July 9th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama regrets interview with daughters

The Obama family marched in a July 4 parade in Montana.

The Obama family marched in a July 4 parade in Montana.

(CNN) - Days after Barack Obama granted the first television interview with his entire family, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said he regrets thrusting his two young daughters in the media spotlight.

"I think that we got carried away in the moment," Obama told NBC Wednesday morning. "We were having a birthday party and everybody was laughing, and suddenly this thing cropped up, and I didn't catch it quickly enough and I was surprised by the attention it got."

The comments came five days after the Illinois senator allowed Access Hollywood reporter Maria Menounos a sit-down interview with his entire family, including daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha 7. The television show, which aired the interview Tuesday, billed it as the first interview with the whole Obama family.

The interview remained decidedly light - Malia commented on seeing her mother in People Magazine while Sasha discussed her father's aversion to sweets - but it was highly played across several news programs, including many on CNN. (Earlier: Obama family talks campaign life)

Watch: Are Obama's kids off limits?

Also appearing on ABC Wednesday morning, Obama said he didn't think it was healthy for his two daughters to be so exposed.

"Particularly given the way it sort of went around the cable stations, I don't think it's healthy and it's something that we'll be avoiding in the future," he said.

Full story

Watch: Obama family interviewed on Access Hollywood

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. No Mccain or war!

    If I can't have Ron Paul, I'm switching parties to vote Obama.

    July 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |

    Didn't MSNBC say something about pimping out Chelsea. At least she's in her late twenties.

    Show me the superior judgement here folks. Isn't that what Obama has touted all along.

    Good luck in the fall Dems.. I'll be voting for John McCain. I'll join you again in 2012.

    July 9, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Stacy

    I think it will be a great day when this family who is extremely down to earth in the white house!
    Obama 08'

    July 9, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Greg, NY

    Before all you Hillary fanatics go crazy, please remember that the Clintons did the same thing with Chelsea when she was younger.

    They shielded her from the media as much as they could and even when she was campaigning for her mother this past year she refused to answer any questions from reporters.

    July 9, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. sky

    It was nice to see an unscripted, casual and spontaneous moment without flags flying behind and a motorcade and crewcut secret service people. It was very human and it told me a lot about their family. Their children are secure people who speak up without being afraid to do so and their parents did not feel worried about what they might say because they really have nothing to hide. It was a good thing. He needs to quit second guessing things.

    July 9, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. John from LA

    Typical of this man-doesn't think things through-but the bots will say-"Oh it's OK-people make mistakes"-yes they do-but he should've know better...these girls have no place on the trail-but to be left alone!

    He and the Mrs. are so hungry for attention!-Pride comes before a fall!

    July 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. Rodney

    Are we as Americans so consumed in political viewpoints that even young children are targets. This political season is getting out of hand.

    July 9, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Nate


    We don't want ya back!

    July 9, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. richard

    Keep the kids out of the spotlight, the media slime machine in this country is not to be trusted.

    Good call, Obama.

    July 9, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. scotty

    He will proubly be keeping them away from the press now. I was noticing he is raffling off tickets to the convention with a donation on his website. MN had to change there Gambling laws to allow it. is this how he is going to fill the stadium at the convention?

    July 9, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. Flip-Flop Artist

    Guess this is going to be his flip-flop of the day. He's getting heat for commercializing and exploiting his children all in the name of getting votes, so now he has to backtrack and switch positions. He is becoming the politcal joke of 2008. This is a real life sitcom starring Barack Obama.

    July 9, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Scott, Charlotte

    "Still for Hill", thanks for honoring us with your vote in 2012. Geez, I'm not sure how we'll sleep at night knowing you've tossed it away in 2008. But again, thanks for the 2012 vote to help give President Obama his second term.

    July 9, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. gary


    July 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Realistic

    If Hillary was the candidate, then we would have a candidate who was $30 million in debt and getting more in debt all the time as a consequence of her total inability to manager her finances.

    If Hillary wasn't a woman, she'd have been considered a great big joke of a candidate with all the fake stuff, such as the Tuzla whopper, etc. The only reason that she got the votes she did was because she was a woman, and many of her supporters were voting for her only because she was a woman which is why they are dropping back out of politics now.

    Contrast this with the Latin voters who have wholeheartedly and enthusiastically changed to Barack as their candidate.

    July 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Dood

    That was the wife's decision to put them on TV, not his. You can tell.

    I'd say most things in that relationship are the wife's decision, though. She probably made him run for President.

    July 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Steve (Independent)

    Frankly, I thought it was refreshing, the only thing bad about it is media spin attempting to turn into something more than what it was intended to be. Anyone can be caught off guard at such a moment when their family is involved, and proves nothing more about one's ability to lead a nation, other than they too are human.

    July 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    the interview with Obama famliy was great and if they decide to not do it again in protecting the kids; that's understandable.

    Now I know PUMA (People Under Mental Anguish) and the repugnants anti-family bigots may want to tear the Obama's apart; but not to worry.....Obama is just protecting his family!

    Kudos to Obama and his family!

    McShame was the one that cheated on his first wife to marry a younger one for her wealth!

    July 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. SJ

    Anyone is allowed to vote as they wish. But former Hillary backers who, instead of refusing to vote for Obama, decide to vote for John McCain, are racist. There is no other explanation. In which case, the Democratic party doesn't want you back in 2012 (STILL FOR HILL)....

    Go OBAMA!

    July 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. sue calgary

    My advice Obama, is watch every move, every step and ever word as there are those out there willing to scrutinize and criticize your every move. Leave the kids out of the spotlight!
    Obama for Change!

    July 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. mk

    Need to get a bigger stadium for this guy's ego.

    July 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Erika, KS

    Shows you how inexperienced Obama really is. Using his young daughters to gain political advantage. Shameful. Yet another example of the decisions Obama makes that must be questioned. I don't think this guy is ready to lead our nation.

    July 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Arthur

    RE: STILL FOR HILL. You obviously don't care what happens to the country if you are willing to vote for McCain over Obama. Please DON"T join us in 2012. You are the one with poor jugment.

    I saw parts of the interview on NBC news. I thought it was nice, unscripted and spontaneous. I understand why Mr. and Mrs. Obama want to protect their children from more media attention, but this was a very very good moment for them.

    July 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Anita - Wisconsin

    If, heaven forbit, he is elected president what is he going to do with his kids and wife? He should have thought of all of the attention they['ll get BEFORE HE DECIDED TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. Obama has no character to begin with – why would he consider his family and their needs.

    July 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Rose

    I thought it was a wonderful way to introduce America to this delightful family.

    Campbell Brown (on last night's Election Center) should be absolutely ashamed for trying to make something sinister and exploitative about this totally innocuous interview. She has no journalistic integrity.

    July 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. Steve B, NewYork. NY


    Good Riddance .... We don't need you ... Have fun with McSame Bombing Iran, Appointing anti-choice judges, ruining our economy and being in Iraq for 100 years !

    Good riddance in deed.
    And in 2012, when Obama is running for his 2nd term .. we still won't need you.

    Thats reality !

    July 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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