Bizarre episode steals spotlight at major GOP conference
June 19th, 2011
01:03 PM ET
3 years ago

Bizarre episode steals spotlight at major GOP conference

New Orleans (CNN) – Another straw poll victory for Rep. Ron Paul. A surprise second place finish in the vote by former Utah Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. And very well received speeches by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Related: Obama impersonator speaks out against GOP claims of inappropriate jokes

But all were possibly overshadowed by the most bizarre moment of the Republican Leadership Conference 2011, the performance of a President Barack Obama impersonator who was pulled from the stage after delivering some controversial jokes.


The comedian, impersonator Reggie Brown, came onto the stage Saturday to the tune of "Born in the USA," a reference to the theory by some on the far right that Obama was not born in the United States. The release by the state of Hawaii of the president's long-form birth certificate has discredited the so-called "birther" movement in the eyes of most Americans.

Brown made a series of jokes at the president's expense, at one point showing a picture of the main characters from the 1970s television show "Sanford and Son" to illustrate what Obama and the First Lady would look like after leaving office.

After Brown began to make jokes at the expense of some Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and some of the GOP presidential hopefuls, he was pulled off stage by RLC organizers, who said the performance had gone too far and was getting inappropriate.

The episode served as a distraction from the GOP's goal of nominating a candidate who can defeat the president in next year's election.

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Thankfully Independent

    While on the surface it sounded cute; giving valuable time to a hired, Obama impersonator actually trivializes this Republican conference and the GOP itself.

    Very sad.

    June 19, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Rosie

    There's a song with the lyrics "what was I thinkin?" So I ask all of you, what were you thinking to have even booked such an act for a Leadership (?) conference? What kind of leadership were you going to develop? You're a sorry bunch if you think making fun of the President is going to get a Republican back in the White House in 2012. There's ample factual data to demonstrate that the country is headed in the wrong direction – and that's not funny. Then I see Jon Stewart give Chris Wallace a verbal thrashing on Fox News today. Stewart is using his comedic skills to bash republications – you'd have done better by watching reruns of his show for learning how to be heard. Come on, we need better.

    June 19, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. figures

    It figures that the republicans would be ok with the poor taste jokes said about Obama, but as soon as he starts talking about their own, they have to pull him off stage... Way to show good sportsmanship there GOP and RLC organizers.

    I watched the debate, and I didnt see anything good from any of the candidates there, Ron Paul is the only one who seems to tell it straight, but he is too crazy to ever win.

    June 19, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. OldOwl

    So, it's okay to make racist jokes at the President's expense, but not to poke fun at the conservative candidates? Pretty typical for the GOP, I'd say.

    June 19, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Rosa, b'ham al

    That's how they win elections. Distractions. It's on purpose.

    June 19, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Seems that all of the jokes are funny until one of them is about a republican. These people believe that republicans are above average Americans, and therefore jokes about them are off limits.

    June 19, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. GailS

    As usual, they can dish it but they can't take it.

    June 19, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Scott Jones

    Looks like I will vote Democrat the next Presidential election, Republicans have gone too far. Here is one vote less for your candidate

    June 19, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. rickyd

    "who said the performance had gone too far and was getting inappropriate"

    Pretty much the entire GOP circus act is inappropriate. The only reason they pulled Brown off stage is because he started in on the GOPs. If he only goes after Obama everything is fair game, go after the GOP he's yanked off immediately. The GOP has lowered themselves to a bunch of immature, cynical, and foolish clowns.

    June 19, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. JShephard

    so it became inappropriate when he made a joke about a republican? but the racist innuendos about Obama are completely acceptable? give me a break.

    June 19, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Sandy

    He was funny when telling Obama jokes, not so much when he turned on the GOP. Typical GOP didn't do their homework. They were probably just giddy with this hire because he said he would joke on Obama and didn't even think to ask about the rest of his routine. The jokes on them. LOL

    June 19, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. jewzabel

    Oh, it's fine to make fun of the democrats, but as soon as the comic starts in on the republicans–he's gone to far and now it's inappropriate. How typical.

    June 19, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. randumbguy

    So wait a minute - someone at a conference where there are people who support politicians who say things like "that statement wasn't meant to be factual" - even when it was full well known that the statement was being laid down into the congressional record, people who support a candidate that can't tell Concord NH from Concord MA - find that a comedian went too far?

    June 19, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Petey

    He was pulled off stage after they thought the performance had gone too far and was getting inappropriate. So, did they take him backstage and waterboard him? The Teapublicans can give out sarcasm and humor but they sure can't take it.

    June 19, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. MiDon

    "Leadership Conference" is a misnomer. There hasn't been one Republican in the last 100 years who has shown anything that even vaguely resembles leadership. Yes, that in cludes the Great Fake, Ronald W, Reagan... dealing out BS is not leadership. One possible exceptin: Eisenhower.

    June 19, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. dj

    The GOP digs themselves a deeper hole top climb out of!

    June 19, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. JJC

    So the jokes only became inappropriate when they were about republicans? Typical thin-skin-cry-baby-american-taliban idiots.

    June 19, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Bob

    For you people who keep voting for Ron Paul just keep doing so if you want to see Obama reelected in 2012.. You're all a bunch of idiots!!!

    June 19, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Amy

    Republicans are so stupid that I will not even comment on this article....

    June 19, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Bobby Ray

    "After Brown began to make jokes at the expense of some Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and some of the GOP presidential hopefuls, he was pulled off stage by RLC organizers, who said the performance had gone too far and was getting inappropriate." Can't make fun of the GOP buffoons, but can still get laughs with that birther nonsense they made up.

    June 19, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. WakeUp2012

    .....this guy shoudl be the headliner at the next def comedy jam!! Can't wait to see OB out on the street after the next election.

    June 19, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. xtl

    Jokes comparing the President to an uneducated junk collector–funny. Jokes about Boehner and Republican presidential candidates–now you've gone to far, get off the stage!

    June 19, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
1 2 3