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. Pam

    Actually, Laura Bush herself onced joked that "George thinks 'bibliography' means study of the Bible"

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

    McCartney only spoke the truth... the man could not string together a gramatical sentence.

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. bdm

    most of america is thankful that george bush is no longer in office. get over it.

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

    I find it offensive that Republicans find everything offensive. You would think they'd have a thick skin by now. Like the old saying goes, "if the shoe fits."

    Or flies by your head, either way.

    June 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. volnteer

    I think it's kinda nice too.

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Karin Colwell

    My feelings exactly, I would have expected better from "Sir" Paul McCartney. His remarks reflected badly on him. Was it not sufficient to receive a high honour without tacking on some gratuitous, and offensive comments about a former president that a lot of people, including myself, admire?

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. robert

    What is he kidding? The truth hurts I guess. The only thing McCartney has to apoligize for is writing Ebony and Irory.

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Mainstream American

    Oh Boehner, get a grip. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Ex-republican

    What's up, Bonner? Truth hurts?

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Daniel Mensinger

    After his actions in the past year it is clear that Mr.Boehner has no idea about respect and grace. He is always against anything that might make an improvement for anyone except his side of the aisle. Maybe it is time to accept the real world,Mr. Boehner. Your side lost the election and now it is time to work for all the American people not just your narrow minded supporters.

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. ak steve

    Right on Paul! You are the Walrus!

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. mark

    that just made me lose a lot of respect for Sir Paul, for whom I previously had a great deal of respect.

    Can't we all stop the pointless digs at each other (equally coming from both sides) and actually talk about the issues instead of calling Obama a socialist or calling Palin an idiot? Why don't we talk about how we disagree with them and then actually give informed reasons instead of just shouting the same crap over and over and over again.

    June 4, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Lynn

    Truth hurts doesn't it Boehner. Now go back and get in your suntanning bed and leave us alone. Way to go Paul!

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Realistic

    The great people of the greatest country in the world, know a joke when they hear one and that was funny. Rep.Boehner needs to lighten up and stop mkaing everyhting about politics and about Bush. Get over yourself Rep. Boehner and lighten up Mr.Orange...I hope Paul does not appologize and sticks one more joke in at the expense of Rep.*Orange* Bohener.

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Good for you paul can georige read fast and know what he ir reading bonner go take yous ex lax and calm down

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. cyndii

    please! give it a rest, Mr. Obama is disrespected every single day, with hanging effigies, Joker-faced pics, etc. you must give respect to get respect... get a clue!

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. gate

    Paul should not apologize for a statement of fact. Bush doesn't even read newspapers.

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Norm

    John, John, John. It's time for you to go back to your tanning bed and close the lid. You'll need to be up in a few hours to meet with your fellow GOP senators to practice saying the word "No". Remember, it's Friday.

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. TooBad

    Too bad. Freedom of speech, remember? Besides, Paul is 100% correct.

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. DB

    Right on Paul! Thanks for courageously stating the obvious!

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. WP

    Regardless if you liked President Bush or not...he was still our President and demands respect. If McCartney wants to make the comment...that is fine...just not in the White House which is a residence that demands respect. Just like President Obama should be respected by those even if you don't like his policies.

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Realistic

    The great people of the greatest country in the world, know a joke when they hear one and that was funny. Rep.Boehner needs to lighten up and stop making everyhting about politics and about Bush. Get over yourself Rep. Boehner and lighten up Mr.Orange...I hope Paul does not appologize and sticks one more joke in at the expense of Rep.*Orange* Bohener.

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Lisa P

    John Boehner criticizing anyone (else) for "a lack of grace and respect"? Color me speechless! Mr. "No" finds his voice, and roars! Or squeaks, really. Because who even bothers to listen to this idiot at this point? It only takes a certain amount of no no no to get the general idea, which has nothing to do with "grace" or "respect."

    Rock on, Mr. McCartney!

    June 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. COLeft

    Truth hurts.Get over it! Laura Bush might be a librarian, but Macca is 100% correct about that dolt of a husband she has.....

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. MsMHS

    As an eighth generation American I was appalled by McCartney's remark. It showed a lack of class, etiquette and respect for the country that was giving him an award that many believe is ridiculous. But for him to be able to say this crude and crass remark also begs for why he wasn't given a lesson in American etiquette by the White House before the award was presented.
    McCartney should most definitely apologize to every living American.

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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