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Michelle Obama is 'suntanned'? Berlusconi's Top 5 gaffes

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Charles Dharapak/AP/File

(Read caption) President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as he arrives for the G-20 summit dinner in Pittsburgh, Sept. 24.

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There he goes again.

That President-Obama-is-"tanned" line, apparently, doesn't get old for Italy's flamboyant, controverial Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

So, he trotted it out again, this time in reference to First Lady Michelle Obama.

At a rally on Sunday night Mr. Berlusconi said: "I have to bring you some greetings, greetings from a man, what is his name, what is his name – just a minute it was someone with a tan – ah, Barack Obama."

He then added: "You won't believe it, but they went together to the beach to get a tan because even his wife is suntanned."

If you're hearing crickets, you're not alone. But Mr. Berlusconi got a nice chuckle out of it, and so did his audience of cheering, smiling supporters. (video below)

Racist gaffe?

Italy's opposition, as usual, is making a stink. "He makes us look ridiculous before the whole world," said L'Unita the opposition newspaper in a front-page article, adding that the comment was "a racist gaffe." The left-leaning La Repubblica said it was a "reckless comment."

Berlusconi last year called Obama "young, handsome, and tanned," and the past few years are littered with his high-profile buffoonery (see Top 5 below), comments that are usually referred to as "gaffes" even though a gaffe (ask Vice President Joe Biden) usually implies that the guilty party actually made a mistake.


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