Robert DeNiro criticized for Michelle Obama joke

At an Obama fundraiser, Deniro said that the U.S. isn't "ready for a white first lady." (Photo: ABC7)

Actor Robert DeNiro is being criticized for comments he made Monday night at a fundraiser attended by First Lady Michelle Obama.

A White House Pool report says the actor named{ }the first lady's{ }Republican rivals then joked that America “isn’t ready for a white first lady.”

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wants President Obama to apologize for DeNiro's comments.

"Everybody in the country should hold the president accountable when somebody at his event says something that is utterly and totally unacceptable as what Robert DeNiro said last night and I call on the president to apologize for him," Gingrich said.

The Obama campaign says the joke was inappropriate.

DeNiro issued a statement saying his remarks were not meant to offend or embarrass anyone, especially the first lady.