Bizarre episode steals spotlight at major GOP conference
June 19th, 2011
01:03 PM ET
4 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. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    While agree Obama is a joke of a President, whoever booked a comedian for an event like this, should be fired. The blurring of the lines between comedy and politics is becoming a problem because some people don't know enough about what is going on to tell the difference between comedy and reality.

    June 19, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. carrotroot

    What did they expect? They brought a guy in to impersonate the President basically to ridicule him. But it looks it back-fired on them.

    June 19, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Wingnuts and leadership? Run Snookie Palin run!

    June 19, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. edog

    The Republicans continue to show they are too immature to run the country. Start talking about solutions and the vision you have for the USA!

    June 19, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Double standard

    Many jokes about G.W.Bush or Obama I didn’t agree but I enjoy the jokes because of the creativeness

    One of the reason I avoid FOX they go after comedians words (jokes)

    Comedy is kind of art if they don’t know how to enjoy zip it

    June 19, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. TheTraveler

    "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."

    Tsk, tsk. Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Or hire someone to throw stones for them evidently ...

    June 19, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. BobInIrvine

    I'd give up about 5 minutes of my time to watch that, especially when they put the hook out to pull Reggie from the stage.

    Anyone posting it on YouTube, or are the Repukes making people check their phones and cameras at the door?

    June 19, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Chris

    Of course he only gets pulled after making jokes about conservative candidates...

    June 19, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. seneca

    I guess its okay to make disgusting jokes about Obama and his wife but if you take shots at a republican then... Yoinks! Who actually thought it was a good ideal to do this? Hate Obama all you want on his policies but hiring a look alike to make petty appearance jokes for your conference? What really boggles me is that the RNC can't see that the majority of americans are okay with thier fiscal policies but not thier social ideals, like blaming the downfall of society on drugs (Your right), Elvis (What?) and giving women the right to vote (Completely wrong).

    June 19, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. aamom

    The Republicans cannot help themselves. Obama's race will always be an issue with them. Too bad as the rest of the country has moved on.

    June 19, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. cj

    Poor taste is poor taste but only once it got inappropriate for their own! Hypocrites!!!!

    June 19, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Donny

    Pathetic, absolutely pathetic. Having this type of stand up routine says more about the mentality of the republicans than the commedian himself. The poor judgement on display is overwhelming – but not to the gop, they know no shame. They just keep blowing their dog whistles.

    June 19, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Mary

    In my opinion the Republicans have sunk to a new low, even for them, with this episode.

    June 19, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Hilarious.....hope he gets some new gigs out of this. I am surprised that the PTB did not review his material beforehand. They have no sense of humor. Big babies, yet they hope to run the country.

    June 19, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Sgt Schultz

    Gimmicks, bell, whistles, bait and switch Republican politics at its best. This epitomizes everything that is wrong with GOP.
    They lose the debate on the issues and the actual facts...so they go back to their usual routine of fear-mongering, xenophobia,
    and trying to imply that Obama is from the ghetto...not part of the good ole boys GOP country club.

    June 19, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Jilly4Liberty

    While amusing, the biggest smile on MY FACE was the INTENSE WELCOMING CHEERS and AMAZING APPLAUSE that Ron Paul received throughout the debate. It just goes to show you that the people are tired of voting for whoever the "party leaders" tell us we should vote for. The American people are waking up to the fact that the parties pander to special interests to stay in power at the expense of the Constitution – and at the expense of integrity. I am proud to say I have the guts to vote for a man who refuses to compromise his integrity to pander to the party elite.

    June 19, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Let me see if I have this right. It's appropriate to make jokes about President Obama but it's not appropriate to make jokes about Boehner and GOP candidates? "Going too far" means they can dish out but they can't take? Just don't get it. Why would any clear thinking American vote for anyone coming from the republican party. Lemmings, every one of them.

    June 19, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. matt

    i wish the rlc would pull themselves off the political stage... republicans are a disgrace to reason

    June 19, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. m.randall

    Repulicons know there is no one in the field that can beat Pres. Obama next year. that's why there's no enthusiasm for any candidate so far. lol.

    June 19, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Deep North

    They can dish it out but can't take it!

    June 19, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. CarmenSo

    Oh so its appropriate to make off colored jokes about the President of the United States, but its inappropriate to make off colored jokes about republicans. You know we commoners call that . . hypocrisy. If you can't take it don't dish it out.

    June 19, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. David

    Wow they can dish it out, but can't take political humor if it is about their own. Very revealing indeed and showed just how thin skinned they are as a group.

    June 19, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Bgrngod

    The jokes went from "big lols!" to "Inappropriate rhetoric" the second the target changed hands.

    Stay classy GOP. Stay classy.

    June 19, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Who?

    More proof that the current GOP is a racist, bigoted, white man's only club.

    So sad that this is all they have to offer.

    June 19, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. wow

    So, taking shots at our nation's leader is okay, but when we take some at the GOP, "Watch it! You crossed a line!" Absolutely ridiculous. The GOP has become a really bad joke.

    June 19, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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