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. bofdc

    He was simply reading what the tabloid had written on the cover. Non-issue...next!

    February 2, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Jack B.

    To even make a deal out of this is absurd. I actually thought it was hilarious when President Obama read the headline out loud but for people to get offended or up in arms about it...the country and its people have more important things to worry about.

    February 2, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Lorna, NY

    He got bumped because Jessica Simpson gained some weight. I guess Jessica's weight gain is more pressing news than the President of the US.

    February 2, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Hey, I'm a big supporter of Obama and am very pleased he is in the oval office. But I would rather look at a picture of jessica Simpson anytime.......the cover had it right!

    February 2, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  5. Oscar

    This isn't news. Also, what's with the suggestive headline? If you know he didn't say that, then why suggest it? It amazes me that an august, sound-minded commentator like David Gergen and whatever "journalist" penned that headline actually work for the same news organization.

    February 2, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. This is CHANGE

    ...but he has the ULTIMATE out. "It was an honest mistake..." I only wish the 66,882,230 Americans that put him into office could say the same thing.

    February 2, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Vicky

    He should take a look at his OWN wife...
    Geezzzzzz.....her hips and booty are HUGE !!!

    February 2, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. dave

    another non story to bring out the childish comments...perhaps we can find some actual news to cover and discuss?

    February 2, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    he already has government-funded contraceptives...it's called government-funded abortion

    February 2, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. kayla


    February 2, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Marcel - Atlanta

    To everyone who wants to make big deal of this:

    If you were watching the interview you would see that he leaned forward and was reading the headline over Jessica Simpson's photo that took the place of his photo in the actual spread inside the magazine. I doubt that he gives a rats you-know-what about Jessica Simpson and whatever weight problem the media is making her out to have. Take a chill pill people! REALLY, take a chill pill...

    February 2, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. carol

    It seems he read something from the cover and the public has chosen to make it mean something more.

    POTUS was not trying to insult Jessica Simpson. There are scores and scores of problems to be resolved, he does not have time to engage in insults of women. After all, he has a wife and 2 daughters, right? Let us stop looking for the negative, meaness, and hatefuness in every single thing.

    February 2, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. Nate

    Oh please. he was reading exactly what was on the magazine matt lauher was holding up in his face. Her picture was there and they were commenting on her weight.

    All he said was apparently she has some sort of weight issue. Since that is what the picture said in his face. It was obviously not a dig at her if you actually have a brain connected to your eyes and watched it.

    February 2, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Kim

    To everyone who is taking a "dig" at our President (including CNN): Read this carefully. I saw the interview. Maybe you can watch it too so you will see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears HE DID NOT TAKE A DIG AT JESSICA SIMPSON. HE READ THE HEADLINE THAT WAS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE "US" MAGAZINE. Get it?! Go to MSNBC and watch it!!!!

    February 2, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. rachel

    I knew a post about that was coming. I dont think it was a real dig but he shouldnt have said anything about weight.

    February 2, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. Steven

    OK, who cares?

    February 2, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher

    It is the American people who foster dishonesty and hypocrisy in our elected officials rather than allowing them to speak freely and focus only upon the important. Ms. Simpson's issues aren't an issue and any mention should be noted as idle conversation or not at all. The President or anyone in authority must be allowed to be human when not dealing with issues!!!

    February 2, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Bernard Adeniyi

    Goodmorning Sir.best regard to you and your family!pls hg will like you to know more detail about President Obama'r dig.thank you

    February 2, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Bob

    If some criticizes Mrs Obama they are racist. Where is the racist stamp for BHO? He made a negative comment about a white woman. A white woman who is much more attractive that his wife will ever be. Maybe he is jealous.

    February 2, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Jessica IS a person of color

    I dont think he was putting her down. From Michelle's hips you can tell he likes a little meat on the bones.

    February 2, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Angie in Pa

    What a waste of Journalism whats the matter Cnn bored today unbeliveable! the right wingers are going to be all over this! this kind of reporting is pathetic!

    February 2, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Brandon Taratoot

    I wanna know what he thought about Michael Phelps's new friend.

    February 2, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. skullsoup432

    W H O C A R E S????????????????????

    February 2, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. mike

    Reading a headline from a magazine is in no way the same as expressing ones opinion, wow I'm not a journalist an even I know that much.
    The Greedy Obstructionists Party's Ideas Are Bankrupt !!!

    February 2, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. I Support Our President

    Truth B Told @ 600: If I had a face like yours, I'd learn to shave my butt and walk backwards – just saying.

    February 2, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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