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. Kevin

    Out of context and misquoted...COME ON PEOPLE, PLEASE STOP! My goodness!

    February 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. Benjamin Corey

    One day, when I say everything completely perfectly all the time, I think I will criticize something like that, its as though people think he followed everything going on with Jessica Simpson and was making an informed statement, I mean people can't speak perfectly all the time.... oh – crap! There was a little too much weight in that run on sentence.

    February 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Obama DID NOT mean anything by that comment! Come on people, why make such a stink over something so stupid?

    Obama was AWESOME in that interview. I don't agree with mentioning that a member of his secret services' son is a tackle at Florida. To me that's a HUGE blunder, but yet you only complain about the Jessica Simpson comment!


    February 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. citadelgrrl05

    Truth b Told. You are a disgusting racist and uncalled for. That is not what he said and you need to get over yourserlf and shut the heck up about michelle's hips she looks great unlike your other boring and gastly first ladies except for jackie O. Oh fyi I am also tired of cnn calling the president mr. Obama he is President Obama get it right. Truth b told you and cnn are being misleading on purpose so was the republipuke that transcribed it knowing that was not what he said. Come on people get over yourselves.

    February 2, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. Linda in MS

    Don't some of you bother to read anything other than the headline?
    It clearly says Mr. Obama was just reading what was on the cover. I saw the interview, and that's what he did. CNN you are guilty of trying to create controversy out of nothing, and are fanning the flames of hate. Shame on you. TruthBTold, you are a cretin.

    February 2, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. It is any Wonder?

    This would be hilarious – if it wasn't so sad and sorry. First of all – for those of you responding so righteously to his comments – you clearly did not see the interview. If you had, you would have seen that he was not making a comment about Jessica Simpson's weight – he was reading the headline.
    For CNN – shame on you. This is pathetic. More reason to turn to MSNBC.

    For those who repsonded so insultingly...get lives.

    No wonder our country is in such trouble.

    February 2, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Dan, TX

    Matt Lauer thought it was funny that they covered up the picture of the President of the US and the President read the headline to acknowledge that in our culture Jessica Simpson is more important than the President. Sounds like an ironic point of appreciation by Obama that the people on this blog also probably care more about Jessica Simpson than politics.

    February 2, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. rick

    I can see that the Republican'ts are still bitter about losing this past election. The heading says something about President Obama's e-mail and then there is an article about misquoted commments that President Obama's made. How sad!

    February 2, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Bev

    Seriously, give the man a break! Doesn't CNN have more "presidential" stuff to report. People have become mroe and more disllusioned with you and your reporters. Wolf and John King are about the only reason why I somteimes tune in to glacne at something on CNN.

    February 2, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. jbs ohio


    February 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. chris

    M I S S Q U O T E D

    February 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. eja

    I saw the interview and he clearly did not say she was losing a weight battle. Who cares about her weight?? People, lets not start taking jabs at our President. And as for Michelle's hips, men are into hips these days. Gives them something to hold onto. Ever heard of coke bottle figure? Well, no one wants to be shaped like a bell pepper. Curves are in!! All you popsicle sticks out there need to get a grip. As for our President, He is Brilliant. We all know that most of you SECRETLY voted for him..hahahahaha

    February 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Susan

    CNN, this is NOT news. You guys are rocking the boat. Aren't there starving people somewhere or another foreclosure suicide? That's at least noteworthy.

    February 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    If NBC has said that they transcribed his comment wrong and that he was reading the head line, what is the problem. Any idiot would clearly see that NBC made a goof and not the President.

    Get a life people. There will be another 3 years 11 months and 2 weeks for real Presidential Goofs. This was an NBC flub.

    February 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Tim

    USWeekly made the comment, Obama only read what was on the magazine. I don't hear anyone bad-mouthing the magazine. Once again highlighting the fact that general populace are dumb as bricks.

    February 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. John


    February 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Humored In Texas

    And this is important, why?!?!?!?!?!?!

    February 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. concerned citizen

    Truth B Told, you need to learn how to use an apostrophe! "Hip's" (sic)!

    February 2, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Terry

    WOW...could anyone imagine if President Bush or any republican had made that "harmless" comment. This article wouldn't have been written half as whimsically as it is and libs would have been calling for a public apology.
    The age of media-activism is in full swing.

    February 2, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Jon


    American news takes yet another sorry step towards the quality of coverage only expected in that of British tabloids.

    February 2, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Marie

    The media is forever taking every word out of context.he meant nothing offensive to Ms Simpson..This is not even news worthy and people that take it offensive are really lacking intelligence

    February 2, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Riddla

    who cares!

    macys cut 7000 jobs and cnn focuses on if the President thinks Jessica has gained weight?


    February 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Matt Lauer Tried To Get Cute

    Oh stop it !!!

    If you saw the interview with the President you know that all he was doing was reading the cover ...

    AFTER NBC's Matt Lauer tried to get cute with the President about why he wasn't in the picture on the cover of the magazine when the same picture inside the magazine showed him off to the right side.

    He's response was to look at the cover ... on the right side ... and that's where People Magazine had superimposed a caption and picture about Jessica Simpson's weight.

    Obama isn't a stiff shirt ... he teased Washington DC about dealing with snow ... he called himself a mutt ... and he tried to accomodate Lauer's silly question.

    All he did was read the cover folks.... There's nothing here. Move along.

    February 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. DJ

    This dufus is the next George Bush.

    February 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Peter Ramsey

    Obama should resign.
    I remember Jimmy Carter said much the same thing.
    Next thing you know, America will be under Sharia law and women will be forced to wear beards.

    February 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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