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. Anna

    "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."

    I put the quotes around this one – but you didn't attribute it. Whose opinion is this? The reporter's?

    June 19, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. CaliforniaBC

    Oh I see...when he makes ridiculous and bordering on racist jokes about Obama it's just fine BUT when he makes jokes about BOehNER's day-glow orange tan he gets booted.

    Yeah! Just ONE MORE example of how the GOP thinks.

    June 19, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Marc

    It was inappropriate to invite Brown to further distract the GOP from the issues. He was only pulled when he made uncomfortable remarks about their candidates..even though true. You cannot have it both ways. He should never have been invited and the GOP should have been there for business only. It backfired and the embarassment caused was NOT by Brown's comments, but by the invitation extended to him. Bad decisions now show the party's capability in "Higher Office"....Sad.....

    June 19, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Lawrence in PHX

    The distasteful performance only got "inappropriate" when he picked on Republicans. That's surprising. I've never thought the Republican party was mean spirited, had elements of racism, and was in general largely hypocritical.

    June 19, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. judy

    Typical Republican hypocrisy. They thought it was funny when the jokes were aimed at President Obama. They didn't cut his mike until he started making fun of Republicans.

    June 19, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Lynne Monds

    Perhaps his jokes were over the top, but wow! - that Obama impersonator was hands down the best I've ever seen. Were you watching SNL?

    June 19, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. V. Stuart

    What a sad comment on the Republican Party and it's convention organizers. It is not only not funny but rude and tasteless to hire someone to denigrate the President of the United States and the First Lady, regardless of party loyalties. It says volumes that this low class act was pulled off stage as soon as he started dishing out Republican jokes. Typical double standard employed by the GOP.

    June 19, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Demos

    Dear Republicans,
    Are we a little stupid? This Obama impersonator was not a classy idea. Give Obama the Presidency without an effort.

    June 19, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. the_truth

    so in other words while he was making jokes about the president it was ok...but as soon as he started making jokes about "some Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and some of the GOP presidential hopefuls" he was pulled off the stage..moral of the story is you can only make jokes at the expense of the potus smh

    June 19, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Jay

    LOL, when reggie was poking fun at Obama, it was OK with Republicans. But once he started talking about top republicans that's when it became "inappropriate". LOL republicans are funny

    June 19, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. thomas

    Wow , he was pulled off stage by RLC organizers, who said the performance had gone too far and was getting inappropriate.

    Must have been good if the bluebloods cant take it !

    June 19, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. OneMoreTime

    "After Brown began to make jokes about some Republicans.....he was pulled off stage....."
    That pretty much says it all.

    June 19, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. DeniedTruth

    So they pulled the comedian AFTER he was done making fun of the president and started making fun of the GOP? We can dish but we can't take it, hmmm?

    June 19, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. tstorm

    Wow! Republicans are just so "clever", aren't they? Conservatives have the maturity level as a bunch of 4th graders...

    June 19, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Liberal elite=anyone with an education

    Well, that just sums it all up, doesn't it? Insulting the POTUS and first lady? Perfectly okay. Insulting Republicans? Why, that's just inappropriate. EXACTLY why I will never vote for a candidate from the monstrosity that the GOP has become.

    June 19, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. happenings

    America will judge you by the way you lead, and the way you behave when you think we aren't watching. Shameful.

    June 19, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. WolfMan26

    Pathetic. People love to dish it out, but can't take it.

    June 19, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. felton

    Typical GOP event and how they run stuff, "They Find a way to screw it up". This should be considered very embarrassing.

    June 19, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. tenpa gashi

    the least they can do is let the man finish his material. It makes you look childish to get him to come perform for you and then to muzzle him when the joke material comes closer to your side of the barn. Either don't invite him at all or let him finish.

    June 19, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Mr. Moderate

    Again, where are the new ideas. This obsession with Obama is getting rediculous. Funny how is was only considered inappropriate after mocking Republicans. Stay classy GOP!

    June 19, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. GJ

    Oh, the irony. Republicans should be careful what they wish for. What bigots and hyprocrites they are....

    June 19, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. DENNA

    "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."
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Wow. The GOP is so collectively stupid that this episode distracted them. While they seemed to enjoy the jokes made about President Obama, jokes about them were "a distraction". Have you SEEN the people running on the GOP side for president? The entire collection of wingnuts is a distraction. Bwahahaha.

    June 19, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. vrim

    Same old republican craap. Just like their convention in Minn in 2008. Conservatives whipped up in a frenzy of hate that could not have backfired any worse than it did that year.

    June 19, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. JRH

    So we're surprised that the GOP would pull a stupid, tasteless, inappropriate, racist stunt like this why?? These people want to run this country? Spare us all...

    June 19, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Rich

    Inappropriate? I guess that means he was actually funny. GOP = Grumpy Old Party.

    June 19, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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