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. Jomo

    If you didn't see the interview, you should not comment. I saw it. HE WAS READING THE HEADLINE! People who are commenting on the "MISQUOTE" should do there own homework. Lastly, if "mainstream" America didn't hold their women to the same uniform, pencil thin standard, this young lady would not be in the "mainstream imposed battle".

    February 2, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. G

    Did people read the ticker it said he was misquoted so stop jumping all over him geez.

    February 2, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. willberlin

    Who cares? At all?

    February 2, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Thomas, Missoula, MT

    Who cares

    People Magazine is irrelevant vapid drivel anyway.

    February 2, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Patty in the CA mountains

    It's always amusing to see how the presentation can slant the story.....he was obviously and simply responding to the question and the headline....the media frenzy surrounding Jessica lately is and has been that she is "losing a weight battle"....the fact that any woman would love to have her form is beside the point.....I'm impressed that he's that well informed...sheesh

    February 2, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. No Incumbents 2010

    I think she looks even hotter. People need to get a life.

    February 2, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. NanaJeanie

    Like the say in sports – "lets go to the videotape"- it is quite apparent it was not a jab at all! The President is clearly quoting what is on the magazine cover verbatem. Jessica Simpson has nothing to worry about (she is lovely and looks wonderful! ). Further the magazine ("US?")was behind the title of the article. Frankly disappointed by some posters here who obviously did not actually see the clip and made such snarky comments about either subject without the facts.

    February 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. Jane

    Oh wow. He is worried about one magazine cover. I don't care what he said or what context it is in. He should be more worried about our nation's economic future, the thousands of jobs lost each month, and the ridiculous additions in the stimulus bill than his own place in pop culture magazine cultures. Give me a break. I'm so glad I didn't vote for this guy.

    February 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. Dave C - NJ

    Ahh the comments already show that people are not reading the actual article.


    February 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Tammy - Minnesota

    Wow, those questioning his motives didn't or couldn't read the article. He didn't say what the transcript said he said. That's the point, so stop the questions about his potentially being a bigot and stop insulting his wife. Morons

    February 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Three rights make a left, I wan'na go home.

    February 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Carmel

    CNN and other biased media...would you have been so quick to set the record straight for a Republican president?

    Didn't think so.

    February 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Richelle

    Leigh, did you even read the article? It plainly states he was reading the headline, he was not making any reference to Jessica Simpson. Why are people always trying to make anything President Obama says a racial issue?

    February 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. AJ

    @ Truth B Told : Your comment was vicious. I saw the interview and the magazine as well. Our President only re-read what the magazine said. You freaking people get on my %#$^ nerves. The minute our President says anything you @##%^&* inspectors try to tear him apart for that. You didn't do it to Bush and God knows he gave us all plenty of reason to do so. Lay off the First Lady. Period. And Truth B Told....you're and %^&@*$!... now you fill in the blanks

    February 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Leigh, Michael B, and Truth B Told: get a life please and read the entire ticker. It's very short, so it shouldn't be too mentally challenging.

    Sheesh! It says that the President "visibly" read the headline on the cover of the paper and that he never stated Jessica Simpson was losing anything. He was NOT insulting anyone or being rude or catty. There was nothing "sad" about him reading the headline. Michael B., it WASN'T a presidential comment, at all. Truth B Told, tell us what you look like before you start in on the President's beautiful, intelligent wife.

    I'm white, just so none of you get confused.

    February 2, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. YellowDoll

    I just knew some idiot was going to make something out of nothing when I watched the interview. This is not news just morons trying to make unnecessary articles by throwing in words President Obama didn't even say. GET A LIFE!!!!

    February 2, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. chunky latina

    hell with this economy we are going to need our fat, skinny people are going to be droping like flies!

    February 2, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Come on people ... get a life.
    President Obama was reading the headline on the magazine.
    Nothing to see here ... move on.

    February 2, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Tim

    Just another example of how too many people are going to jump all over this guy no matter what stupid it is. Is this even news worthy?

    February 2, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. shoegazer

    It has become quite obvious that the new President is not going to be able to say or do anything that doesn't hit the headlines....true or false.

    February 2, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. dan harrigan

    I watched the interview last night and my wife and I could not believe what we heard .Clearly Obama thought he was being funny and glib when he stepped in it. If you libs can't own up when he gacks a joke how will you handle gacked policy

    February 2, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. Mike in MS

    I bet Obama didn't say that. Just like his campain promise not to hire lobbyest. Or what about how the last two people Obama has nominated both cheated on their taxes. Change you can beleive in my ***.

    February 2, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Do you notice there is no CNN journalist listed to give credits for writing this piece of trash.

    I don't blame CNN.

    I will wonder the rest of my life who wrote this garbage.

    February 2, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Franky

    She is fat. So what, she got Tony to protect her and regardless he said it or not, i wish he had. Heck, I'll say it...she is one fat b...well, you know, LOL!

    Let me guess, bloggers started acting crazy, huh? What else to expect...

    February 2, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. ummu

    leave the president alone,ialso understand the right to speak has left the press with no respect to peoples pravecy.

    February 2, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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