June 4th, 2010
01:24 PM ET
4 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. Rollover Beethoven

    Sir Paul, the award was for your musical contribution. It was not an invitation to come here and behave rudely. Yes we know that an American President gave your Queen an iPOD, but that is no excuse to equally demonstrate a lack of etiquette.

    June 4, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Let's vote all Repugs out of office

    It's a shame this happens to be true!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Kathey

    Give me a break... There's not one day that goes by without some politico saying something negative about Obama. I don't hear the Republicans asking for an apology on his behalf at that time. Also, it was obviously a joke by McCartney. I think the Republicans need to focus on their own problems right now and stop trying to start something out of nothing.

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Robert Johnston

    McCartney was correct, Bush is an idiot and was grossly incompetent as a President, which had enormous costs which the Republicans are too cowardly to admit exist. Bush was uninvolved, unconcerned, ill-informed, extremely narrow-minded and was essentially a puppet of private corporate and Israel Lobby interests that manipulated him effortlessly, to the great detriment of the entire good old USA. Every other country watched the nightmare of George Bush, too bad the Republican tight-ties can't evolve into something relevant.

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Stanley Jones-Umberger

    Talk about pulling a Boehner! Congratulations, Paul, you're right. bush is an evil moron puppet and we're all glad to be rid of him.

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Death Panel Sarah

    I, as an "American person" do not want or need an apology!!!!
    First, it was a joke. Second, it was true. And third, "BONER" probably doesn't know what a library is, either!(he knows what a tanning bed is, though!)
    Paul is a private citizen and can say what he wants, anyway. Just ask Sarah(death panel) Palin!!!!
    Hey Boner, are you going to ask ME for an apology???

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. melia

    Oh well, at least he didn't say Obama was "bigger than Jesus."

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    boehner..just get over it !!! instead of worrying about how to solve the biggest oil spill in history, this is a concern ??? Please

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Larry

    I am not an Obama fan by any means, but McCartney is acting and talking like Chavez, Castro and Ahmajinadab. But, then, McCartney espouses the same things. Shut up and stick to singing.

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Wood

    It is Boehner, who indeed, needs to apologize to the nation for the direction he and his obstructionist party has taken it down.

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Brian

    McCartney has lost all respect in my eyes, well actually, he lost my respect when he let a one legged woman take him to the cleaners.

    June 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Patsy, Texas

    So Boehner wants an apology. Well, too bad.
    I want one from Jake Knotts, on behalf of the American people.
    I want one from from all of the hideous comments made by
    hideous people, on behalf of the American people,
    I want one from from this half-wit (offensive enough?) for his total
    lack of leadership on behalf of the American people.
    I want one from all who deregulated the oil industry, on behalf of
    the dying animals, and ecosystem, and livlihoods being lost.
    I want one from all who failed America for eight years with
    lousy decisions, wars, debt, failing economy and now will do nothing
    to help pull us out of these messes.
    So, you want an apology Boehner. YOU FIRST!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. John Q Public

    "Boner" needs to apologize for being associated with W and his band of fools that pulled us down into the hole that we are trying to dig out of...

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Senator

    I support President Obama however I defend all of the presidents against outsiders and he should apologize for his remarks about former President Bush.

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. kd

    Oh, please. Boehner is such a joke.

    Can he be that oblivious to the way the world sees Bush and Republicans? No – he has to lie to his foolish, gullible, scared flock. He has to look like a leader, which he's not.

    Good on McCartney! We need some more honesty with regard to the absolute mess Bush and the Republicans have made for the country and the world. The BP disaster is Bush and the Republicans' faulty, not Obama's. The ongoing wars are Bush and the Republicans' fault, The recession is their fault, the low wages we suffer from. Every single problem this country is suffering from can be laid at the feet of Bush and Republicans! Time for some honest people to speak up about it!!!

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. kmber

    So according to Republicans: Joe Wilson screaming 'You lie' at the President during an important policy speech before a joint session of congress was a brave example of free speech but a world renowned cultural icon/musician makes a joke at a private awards ceremony and it shows a 'lack of grace and respect'? Can someone just change the name of the party to 'Hypocrites' already? The 'GOP' of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Teddy Roos. is long dead.

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. cd

    so what, this is no big deal. Find something worth the print.

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Nicole

    He doesn't need to apologize...he may say whatever the hell he wants. If people are offended, so be it.

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. RainKing

    I know the truth hurts, pretty funny though. Rep get over it.

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Rob

    Boo Hoo, Boo HOO! I am so sorry for Boner and Bush. NOT!

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    it's kind of like not making an apology for torture and waterboarding when you think what you did was the right thing..if Paul meant what he said then why is Bohner looking for an apology? The far right always argues for freedom of speech UNTIL something is said that they don't like.

    June 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. all the news that's fit to omit

    McCartney holds no degree and is a has been "pop" star who would be bagging groceries if not for the grace of god.

    Bush on the other hand is the FIRST President to attain a Masters degree from Harvard in Business administration. FACT

    Bush reads on the average, 50 books a year. FACT

    Bush is married to a librarian you limey coward. FACT

    Bush has more class than you have in your whole body you worthless piece of garbage, as he does the chuckling president Oweblamo and his sheeple in the room who laughed at your LIE.

    Mr Sotero, I can't wait to kick your sorry rear-end out in 2012.

    June 4, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Lynne

    Boehner do your job and work across aisle. Everytime you open your mouth it is to complain about nothing. Take an interest in working across the aisle for change we can beleive in.

    June 4, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Jason

    Grateful to McCartney? The man who doesn't even have a college degree chides Bush? Bush has an MBA from Harvard (the first Pres. to do so) and his wife is a librarian. No class and represect and I am sure the libs who are Obama groupies thought it was hilarious. To McCartney: go home. Maybe he can write a new song about the Gulf Oil spill......

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

    Oh dear lord the Republicans are such whining crybabies...

    June 4, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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