July 9th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
6 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. Mom

    I thought the interview was great and refreshing. He's human! His family is delightful! The more we know about him, the better. I don't view this as a flip flop. One interview – good. More interviews – exploiting his children. I'm glad he realizes this. Obama 08

    July 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. me

    OK – someone is lying – BHO says suddenly this thing cropped up and he didn't catch it quick enough.

    the reporter says the family reached out to the show or an interview

    – Let me guess who is lying – if he was surprised it got so much attention he couldn't empty a boot filled with water with the directions on the bottom.

    "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."

    Speaking with CNN Tuesday, Menounos, the Access Hollywood reporter, said the campaign had reached out to the show for an interview and her only goal was to show the Obama family dynamic.

    July 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. randy

    HI HATERS, ALL OF YOU CAN SAY ALL YOU WANT ABOUT OBAMA HIS FAMILY IT IS THE SAME PEOPLE WHO ASK FOR SHOW HIS FARMILY FOR AMERICA TO GOT TO THEM ARE NOW TRYING TO SPIN THIS FOR WHATS IS NOT.STOP HATIN AND JOIN THE MOVEMENT.

    July 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Joe H

    Jeez... Now he's flip-flopping on this? He really needs to stop second guessing all his decisions. Regrets are not very presidential until you are writing your memoirs. The moment was sweet and touching and an obvious boon for his campaign. He should have simply said, "It was an unexpected yet pleasant opportunity to introduce my family more to the American people, but I probably won't be doing it again any time soon out of Michelle's and my desire to protect our daughters from the media spotlight." Enough said.

    July 9, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Nikki, Florida

    zwormo,

    our country can't afford a President who admits to mistakes? Instead you're going to vote for one whose consistent decisions ARE mistakes?

    interesting logic...

    July 9, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    I saw the interview and I think it was adorable, they are some cute well behaved kids, what s taught at home spreads abroad they have done a wonderful job as parents, and I know President Obama will do a wonderful job running this country.

    Bush has really really screwed this country up and some ignorant people want McSane to finish, I guess Bush didn't give them enough.

    July 9, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Bridgette-PA

    ERICK-KS , JACK, MARGO, HRC3655- We don't need you and don't care who you vote for! Get over it. Stop crying and move to CANADA!

    OBAMA / SEBELIUS -08!

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Jay

    Is this what Obama will say the day after every BAD desicion he makes? No thank you!

    You guys are blinded by this guy. Hes like a Cult leader. Scary!

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. MD FOR OBAMA

    I thought the interview was cute. Unfortunately because Obama is now a pop star/idol, everything he does is scutinized to the 10th power. So he is right in not allowing any more interviews. The media will stomp all over him and his family as soon as they get a chance.

    Just like the Muslim Americans who are complaining about Barack saying that he is not a Muslim. American Muslims are upset that Barack hasn't said that being a Muslim is ok.

    Its always you are darned if you do and darned if you dont

    -Proud ObamaBot!

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Steve

    I don't think Obama has anything to regret. It was a good interview, and gave some connection to a good family. It showed his kids as well-brought-up, and his entire family as a good, solid family unit that anyone would be happy to be a part of. The presidency is not a royal reign. In theory, presidents and their families are common folk, and the American people should have some access to them. But considering the kooks out there, any public figure has to be careful about what kind of access is given to the family. Going forward, Obama should be very careful about who has access, and why. The media and Obama's enemies will twist the situation to their own advantage, and stalkers need very little information to become infatuated.

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. roise

    ANOTHER POOR JUDGMENT CALL!!!

    WHAT POOR JUDGMENT CALL WILL HE MAKE INVOLVING ANOTHER COUNTRY WHEN AND IF HE'S PRESIDENT?

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. PUMAs = Operation Chaos, Pt 2

    Hillary was/is not the Democrats only choice – though I'm not sure those that would make such a statement were ever Democratic to begin with.

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Amused

    CNN seems to be miffed that they didn't get the interview. AC made sure to say yesterday that the interviewer was also a shampoo model- like that's relevant. I will take even this headline with a pinch of salt. I'm sure it was nothing dramatic.

    July 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. TJ

    Allowing his daughters (no matter how adorable) on stage is one thing, but to have an actual interview is another. That was indeed a stupid mistake. And Chelsea Clinton is a grown woman. Correct me if I'm wrong, but did any media actually interview her when her dad was in the White House – cause I've never seen an interview with the young Chelsea. And why does Michelle always have to say something stupid?

    July 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. I miss Hillary

    I think the interview was very nice and "light." but don't go overboard trying to prove to us that you are a 'typical family'. Don't do it for "Michelle damage control" purposes.

    I think it is very good for children everywhere to see the Obama children from time to time.

    July 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. nita in houston

    Sorry "Ann"....Nate's right! You and your friend "Still for Hill" are counterproductive and we DON'T want you back! If you vote for John McCain simply because your candidate didn't win a primary ( which is the dumbest logic I've heard in a long while) then you deserve what you'll get from his 3rd Bush term!

    I'm an Obama supporter and always have been, but if he would have lost the nomination, there's NO WAY I would have abandoned my party out of SPITE and voted for MCSAME!!! Let's see what the posts look like this time next year when gas is $7.00 a gallon.

    Way to go "STILL FOR HILL"!!!

    July 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. some guy in New Hampshire

    To Still for Hill and the rest of those who are unable to move forward: if you're "Still for Hill", why do you not support her in her support of Obama? If you're voting for McCain, you're not "still for Hill".

    You have a choice in the fall to use your vote to support policies that your hero Hillary opposes or to use it to advance policies that Hillary Clinton supported and still does. If your beef is with Obama's lack of experience, you would have supported Joe Biden in the primary, as his experience tops Clinton's and Obama's put together. So that rationalization doesn't wash.

    If you support Hillary Clinton, then recognize that McCain is the anti-Clinton and to elect him is to punish the country in so you can punish certain elements of the Democratic Party. It may make emotional sense to you, but so does bulemia to those who engage in it. Fight the Democratic Party by fighting the party, not by crashing the entire country into a brick wall. Sheesh.

    July 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Obama Supporter from FL

    I think it was fine, but it made Obama realize that his kids would get too much media attention if he didn't stop now.

    July 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Independent in DC

    Some of you, with your disdain for Obama, make some of the most ludicrous and illogical statements. Sad...

    July 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Easy people

    The haters need to chil out.

    Obama 08

    July 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Tyrone Hines

    Many of you have exposed your ignorant, racist tendencies. Wether you support Obama or not, would it not be honest for you to simply say that you would vote for an untrained white monkey before ever voting for an intelligent half-black-half-white man who actually earned a college degree? How reprehensible are some of you to vote for this nation to continue to be led down hill before coming to terms with your racism?

    July 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Teri

    Obama is an inexperienced politician and an inexperienced parent.
    And not above using his children to manipulate people's emotions.
    Very poor judgment. But probably effective with a certain group of people.

    July 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Peter of Oregon

    It was a wonderful interview, but Obama's right. I think that interview was enough for many of us to see how normal/non-political the Obama family is. They're average Americans.

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. STILL VOTING FOR HILARY!

    ANOTHER REASON I WONT VOTE FOR HIM, HE DOSENT THINK THROUGH HIS DECISIONS. I HATE TO THINK OF WHAT HE WOULD DO IN A SITUATION WHERE IT WAS CRITICAL TO OUR COUNTRY! NO ROOM FOR MISTAKES. HILARY SHIELDED HER DAUGHTER THRU THEIR ENTIRE POLITICAL CAREERS. A WISE CHOICE HILARY SHE TURNED OUT GREAT!

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. JJ

    I guess McCain should pimp out his sons to the media, oh wait they are serving in the military protecting Barack Huessien Obama's precious little family, without out John McCain ever mentioning a word about it to the media. What a joke this guy is becoming.

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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