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. Sean K.

    Another flip flop and exercise in poor judgment. If he can't make wise decisions about his own family, how can he be trusted with ours. I'm sure he's a great guy, but the stakes here are too high.

    July 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. G M

    I really like to see confident kids and those kids were confident. There was nothing wrong with them being on T.V.

    July 9, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Jay

    Flip Flopping again Obama. Nothing new.


    Hillary was our only choice!

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. prairieguy

    All you anti Obama folks are just so full of hate it is pathetic!!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. bud in NC

    Why is anyone surprised that a presidential candidate or president has a personal life. Is it a big deal? Obama rightfully has some reservations about this because he knows that right at this very moment Carl Rove is frothing at the mouth looking for some hate filled attack he can launch. McCain's minions too. I will be happy when this election is over,with a Dem in the white house, so I can go back to having my breakfast without being upset with yesterday's politics. My health will improve 100%.

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Nobama

    Another change in position, huh? What other decisions will this man make that he'll regret after just one day?

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Anita, Virgin islands2

    Haters give it a rest. I saw the interview and I found his older daughter to be very articulate. I agree with his decision not to do it again in the future‚Äďand certainly don't hold his original decision against him.

    Go Obama 08

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Elfrieda Fleck

    WE thought the Obama girls were absolutely adorable !! How delightful to see such an ordinary American family running for President of this great country !!

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Katrina

    Does OBama just not realize how much publicity his family will receive if he becomes President? C'mon that's just a retarded statement. There's no way around that now, dude, you're "in the spotlight!"

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Lerlene Hatfield

    I wish some of you commentors could see how silly and small you sound- truly pathetic

    And you're not changing any minds with your vitriol; all you're doing is illuminating your own prejudice-

    Are you proud of yourselves? Really?

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Empty suit, empty promises

    Sorry Barry, again this is either another quick as hell flip-flop or part of your campaigns STATED GOAL to REINVENT YOUR WIFE as to appear to be something she isn't, which is nice.

    You don't have the simple fortitude to make any easy decisions and you want us to trust you to make the difficult ones?

    I am writing this in English Barry just because you hate Americans that don't speak multiple languages, but I hope I don't appear to be bitter or clinging to guns or religoun or sounding like a typical white person.

    McCain – Powell or Condi 2008

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Denise Groves

    They were adorable, but I do not think I would allow my small children to be interviewed. People can be nasty. I remember Chelsea and how the media were to her. She was going through that gawky period.

    July 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Mike in NYC

    margo wrote:

    "He has socialist tendencies that are not compatible with this country."

    Try telling that to "No Mccain or war!", who claims to be a Ron Paul supporter who's switching to BO. Can you say "schizo"?

    July 9, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Sharon Minnesota

    If you are a supporter of any other candidate than Barack Obama, you should probably give the CNN blogs over to the Obamabots so they can talk to themselves. That's why you haven't heard from me for awhile. There are other news websites that are more unbiased and filter out posts that are just plain nasty toward other blogers. My suggestion to all who are anti-Obama is to stop watching the CNN network and stop using the CNN website until they start reporting and posting unbiased and fair news. And until they stop posting attack type blogs from pro-Obama people against people like Freida, Still for Hill and Sharon Minnesota.

    Boycott CNN who most likely won't post this!

    July 9, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. George


    He throws out what he thinks will help him and if polls disagree or he comes under fire, he say opps.... I should not have done that. NOBAMA has NO EXPERIENCE TO LEAD.

    I want a leader with a backbone. Someone who has a plan - not trial and error.

    His judgement is lacking in every way, his plans and people he surrounds himself with.

    He is a NOVELTY being used by the left. Sorry for him and us.

    July 9, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. voates88@comcast.net

    Barack Obama needs a big stadium due to crowd of people who want to hear him speak. I'm getting very tire of those Hillary Clinton supporters whining about their lost. I was a Hillary Clinton supporter myself but I'm over the RELATIONSHIP!!! GET OVER IT!!! If you want to vote for McCain – DO SO!! And stop Whining!!!

    Obama 2008!!

    Rahni, Connecticut

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Hopemonger in NYC

    As for Still for the Hill, it is pretty obvious to me that you are a Rush Limbaugh fanatic in Clinton clothing. Obama, Clinton and I, as well as millions of other Americans, will be working to build a better and brighter America. I hope you will eventually come to your senses and join us. No true Clinton supporter would be voting for John McCain who consistently votes against equal pay for women and is for continuation of the war in Iraq, not to mention the serious ramifications for the Supreme Court.

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Maureenfl

    Why do we always have to be so critical about people when they do nice things? We need to check ourselves. I love the interview, it really was refreshing to see a happy family together. There is so little of that today in this country. God bless you Obama. Too many people do not understand what you stand for in this country.

    GO OBAMA-08

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. gl

    It was good to see how the Obama family inter act. Great kids and it show what a great job he is doing at home. McSame left his wife to play house with barbie who spends more money in a month than most people see in a life time. McSame and his new barbie wife don't know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and some time have to go to those payday loans becasue they just can wait until their paycheck come. I can not believe how some people are trying to make this interveiw bad, but don't even mention that the McSames are spending big time money in a month times when most of us have to make a chose between food and filling up our car.

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Yes we can, PA

    The interview was fine and the access to the girls was not over the top. The problem came when CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and every other media outlet broadcast this thing over and over and over and over like these kids had just disclosed the cure to cancer!

    It was a little interview with kids talking about how their parents are kind of goofy. Cute and appropriate for kids! Our country is overly occupied with stars, atheletes, politicians, etc. That's what's over the top. I thought the interview was nice...and a side story to be seen once!

    It's sad how everything is turned into a circus event!

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Sebastian Kent

    It must be hard for the family to be apart as much as it is given your and Michele's travel right now.

    It was clear from the setting that you and your family were at some western-themed resort area. We all know that it was your eldest daughter's birthday on Friday.

    As you run for president in this tabloid obsessed world ( TMZ -to- People -to- National Enquirer -to- CNN -to- Access Hollywood) you've constantly got cameras following you. It must be very frustrating and very difficult for you and your family. You have to be a gracious, yet ever vigiliant, subject for these leach-like reporters. I could see your pensiveness as the "interview" was going on with the kids.

    You are doing the right thing Senator.

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Paula Hussein Mack

    Good call Barack.. there are so may racist nut jobs out there.. let the kids be kids and live as normally as they can.They are absolutely
    darling girls, very smart and very well behaved.
    It is a difficult line to walk.. we want to know the Obama's.. then no it was a bad idea.. number one is the kids safety.. and the media is so cruel they could make them targets.. They are innocents I think the Obama's should keep them hidden.. for safety.

    July 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. Kurt

    It ended up being a great interview that showed a normal, loving family that is raising two intelligent young girls – that is what those with an open mind (who bother to watch the interview) will see.

    July 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. Mslola

    The girls are adorable! The interview was light and easy and showed that they are a normal everyday family. I understand Obama's stand on wanting to protect his girls from further exposure. Look at some of your verbal attacks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My goodness!
    Making much a-do about nothing!

    July 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. ckcgye

    So if Obama doesn't have the experience, foresight and prudence to be on guard regarding his own family, how are we suppose to trust his judgment for running the country. Maybe he has a lot of good qualities, but he presently is too inexperienced in many aspects of life to be president. A side note, while I'm not necessarily a McCain fan, why has there been so much controversary if negative comments are made about Obama's race or Hillary's gender, but when negative comments are made about McCain's age no one seems to notice? (And no, I'm not a senior citizen.)

    July 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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