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. Naqib

    Not a bright statement really....

    The Laura Bush Foundation has raised millions and helped build thousands of facilities nation wide...
    Maybe the leading foundation for library's...

    Of course the current family is doing a lot of things like that... Can't name any but sure they are... holding partys for rock stars... etc... cause it's not like anything important is going on right now... unless you think maybe that little leak in gulf, unemployment, economy, mass spending, nukes in Iran, North Korean aggression,,, these really are just pesky little things...

    June 4, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. dee dennis

    basically, we're dealing with an entertainer from a foreign country and no one can forget some of the classless things that he has done in the past, but evidently thinks he is in a loftier position now

    June 4, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    ha ha ha hah

    This from the man that is constantly bashing the CURRENT President.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (what a jerk)

    June 4, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. alan

    Paul made a great Beatle, no kidding, on that we all agree. Tragically, Sir Paul borders on being a moron on political issues, savoir faire, grace and dignity, picking a decent second wife, and showing respect for half of this nation's political base.

    In the end, he comes off as an insensitive, ill-educated ignoramus. And to match his indiscriminate dopiness, let me add the obvious: He wouldn't know a library if he fell over a pile of books and was helped to his feet by Laura Bush, who graciously guided to the children's section for some serious remedial reading. He needs it quite desperately. It's pretty sad.

    June 4, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Lulu

    His remarks were less than stupid. Sounded like a smitten youngster with her movie star idol.

    June 4, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. fred

    I would agree, the comment was out of line and I was surprised. Being a life long fan of Paul and the Beatles I would say Iam disapointed. On the other hand nobody from Great Britan should be poping any wise cracks at this paticular time. Paul you need to apoligize.

    June 4, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Where were you Congressman when Joe Wilson called President Obama a liar! Did you release a statement to the press on how appalled you were on his disgraceful actions. Put up or shut up and be offended on all issues, not just ones that don't support your party.

    June 4, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. frank

    Just what americans need, another slap in the face from some brain dead ,has been, arrogant Brit.They're coming at us from the gulf of mexico and now the white house and i can't help but notice that our leader obama is always hanging with the Brits. Hey prez, we are your countrymen and women not BP and Mcartney. P.S. Paul, I dumped all of your music from my collection, Michelle was the first to go.

    June 4, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. GOP is bad for America

    Boehner and his ilk say worse things about President Obama and his family every day. I think his outrage at McCartney's comment is nothing but hypocrisy.

    June 4, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. JohnCup

    What a waste of time by John B. Just trying to score a few points...

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    This may be my favorite post to date! I love you Paul :)

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. dick delson

    George Bush is the dumbest President in my lifetime. If he wanted to do something about literacy, how about learning how to speak. And to this day, I still do not know what a NucUlar device is.

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Tony

    Puh-leeze! Boehner's skin is getting as thin as it is orange.

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Jim

    Boehner wouldn't know class and respect if it slapped him in the face. He should look to his own behavior before expecting more of others.

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Patti

    I agree....what an offensive remark. I was thinking of buying tickets to McCartney's upcoming concert in Nashville, but not any more....I'll keep my hard-earned money, especially in these turbulent times.

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. John (Phoenix, AZ)

    First, It was a joke. Has Boehner had his sense of humour removed?

    Secondly, it IS how many people all around the globe felt about President Bush. That the end of his Presidency, and the Obama Administration, have about a fresh, new spirt of America which is being greeted happily and with relief all across the world.

    Finally, it was Mrs. Bush who did great things for childrens' literacy, not President Bush. President Bush will be best remembered for his butchering of the English language, at every opportunity.

    Maybe Boeher can take his latest example of "fake outrage" on tour with Palin and the Tea Baggers?

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. maluz

    yeah, this is not proper for an englishman to say. what would they feel if pres. obama say something about slavery in the buckingham palace.

    June 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. gt

    paul smokes to much dope...just get your buddies a bp to clean up the mess on our shores,,,,red coat..

    June 4, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. David Cox

    He never had any class. Paul is another "elite" egotist that has is out of touch with what this country, The United States of America is all about.

    ,4

    June 4, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. John Tighe

    John Boner is always crying and moaning about something.

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

    No ideas, more distractions; this is the sad truth and the current state of my former party. Get real Boehner and get busy in congress doing something constructive other than saying "No no no."

    June 4, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Rick in OP

    Who is the old lady standing next to Obama?

    June 4, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. dirtysouth

    he shouldnt apologize for that! Its the truth! Team McCartney!!

    June 4, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. DFTycoon

    It's a reality that many people outside of the US think Bush was a moron. Actually, so do a lot of Americans.

    June 4, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Jayden,FL

    Boehner shut up and go back and lay down on your tanning bed.

    June 4, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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