Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer’s poor attempt at a joke about his title landed with a thunk this week, when he told an international summit of African leaders that he doesn’t “whip people.”
Speaking to leaders from more than 50 African nations at the African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., the Massachusetts congressman looked uncomfortably into the crowd when he realized his comment was met with awkward silence, a smattering of courtesy chuckles and a single slow clap, according to video posted on YouTube.
Among the summit’s key speakers were former President George W. Bush, Laura Bush and congressional leaders. Hoyer’s address came at the end of the conference, which covered a broad range of social and security issues, from women’s health to the threat of terrorism, according to local TV station WJLA.
Hoyer may have meant to get some laughs, but the joke was on him. Watch the uncomfortable moment here:
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