July 13th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama camp rebukes Bernie Mac over joke

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/12/art.mac.gi.jpg caption="The Obama campaign said Mac's joke was inappropriate."]

(CNN) - Bernie Mac made a surprise appearance at a Barack Obama fundraising event Friday evening - but given heckling from the crowd and a rebuke from the Illinois senator's campaign for an off-color joke, the comedian may wish he'd just stayed home.

Introducing Obama at the high-dollar fundraising event in Chicago, Mac delivered a 10-minute standup routine during which he joked about sexual promiscuity and referred to women as "hos."

"My little nephew came to me and he said, 'Uncle, what's the difference between a hypothetical question and a realistic question?"' Mac said toward the end of his routine. "I said, I don't know, but I said, 'Go upstairs and ask your mother if she'd make love to the mailman for $50,000."'

"Hypothetically speaking, we should have $100,000. But realistically speaking we live with two hos," Mac said, delivering the joke's punchline.

Some attendees of the $2,300 per-person event immediately registered their displeasure with Mac's joke, and asked that he leave the stage.

"It's not funny. Let's get Barack on," one man shouted.

Mac introduced the Democratic presidential candidate shortly after and Obama called the comedian a "great friend." The Illinois senator also joked that Mac needs to "clean up [his] act."

"We can't afford to be divided by race. We can't afford to be divided by region or by class and we can't afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you've got to clean up your act next time," he said. "This is a family affair. By the way, I'm just messing with you, man."

But the campaign issued a statement shortly after the event that was decidedly more serious in its condemnation of Mac's comments.

"Senator Obama told Bernie Mac that he doesn't condone these statements and believes what was said was inappropriate," campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (790 Responses)
  1. Rob from SD

    The real joke is that CNN decides this is news.

    How about reporting about the $9.4+ trillion debt?
    How bout reporting on the $5 trillion of that debt held by foreign governments like China and Middle East governments?
    How about reporting on the doubling of the dollar supply over the last 8 years?
    How about reporting on the amount of money the Fed pays in interest each year (more than double the amount spent on the Iraq War)?
    How about reporting on the candidates plans to eliminate the deficit?

    Oh, right... I forgot. Neither of the Republicrats have any plans to fix any of these problems. Well in that case I guess Bernie Mac is a good a distraction as any other...

    July 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    HRC what does Bernie's joke have to do with Barack taking responsibilitly? Barack can not help what comments Bernie makes or does not make. I think he handled with respect to Bernie and his audience.

    July 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Linda31

    Can you post my comments.

    Is this really a ticker story????? How are the librarian being ticketed for have a McCain -Bush sign or Bush saying that climate issues will have to be dealt with the new Pres.?

    To Hussein Hussein,

    I think you miss the point and I have to say that you DO appear racist when you deliberately switch Senator Obama's name and your tag name says it all. His name is Barack Hussein Obama. Learn it because he will be your new president come Nov. What exacty is wrong with forgiving someone? And why does that sicken you?

    July 13, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Texas Rednack


    My Hat is off to you...Berni Mac.
    You did nothing wrong and if they cant take a joke. Why should we vote for them in November.

    July 13, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. William, from Cali!

    What he said , couldn't have been as "Funny", as the 'side-show" after "side-show" soap-opera; this present election process, has become, right before our eyes. Now, that's funny.........in reality time!

    July 13, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Jason

    what a bunch of snobs....Bernie Mac for VP!

    July 13, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Jason

    @ Casey & Uugh!

    Why must Tom be labeled as a racist? Perhaps he thinks Obama is not the best choice for President. Numerous posts have been made in a negative manner regarding McCain. Senile, Old, etc...no one accuses those making those statements to be shallow or a POS. Please if you are going to take the high moral ground then spread it evenly.

    July 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Bernie Mac loves Johnny Mac

    Maybe Bernie backs McCain.

    July 13, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Dee Dee

    That was much. Bernie Mac should had recognized he was not in a nightclub. Did he not know about the Priest or Pastor Wright?
    Surrogates shold be quiet for a week!

    July 13, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Poll This!

    to the joke was in bad-taste people: Don't watch comedy or else get thicker skin, and stop being so over sensitive to everything. You wouldn't last 5 minutes with Paul Mooney or Chris Rock. Bernie Mac is a light-weight, and I am surpised so many are upset over this comic. This was a fundraiser, not a press conference or a stadium filled with 75,000 people. So who really cares what washed-up Bernie said?

    July 13, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Kathy in Oregon

    I agree with EVERYTHING said by Mc Cain Democrat posted above.

    The final sentence sums it up well ...."As a man Obama, you leave much to be desired."

    July 13, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Tim

    Whiners!!!!! McSame says we are all whiners in a mental recession. IN other words, we are cry babies and we are not smart enough to think for ourselves. You know, we are not really losing money, it's just a perception..

    July 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Sammy

    People that pay to see Bernie know what they are getting. As warm up for his choice for next president of the US that audience was not his.

    Target audience is everything. Thats one of the reasons why the TV show "Jericho" failed. Wonderful idea for a unique story but it would have done much better on FOX. Not knowing your audience can be very costly indeed.

    If I were Obama I would invite Bernie back to make things right again for everyone (Bernie included). But do so with the understanding that he leave out the kind of things that got him into trouble this time.

    July 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Billiam the Kid

    I'll say this much, to a point they are both right. But Jackson was wrong to criticize Obama because what he criticized was right. The problem is this is honestly a problem that should have been addressed a gneration ago. I as an AA man can affirm that most of my peers are taking care of their kids. Actually, it wasthe generation before mine that kind of slacked. Now that was due to many factors, drugs, Reagan's "war on drugs, etc. Many AA's of my generation are good fathers even if they are living morally wrong. i.e. selling drugs, etc. That is probably because most of them DIDN'T have that relationship with their fathers, so they know how important it is. It's a dual edged sword people, there needs to be more money poured into urban and rural communities alike. But there also is a point when self reliance, and responsibility have to kick in......Just my 2 cents......

    July 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Robert

    Isn't it funny that CNN chooses the headline, "Obama camp rebukes Bernie Mac over joke", when what Obama actually says is, "This is a family affair. By the way, I'm just messing with you, man."

    Obama is not president material and can not even stand up to a comedian. He wants to try and work both sides of every issue. Even here he says clean up your act so that he sounds tough, then he says just messing with you, man, as not to offend Bernie Mac or his fans.

    Obama is repulsive and certainly does not represent change as he says he does.

    July 13, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32