White House: Obama wasn't booed in Boston

Boston Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis tips his helmet as he comes off the field after hitting a triple and being replaced with a pinch runner in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Boston, June 24, 2012.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

(CBS News) At a campaign stop in Boston on Monday, President Barack Obama jokingly thanked the Red Sox for trading popular infielder Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox - Obama's beloved hometown team. The comment invoked what sounded like a smattering of boos.

The White House was in damage control Tuesday. Spokesman Jay Carney insisted Boston fans at the event were yelling "Yooook" (Youkilis' nickname) and not "boo" when Mr. Obama made his comment.

Aboard Air Force One, Carney - a Red Sox fan - lauded Mr. Obama for refusing to pander on sports, noting the president once refused to wear a Red Sox cap. He said the president would never even pretend that he's not a White Sox fan.

Not surprisingly, the Romney campaign had a different take on the comment.

"Last night in Boston, President Obama went to the heart of Red Sox nation and committed an error by taunting fans over the Kevin Youkilis trade to the Chicago White Sox," the Romney campaign said in a statement.

The Romney statement added: "Maybe the President should have congratulated the team for winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007. Instead, he chose to mock them for trading away one of its favorite players at a time when the team is struggling."

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    Peter Maer is a CBS News White House Correspondent.