February 2nd, 2009
10:34 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama takes a dig at Jessica Simpson?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.simpsonj.gi.jpg caption="Some thought Obama took a dig at Jessica Simpson."](CNN) - Did Barack Obama take a dig at pop star Jessica Simpson?

A transcription error set the Internet abuzz Monday as viewers debated an off-hand presidential comment about the pop star.

The remark came at the end of the President Obama's interview with NBC Sunday, when interviewer Matt Lauer held up a copy of the latest US Magazine, which features first lady Michelle Obama along with daughters Sasha and Malia. On the left side of the cover was a picture of Simpson, whom the magazine said is in a "weight battle."

Lauer noted the magazine had replaced the president's spot in the family photo with the Simpson headline.

“You got replaced by Jessica Simpson,” Lauer said.

“Yeah, who’s losing a weight battle apparently,” Obama said, according to the network’s interview transcript, sparking a firestorm online. “Yeah. Oh, well.”

But the transcript misquoted the president who visibly only re-read the magazine’s headline that Lauer was holding up - “She’s in a ‘weight battle,’ apparently” - and did not say that Simpson was "losing" that fight.

In the future, the president may opt for safer, less controversial subjects — like government-funded contraception, or the U.S. relationship with Iran.

Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. mk3872

    How the h*11 did NBC just "mistakenly" throw in the word "losing" when transcribing that quote? Seems a bit mischievious to me.

    February 2, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. just bob

    I wouldn't kick Jessica Simpson out of my bed.

    February 2, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Mike

    Jeez, you guys have lost it!

    February 2, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Pennypusher

    I don't understand that big deal. When he first said it, I thought me was making a comment about gossip mags in general and how they say she is having a weight issue when she obviosly isn't (notice how all the pics of her supposidly being overweight are all from the same day? there's a reason for that! one bad outfid does not make a weight issue. we all have our "fat" days).

    February 2, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Jackson

    I heard what he said and I knew this would happen. He was put on the spot...what else could he have said? Get over it people...there are more important things to worry about!

    February 2, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Tyler


    February 2, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. LA

    She should not wear highwasted jeans. She's not fat at all, it was her rediculous choice of wardrobe that objected to her size. =:D

    February 2, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Franky

    Ohh for the love of god, lose some weight! Ohh good lord please take that down...

    I'm just messin around...

    February 2, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Salena

    I whipped around to my friends last night during the Super Bowl last night with big eyes and said "uh-oh" as soon as the words came out of President Obama's mouth. I had already seen the mag so I knew it was the headline, but I KNEW some loser would make a bigger deal out of this than there needed to be.

    There are too many other things to worry about in this country, waaaaaaay too many, to worry about what he may be saying about Jessica Simpson's size. Even she knows she put on a few pounds ~ get over it!!!

    February 2, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. Kevin

    The role of the media in a free society should be to uncover the truth, not obscure it.

    The role of citizens should be to be informed. This means, among other things, reading articles before you comment on them or draw conclusions based upon their headlines. (Especially when the headlines may or may not say the same thing as the article itself.)

    February 2, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Renee

    So NBC screwed up the transcript? I thought for sure they were "in the tank" for Obama. That's strange. Let's be fair Obama has said some pretty stupid things lately like how Washington needs some "flinty Chicago toughness" for the way they deal with snow and ice, while at the same time Axelrod says Obama has cranked up the heat in the White House because he's from Hawaii, and get's cold. Furthermore, Obama is in the process of hiring former lobbyists when he said he wouldn't, and a tax cheat is now the Secretary of the Treasury, while another tax cheat is boiling on the back burner. Can you blame people for being confused?

    February 2, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. LA

    Oops I meant "ridiculous'...

    February 2, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Gerry In Toronto

    I cannot believe CNN is trying to make this into a story. I watched the interview, the President was joking around. No way was he taking a shot at Jessica. This President does not do that.

    February 2, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. lori

    I am so upset about the stimulus bill. Why doesn't anyone
    see that the congress has been in charge of our finances for
    the past at least 3 years and who has been in control of our

    I feel our new administration and congress are doing a
    New york bashing and of course Wall Street. I have nothing to
    do with financing, however, workers on Wall Street did not cause
    this financial disaster. It was those in Congress who led people
    to believe that people making money was a bad thing. It was those
    in Congress that were receiving donations from people giving bad

    We need to encourage Americans not discourage them
    to thinking there is no hope.

    As Americans I hope all of us stand up and say enough.

    February 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. Tina, NC

    For Pete sakes, some of you are really full of it. I saw the interview and he was, in no way, criticizing Jessica Simpson. You know, before commenting it might be good idea to READ the article. What a bunch of losers some of you are.

    February 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Rod

    Ohhh! I thought you meant HOMER Simpson....Doh!

    February 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Are CNN and NBC trying to enter the tabloid space?

    What's the point of this post and asking the stupid question to the President in the first place?

    February 2, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. AN

    For all those people saying who cares...obviously you do if you clicked on the link to this article. If you don't care then don't read it. If you stop reading it they'll stop writing about these kinds of stories.

    February 2, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. D

    Uh.., Jessica Simpson? You mean she's actually still in the news??

    February 2, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Chipster

    The dig was at the media, not Ms. Simpson. But the big question is: why is this newsworthy?

    February 2, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. SJW

    If you had taken the time to listen to Matt he clearly said that Obama was reading the cover of the magazine. I mean get real report on something more meaningful to the world, and it certainly won;t be Jessica and her weight , who cares anyway

    February 2, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. 2010

    That's is why I would advise President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to be careful in what they say cause CNN could be listening.

    One of CNN's stories was all the way from Kenya with Obama's half-brother in trouble for drugs or something like that. Right, all the way from Kenya and CNN is concerned about that.

    President Obama is doing an admirable job and we can tell he is by the stories that are surfacing that have little merit to actually what this nation is facing.

    February 2, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. Shirley in California

    No apology necessary Mr. President. I'm sure she voted for someone who "looks" like her anyway. Loser.

    February 2, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. There is no excuse


    He did NOTHING WRONG here, pick your fights smartly as he has already lied about enough and made enough bad picks and his PORK package is a disgrace, HAMMER him on that, not this garbage.

    It is noticable how quickly this is retracted though, he was SELECTED by the media and will be PROTECTED by the media.


    February 2, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. Angie

    OH PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!! Is everything he says going to be reported. The media hangs on to every word because they are trying to catch him make a mistake. They have him under a microscope. But he is the first to say he is human and will make mistakes. So relax people.

    February 2, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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