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. don bist

    Paul is conceited and constipated, thus all this attention has gone to his head, with the unreleased bile!

    June 4, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Shirley

    He does not deserve the award based his lack of class
    in demeaning a former USA president.

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. erik

    Awww.. Boo Hooo

    Sir Paul spoke his mind and it turns out he didn't like former resident Bush. Like 99% of the rest of the free world.

    Go get some more sun, Bo(eh)ner... You're starting to fade

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    Why should John Boehner even care? Why do people get so riled about what actors or singers or wanna-be celebrities spout off about? They merely work in the entertainment industry. In the scope of world events nothing they do matters. And Paul McCartney is certainly not the sharpest of their ilk.

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Slick William

    Is anyone surprised by anything that comes out of the Whitehouse now? I still like the one where he left Netanyahu downstairs alone to go eat with the family...I guess you could say the President acted stupidly...what else is new?

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. R Balladares

    What an ignorant hypocrite Bonehead, excuse me Boehner, is-
    did he similary demand an apology fron the Carolina Rep. who called President Obama a liar in front of the world-during the State of the Union? You can't have it both ways Boehner.

    RB

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Susan Reyes

    I was especially offended because this country has been so good to Mr. McCartney. I wonder how he would feel if an American citizen who was being recognized in his home country made a similar remark about one of his former leaders. I was disappointed to say the least at Mr. McCartney's lack of grace and seeming lack of appreciation–and the error of his remark. Did he graduate from Harvard or Yale–or college period? Shame.

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Liberal4Obama

    Right after Geroge W Bush and John Boener apologize for Torture, starting Illegal wars, destroying the economy, irresponsible taxes for the very wealthy, increasing poverty, mistreating veterans, sending soldiers to war without body armor... I could go on forever !

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Dave

    Who cares what John Boehner thinks? All he can do is whine and complain about anything and everything. He certainly doesn't have the brains or the gumption to actually come up with solutions to the country's many issues.

    Oh, by the way, McCartney is right. Bush is an idiot. Then again, Boehner may be just as dumb...

    June 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Junior

    Paul will apologize right after Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and 85% of Republicans apologize to us for their continued comments since mid – 2008. John Boehner is an buffoon too. The truth, no matter how funny, hurts John, huh? And no, I will not apologize either!!

    June 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. JTDoode

    True, Paul should have shown greater respect, but in the land of free speech where anti-gay protesters can picket and shout at funerals of service men, in a land where a luckily-not-elected vice presidential candidate can use her fame to say some of the bat guano confused statements this side of a bad sit com, where a vice-president can tell a senator to go blank himself, and where a former president can make light of waterboarding....hmmm, maybe the minority leader might ask for some more apologies.

    June 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. katy Heys

    I wonder if Boehner was as outraged when Obama was called a liar. Somehow I can't remember him taking anyone to task for that.

    The Republicans have been so rude and disrespectful to Obama (and symbolically therefore to the office of President) that Boehner's complaint is laughable.

    June 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    That's rich, Mr. Boner wanting an apology for being disrespectful! With any luck at all, this bonehead will get voted out in November.

    Vote NO in NOvemeber to the party of NO.

    June 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. JOhn

    McCartney's comment is inappropriate but those of LImbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, and Hannity are not? Either you believe in free speech or you don't. If Boehner is ready to publicly "muzzle" the above right wingers or quit whining about mild comments such as those from Paul, someone, unlike Boehner, who is widely admired for his class.

    June 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. secretmantra

    Boehner isn't fit to shine Paul McCartney's shoe–much less "demand" an apology. What a blowhard.

    June 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Texas Indepenedent

    While I don't disagree with Rep. Boehner that McCartney's comments were disrespectful and tacky, I am struck at the irony. I would be very impressed if Boehner expressed the same public outrage to the continued disrespectful labels placed on and "unamerican" comments directed at Pres. Obama by members of his own party.

    McCartney is an entertainer; so are Beck and Limbaugh. Speak to them, Boehner, the next time they make one of their outrageously disrespectful comments.

    June 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Ron in California

    Sir Paul? His lack of respect towards Former President Bush isn't surprising. Celeberities have a log history of shooting off their mouth. But who really cares what he thinks. I've long been a fan of the Beatles and Paul McCartney that probably won't change. I just recognize that being a talented musisican doen't make you smart or roght.

    June 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Greg Pottstown PA

    Is that a joke. Obama has expanded the control of govt. more than any president in the past 60 years. Obama stands for anything other than liberty. The govt' now controls the auto industry, the HC industry, the lending industry, and soon the banking industry. Sounds like lots of liberty alright.

    June 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Kate

    Who the heck is Paul McCartney to badmouth any of our presidents? Hey Paul, worry about your own house. I see your marriage to that peg leg didn't work for you huh!

    June 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. steve505

    "Boehner said the remark showed a "lack of grace and respect.".......

    Sorry Boehner, but shut your mouth. Stop trying to put yourself in the spotlight. Respect should be given where respect is due...... and Bush certainly warrants none.

    June 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Todd A

    How exactly did McCartney's remark "............demean him, the White House and President Obama." according to the representative from Ohio? The remark demeaned Bush and the millions who voted for the fool, some twice.

    Obama didn't respond, what is the big deal? People are entitled to their opinions.

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Doug

    Boehner is the guy in the class that you wonder why he can't laugh. He should of pointed out that Sir McCartney is wrong, Bush knows where the children's section of the library is.

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Jamie Hogan

    It was boorish, childish and in extremely poor taste. A US president deserves respect due to the office- this does not mean you have to agree with him, but he is owed respect. I did not vote for President Obama and I oppose many of his policies, but I do respect him as he is my president.
    As bad as the remark was, it was extremely inaccurate. It seems when the left is opposed to a conservative person, they tend to try and dismiss them with pithy remarks as if lies somehow become fact. President Bush has an MBA from Harvard; he is clearly educated and knows what a book is.
    What Paul McCartney has shown is a bufoonish, ugly side of himself which had no place beiing on display at that event.

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. David

    Apologize for what? That moron w was and is a very stupid man. This country will be paying for it for decades to come.

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Big Ed

    Is that all Boehner does? Feign injury for the Republican Party and demand apologies for the smallest slight? When will Boehner apologize to Obama for all the nasty remarks he made? By the way, do you think a man like Paul McCartney cares at all about what a worm like Boehner says?

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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