Whoopi Goldberg: Much-Maligned George W. Bush Joke, Released by NY Times

Whoopi Goldberg’s Much-Maligned George W. Bush Joke

The ‘View’ host and comedian has said that her career suffered a setback after media outlets bashed her comments, claiming her remarks at a 2004 fundraiser for then-presidential candidate John Kerry were filled with sexual innuendo.


In 2004, Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg was one of Hollywood figures who performed at a fundraiser for then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, where her comments about then-incumbent president George W. Bush were criticized by media outlets at the time as being too sexually charged.

Goldberg has claimed that her career went dark amid the backlash, but her exact joke hasn’t been widely covered until now.

As part of a profile on the comedian, NY Times magazine dug up the text of her joke and printed it.

“When Bush comes to shove, don’t whine,” she told the crowd, according to The Times. “Vote Kerry. And that’s why I’m here tonight. Because I love bush. But someone’s giving bush a bad name. Someone has tarnished the name of bush. Someone has waged war, someone has deliberately misled the country, someone has attempted to amend the Constitution, all in the name of bush. The bush I know and cherish would never do such things. My bush is smarter than that. And if my bush is smarter than that, you can understand just how dumb I think that other bush is.” She closed by saying, “Vote your heart and mind, and keep bush where it belongs,” pointing at her crotch.

She later added about the career consequences for coverage of her remarks that they’re “unique to me, because I didn’t say any of the shit that they have accused me of saying.”

“I mean, I did stuff,” she told The Times. “but I didn’t do what they said I did. And I will take anything that you’re mad at that I actually did. But you cannot accuse me of shit I didn’t do.”

At the Edinburg TV Fest, Goldberg said that her career came to a “gigantic halt” after the coverage of her comments at the Kerry fundraiser.

“I would describe that situation as a lot of people covering their backsides, because the joke was never about him,” she said. “But no one ever stood up and said, ‘Hey, here’s what actually happened.’ And they put it in the newspaper. And you notice, they’d never say what I exactly said or what I said at all. But all somebody has to do is say you said it and that’s what happened.”

After her appearance at the Kerry fundraiser, the NY Times called it “an X-rated rant full of sexual innuendoes against President Bush,” that included a “stream of vulgar sexual wordplays on Bush’s name in a riff about female genitalia.”

She was dropped as a SlimFast spokesperson, because executives were unhappy with her remarks at the event.

“We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended our consumers. Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air,” the company’s manager Terry Olson said.