May 18th, 2009
12:07 PM ET
12 years ago

Boehner responds to Obama's 'person of color' joke

WASHINGTON (CNN) – GOP congressional leader John Boehner is brushing off President Obama’s recent joke about Boehner’s famously permanent tan.

At the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner a week ago, the country’s first African-American president said he had “a lot in common” with Boehner who is Caucasian. “He is a person of color,” Obama joked before a massive ballroom of celebrities and Washington journalists. “Although not a color that appears in the natural world,” Obama added, barely able to keep his composure as he delivered the dig.

“As I tell my friends, you only tease the ones you love,” Boehner said responding to Obama Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Yeah, I enjoy being outside,” Boehner added, trying to explain his persistently tanned appearance.

“I’d rather be heckled than ignored,” the Ohio Republican told CNN’s John King.

soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Andre

    Being offended??? Are you kidding me.... some of you people are calling Obama a racist....
    Washington wasn't a racist – a slave owner... like the rest of the earlier presidents??? But we (America) honor them...
    Lets speak the truth... as McCain can say "Straight Talk America"... This country was built on racism... if you consider Obama a racist – then add the other presidents.

    May 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Patrick, Lake Stevens, Washington

    I think John Boehner handled the pun well. He did not appear to be angered or slighted by President Obama lighthearted jabs. Not much of a story here.

    May 18, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Rob Johnson

    Good one Obama! Man, Boehner is creepy, the unnatural skin color is just part of the package. I also liked Obama's joke about Michael Steele being "in the heezy." What a refreshing change to have a witty, intelligent President!

    Don't get me wrong, Bush made us laugh a lot, but it usually was unintentional on his part.

    May 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Shadysider

    It's funny because Boehner isn't tanned. He's orange'd. "Ernie. I am your father."

    May 18, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. please

    May 18th, 2009 12:38 pm ET

    Its funny that CNN gives morons like Mississippi Mike and phoenix 86 a " free pass " to spout off idiotic comments repeatedly yet will censor and block EVERY comment I try to post! I smell a DOUBLE STANDARD here!

    It's actually CNN's goal to keep the dems in power. That is why MM and phoenix's posts are contently posted. After reading them, not many would want to join a party that shared those twos "ideas."

    May 18, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. mark

    racism is part of people in the south. racism is still exist in the south. no matter what we do to destroy racism, it will still exist in the mind of southerners. that's the reason why i do not go to south. it is a shame.

    May 18, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. etl

    Gee Terry – chill – fake tans AREN"T natural color

    May 18, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. etl

    Oops – I meant Joann – sorry Terry

    May 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Cheryl Tx

    @Mario May 18th, 2009 12:58 pm ET
    If Bush would have said something like that, the AFLCIO would scream to have his head, blacks like Jesse Jackson or that fat slob Al Sharpton would be calling for a revolution against the white man
    **I remember Daddy Bush referring to his Grand Children ....Quote** I Got some White ones and some Brown ones...I personally would've slap his old wrinkled face,but Laura Bush just smiled***He wasn't joking he was as serious as he is wrinkle ***
    @Judy May 18th, 2009 12:49 pm ET
    The joke was funny. The way the President told it was even funnier.
    **Key word Joke you are soooo RIGHT!!!

    May 18, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Natural beauty

    @ Senior, who said, at least mr.boehner can tan, bambi must burn and get darker.

    On the contrary, senior, black people was blessed with beautiful skin. So we don't have to worry about burning and getting darker, but white people like you on the other hand should worry about burning, sizzling, and sun cancer. You know stuff like that, and from the sound of it, you sound like one of those pale, whiter than snow people that need some color to your white skin...... Just saying!!!

    May 18, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Rick`

    I think this is one of the items that makes the news because it creates discussion even if its not real news. Why can a black man (even if its the President of the U.S.) give a "person of color" joke not deserve to get criticized but a white man says the same and that person would make front page news and not buried behind a smaller headline? A lot of people have said its a double standard and they are ablolutely right. Blacks can say whatever they want about blacks and whites, but whites better be very careful what they say about anyone non-white. When blacks stop making the off color jokes then they can expect to see progress on the racism issues.

    May 18, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. KDS

    Oh, get over yourself. It was funny.

    May 18, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Moderate Democrat

    @Why SO bitter, Dems? May 18th, 2009 1:04 pm ET
    He doesn't believe the earth is flat. He doesn't try to tell women what they can and can not do. He is actually smart. He actually hasn't messed up our country completely and utterly. And he cares about 95% of the people...all of them. Unlike the GOP who only care about white, rich, males.

    So to answer your question. Smart people voted for Obama because: He's not a republican (aka Terrorist)

    May 18, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Yoli

    I loved the joke, I was laughing outload. Thank Goodness my skin is natural brown and I love it. Boner skin looks orange trying to look tan. LOL!

    May 18, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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