he's an Obamkin, like the rest of the burnt out celebrity world....It would be great if Obama would stop wasting our money on crap like this

    June 4, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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