Berlusconi Adds Michelle to His 'Tan Obama' Dig

'Even his wife is suntanned,' Italian leader chuckles
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 29, 2009 2:35 AM CDT
Michelle Obama shakes Silvio Berlusconi's hand from a distance as he arrives at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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(Newser) – Daffy Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi thought his first joke about President Obama being "tan" was so funny he repeated it —and this time included Michelle in the fun.  "I bring greetings from a man, what's his name? Some tanned guy—Barack Obama," Berlusconi said at a rally after returning from the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh. "You won't believe it, but the two of them sunbathe together because even his wife is tanned."

 L'Unita newspaper complained that the "racist gaffe makes us look ridiculous before the whole world," reports Reuters. Berlusconi first referred to President Obama as "tan" last year, sparking a storm. The Italian press noted that while Michelle Obama kissed and hugged other world leaders in Pittsburgh, she appeared cool to Berlusconi. She merely took his hand from an arm's-length away—even though the prime minister raised his arms, anticipating an embrace.