Racial remarks about Michele Obama have landed Silvio Berlusconi in hot water again. Having once referred to the US president as tanned he has now repeated the phrase in relation to the First Lady.
He made the comments during an address to supporters after returning from the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. He said he had met “What’s his name? Some tanned guy, Ah Barack Obama.” “You won’t believe it,” he went on to say. “The two of them sunbathe together, she’s also tanned.” Unacceptable utterance or harmless banter, Italy seems divided. One man in Rome said: “you can make a joke once, but when jokes become a government programme it means it comes from inside, yesterday’s comment was unnecessary.” Another man said: “Without a happy environment where jokes are allowed, it would be hard to live together. We need to joke and laugh together about who we are without looking for tension. Berlusconi is fine.” When Obama was elected Berlusconi described him as “young, handsome” and having “a good tan.” At the G20 the Obamas appeared to greet him a little less warmly than other leaders. He was the only one Michele did not kiss.