June 26th, 2009
08:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama sends condolences to Jackson's family, says Gibbs

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/20/art.gibbs.gi.jpg
caption="Robert Gibbs said he talked to President Obama Friday morning about the death of Michael Jackson."]
(CNN) - President Obama thinks Michael Jackson was a "spectacular performer" but also a man with aspects of his life that were "sad and tragic," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.

"I talked to him about it this morning," Gibbs said in the White House's first reaction to Jackson's death. "Look, he said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon. I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching the moon walk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary."

"But the president also said, look, he had aspects of his life were sad and tragic," Gibbs added. "His condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans who mourn his loss."

Gibbs was quickly pressed over why the White House did not issue a formal statement on Jackson's death.

"Because I just said it," he said.

Filed under: Michael Jackson • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Tony

    It took NOBAMA over 3 days to issue a statement on the Soldier shot in AR. and less than 24 hours for Jackson. We know where he stands.

    What a disgrace to the military this guy is.

    June 26, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Marcus Tate

    A "predicted death?" And Jackson did have an upcoming tour and comeback planned. Anyone consider the idea that this might be a publicity stunt? These days, I don't put anything past anyone. Do we have a certified copy of a death certificate?

    June 26, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Elmo

    >Why is the media so concerned about what President Obama has to
    >say about Michael Jackson?"

    Is it because he's black?

    June 26, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. makesUwonder

    SHAMEFUL that this President would send condolences to the Jackson family, but has no problem what so ever sending NOTHING to the family of Farrah Fawcett.

    June 26, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. B.H.

    Can’t believe the coverage Jackson is getting...... This must say something about our cultural decline big time!!

    What a Creep.....

    June 26, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. ticker junkie

    CNN should take some notes from Gibbs.

    Thank you Mr. Gibbs.

    wow what a slow news cycle, huh CNN?

    June 26, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Tehran, Tn

    Why should he release a statement? So, he should release a statement everything an American dies or even when a soldier die? They would be nice but not realistic. Is it because Obama is Black that he should release a statement???? No one asked why didnt release a statement about Ed or Farrah. . .

    June 26, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. NWisconsin Boy

    The death of Michael Jackson is a newsworthy event, but as usual the press is blowing the whole thing way out of proportion because it's sensationalistic. Gibbs was correct in not dragging the President into it. Of couse Obama is sad about Jacksons death..now lets move on to more pressing issues..

    June 26, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. ib

    I am very sorry that Mr. Jackson has died but he is a singer; not a god; not a king; not a president. The media is to the point of being absurd on the coverage of his death. Two other performers have died; one the same day why isn't there coverage of them??

    June 26, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. S Callahan

    Frankly, it's more appropriate for a comment from the Entertainment industry and not the Presidental palace.

    June 26, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Annonymous

    It's called RESPECT for the immediate family NOT the self-absorbed public to at least WAIT for the body to cool down for crying out loud! I'm glad that President Obama carries the commonsense for those who are clueless and careless in these type of tragic situations!

    June 26, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Claudia in Houson

    For all you Michael Jackson lovers, like myself, or haters we loved Farrah Faucett too but also knew her time was near and may God bless her soul. SO TRY TO RESPECT BOTH, THAT WAY YOU ALSO RESPECT THEIR FAMILIES AND YOURSELF.

    June 26, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. GuyInVA

    A formal statement? This wasn't a world leader that died. He was an entertainer. I feel for his family because blood can make one overlook a lot of things. But, for Pete's sake, how long does one mourn a degenerate pedophile? Now begin the screams of "he was acquitted!" Yes he was. So was O.J. So was William Ayers ("guilty as hell and free as a bird. America is a great country"). Jackson settled one suit out of court. These settlements supposedly involve no admission of wrong doing. However, when you pay a kid to stop telling his story about you, don't be shocked when people believe you committed the act.

    June 26, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. uh cause...

    @ dave c – nj....

    really? guy? come on now.
    grow up

    June 26, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. DawnL,CA

    "Mourning the loss" of a child molester. Mr. Pres.-sometimes it is better to say nothing.

    June 26, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. yoyolite

    I don't get the fuss. Is Obama suppose to react to everyone that died? Then he should give condolences to Ed, and Farrah too. True MJ was more popular but does that make the other two deaths less relevant. To their families I think not. Obama gave his condolences, now what should he do declare MJ bnirthday a holiday. I love MJ but to criticise the president but he didn't issue an immediate statement is just lame.

    June 26, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Chris G.

    Robert Gibbs. Worst. Press Secretary. Ever.

    June 26, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Alfred E. Neumann

    Let the fight over his estate begin!

    Who gets the loot? The kids? The debt?

    I'm rooting for the lawyers!

    June 26, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. Tom

    I think Rev. Sharpton said it best, "he made a person of color acceptable to America long before Oprah, Tiger Woods, and Barack Obama, and he did it with music." I like Obama, but you would think he'd have thought a little bit more about this, especially considering their shared ethnic backgrounds. I guess he's too busy being the first Black President.

    June 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. angrysob in VA

    I'm so glad to hear that Sen Obama issued his condolences to the family of the child molesting has-been. Did he do the same for Farrah or Ed's surviving family?

    What idiodic, self absorbed Hollywood misfit will be the next to take too many drugs? Wipe 'em all out as far as I'm concerned.

    June 26, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Sad4Michael

    President Obama's reaction to clerics in Iran was brilliant. His response to Jackson's death was cold. My 2 cents.

    June 26, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. citizen

    Whenever I want to check in and see how crazy people in this nation are, all I have to do is look up one of these blogs.

    June 26, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Amazing how a child molester gets all this adoration. Sure Jackson sold a ton of records, he also engaged in inexcusable acts. Honor the music, not the man.

    June 26, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. les_b

    A demeaning of tragedy. Certainly sad for friends / family, but no tragic dimensions here. An obsessive, odd person apparently self-destructed. That's it.

    June 26, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. q taxpayer

    Biggest tax increase in world history passed by Democrat House – not one story on CNN front page.

    Tax to hit poor and middle class the most.

    June 26, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9