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. Sean

    Given the crassness of MANY comments I've heard coming out of Boehner's mouth, I think he's the last person that should be leveling accusations about showing a "lack of grace and respect."

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Future expat

    Silly Boner, how about you apologize first for supporting all of Bush's policies that drove us off a cliff?

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Tim

    Its called sense of humor. Someone needs to get one!

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Middle Finger

    Your Rock Paul. And your right on. It seems our country's collective memory is softening to all the hate, disgust, lies, and selfishness that blackened the eye of America for eight years. Paul, ignore the rants from the gutter on the right. They are just jealous and have yet to learn a lesson that not everything they do is right regardless of their imaginary standing in the public eye. Too bad they can't admit it when their wrong.

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Don Lizard

    My goodness, a person can't even give an opinion anymore without some crybaby complaining about it.

    Come on John Boehner, give us a break.

    I guess every comedian ever to hit a stage, should give an apology to america for things they said while Bush was in office.

    GIve your head a shake.

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Joe

    Sir Paul was correct. He has nothing to apologize for.

    June 4, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. BigNewsDay

    Well Mr. Boehner, I'm disappointed by the lack of grace and respect displayed by Bush while HE was at the White House.

    June 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. obama victim

    let me stipulate that W was not the sharpest knife in the drawer...that being said, a foreigner should not bash our President , or any former president on our soil. If it were not for the USA, McCartney, and the rest of Britain would be speaking German.

    By the way, as much as I loathe Obama, I never trash him when I travel. He is not a good President, but he is the one we have. Shame on McCartney, and shame on those who defend him.

    June 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. lafnjim

    mccartney is an ENTERTAINER! he is not a politician. he is a musician.
    he has lived a life of drugs, sex and rock and roll! hardly the type of
    man that you would elect to the presidency!
    further, what he says makes news because of his notoriety.
    if the newspapers did not write it, it would not have been news.
    so, easy on taking offense. be angry about how Obama is
    changing the nation for the worse on ratchet stroke at a time.

    June 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Compared to things BOEHNER has said to the press and the TV reporters-Paul McCartney's comments meant NOTHING and besides–he spoke the truth.

    We had a president that couldn't string a complete sentence together with coherent English and now we have a President with an IQ of 160!
    What a relief!

    June 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Abbie

    While I'm not a fan of President Bush, I found McCartney's remarks rude and pointless. Just be grateful for your award and grateful for the president who is now serving.

    June 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. a little sad

    Boehner has been totally disrespectful of the current president.

    But what's a little hypocrisy if it can stir up a little dirt?

    Has he weighed in on the "raghead" comment yet?

    I would think that the racist comment by a sitting member of a US governing body about a current president and current candidate would inspire a little more outrage then a comment from an entertainer about a previous administration.

    June 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. PaulC

    Is there an award for honesty? I think McCartney was too kind. The U.S. will struggle for years to recover from the disastrous decisions made by George W.. The tens of thousands of killed and maimed as well as the $trillion squandered on his war of choice are a legacy that will follow him into the history books.

    June 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Ray E. (Georgia)

    No doubt McCartney was behind the door when the Brains were passed out so no harm no foul.

    June 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Linda C

    I concur with Mr. Boehner! I am so furious at McCartney for bashing President Bush. Why in the world do we allow these foreigners to bash a former U.S. President, especially in the White House? American famous artists would never bash and/or disrespect Queen Elizabeth in her own backyard.

    Shame on you McCartney, and shame on the Obamas for allowing it.

    June 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Bob

    Representative Boehner, seriously? The next thing you'll be doing is asking people to applaud Sarah's Palin's intellectual aptitude. I don't even like the Beatles, but I get the joke.

    June 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Jim H

    What an idiot Boehner is.

    June 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Gary Mackinaw

    It is extremely disrespeful to American and the ofice of the president. Everyone has the right to his or her opinion however a formal event held at the White House is not the venue for those type of remarks. The remarks are an embarressment for Mc Cartnyey and President Obama showing lack of class on all parts.

    June 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Alex

    It's certainly an unrefined comment, but sadly also accurate. I doubt Bush has read a book since (oh yeah, you know I'm going to say it) MY PET GOAT!

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    How ill mannered McCartney is! He was invitied to this country to receive an award and then he chose to show his ignorance by insulting a former president. Hopefully, President Obama did not share in the laughter as that would make him equally ill mannered. Mr. McCartney's remark was not humorous, it was rude and immature. Unfortunatley, we continue to "honor" individuals of this caliber.

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. RJH

    Boehner – class? This coming from the guy who passed out tobacco lobby bribes on the house floor before a key vote.

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. mattmchugh

    "Like millions of other Americans, I have always had a good impression of Paul McCartney"

    'ere now... 'oo's got a good impression of Sir Paul, 'gov'ner" ?

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Death Panel Sarah

    I'm sure she didn't meet GW in a library!!!
    He CAN read a can of beer, though!

    Need an apology, BONER???

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Jean Mudrick

    An apology is definitely in order!

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    hey Boehner....forget it. "You Lie""Baby Killer"...ring a bell?? Of course you would not bring THOSE comments up. Duh Duh Duh-bya should go back to his library of comic books, pop-ups, and coloring books and go away for good

    June 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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