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. curtis

    Obama haters get over it. If these are the things he is going to second guess himself over we are in great shape.I am still waiting on the republicans and McCain to second guess the the slaughter of 4000 american lives.

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. JB

    The funny thing about this PUMA and Still for Hill garbage:

    If she does get the opportunity to run again, I and many people I know will never give her any shot specifically because she has not addressed these yahoos.

    So, just as you blame Obama supporters for making you feel the way you do, you are ensuring NO political future for your girl.

    I know in NY, the tides have turned. Many are pretty upset with her, FOR DOING NOTHING FOR THE STATE.

    She better get down on her knees and beg Obama for a job. She won't get re elected in NY.

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Julie f/ Toronto

    It was a good move on Obamas part to show the American people that he's down to earth and is a family man. His daughters to me came across quite smart and not to mention adorable! It's a good move for him to keep them away from the media from here on. The attention was unexpected like he said.

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. proud army and navy mom

    i respect sen obama for reflecting on the decisions that he makes.
    it shows character and a high moral outlook.

    His family is beautiful and well-spoken. I am honored that people of this caliber has volunteered to serve this country in the highest capacity. That is what patriotism looks like.

    it's quite refreshing to have a person who will be in the White house that actually thinks and not plot like the current war criminals that are staying there.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Jonie M.

    Seems like Senator Obama is having a lot of second thoughts lately. I wouldn't think Access Hollywood would be a presidential candidate's first choice for a family interview.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. JonJon

    Silly Democrats. Are you better off today than you were before Bush took office? If not, why go McCain way when Obama and Hillary are about 90% the same as far as how to initiate positive change. If we get McCain and things don't improve, remember you voted for McCain you silly democrat. Obama is human and good to see he has family just like many of us.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Pete

    After seeing the interview with the Obama family, I'm even more impressed.

    After 20 years, we have a FAITHFUL, DEVOTED family man who's also ARTICULATE and INTELLIGENT...

    What a breath of fresh air!

    -A Republican for CHANGE

    July 9, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. PUMAs = Operation Chaos, Pt 2

    The 'haters' are not Dems, they're Republicans that are posing just to stir it up.

    July 9, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Bethany Joy

    I appreciate a man who can say "I am sorry, I was wrong." (Although I don't think this was a particullarly wrong decision, but maybe the girls have been bragging about it or something)

    For the last eight years I don't think we've heard a single "I am sorry, I was wrong" for mistakes far bigger than putting kids in the limelight.

    July 9, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Peggy - Tx

    Many have ranted that we do not know much about Obama; this glimpse into his family life helps. His girls are exceptionally gorgeous, well spoken and appear to be grounded, normal kids. I hope that find their experiences as America’s Princesses over the next 8 years a positive one. I certainly understand not wanting to make a habit of pushing them into the spot light, but this one interview does not deserve any criticism.

    July 9, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Independent in DC

    Furthermore, it's funny how opponents of Obama are unwilling to recognize that he is indeed a good father and husband, as is evidence by this very interview. Spin it however you want to, but you have no legitmate claim otherwise. His children are obviously very well raised. A credit to him AND Michelle.

    July 9, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. CONCERNED!!!!!

    Obama--I don't think it's healthy and it's something that we'll be avoiding in the future," he said.-----THIS IS THE REASON WHY.............gary – OBAMA DID BECAUSE HE IS STUCK ON HIMSELF. HE WANTED HIS CHILDREN IN THE LIMELITE SO HE CAN SHOW EVERYONE WHAT A GREAT DAD HE IS. WHAT A JOKE.......the joke is on you GARY (IDIOT)

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. randy


    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Jane-PA


    Good call? A little too late. We need a president who has good judgement, thinks fast and doesn't apologize the next day for bombing a country.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Jake

    If Mr. Obama didn't wish to have his daughters on television, he should not allowed the interview to take place.

    I find it very insincere that he took advantage of a photo-op and then claims he "regrets" his decision. This is the most precious thing he has in his life, his family. He chose to allow this to happen, now he's flopping on his decision to do so.

    The more I hear from this gentleman, the more I realize he simply does not have anything in his life that is close to him that he hasn't "regretted". (look at his close relationship with the fine Reverend, who inspired, counseled, married, baptized his family for examples)

    Insincere and a typical politician. When the polls disagree, he changes to fit the polls.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Patti

    I thought it was a really cute interview and his daughters are adorable. I wouldn't expect this to be a regular thing but it was good to get to know Obama in a different way.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. NotFallingInLine.org

    Obama is such a great dad. This is the second "Obama daughters" story in two days. He obviously cares so much about his daughters that he's willing to use them to create an image of himself as warm and likeable.

    You're likeable enough, Barack.

    Well, not really.

    We will not forgive you for what you did to our party.

    NFIL Democrat

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. bluebird

    He's got hindsight. He has judgment after making the decision. What a qualification for Pres.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Typical White Person

    lin lin July 9th, 2008 10:00 am ET wrote:

    where u on mars in the 90s not to have witnessed the parading of chelsea clinton ????


    It's the koolaide talking. The Clintons were very careful about keeping Chelsea out of the spotlight and took a lot of heat for their decisions to put her best interest ahead of political gain – remember when they sent her to private school instead of the DC public schools? The media and pundits jumped all over them for not supporting the DC public schools.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Ben

    Jeeze, I would've brought cheese if I had known there was going to be this much whine, Hillary supporters...

    Barack for the vote.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Wayne

    Obama's Pimped out his little girls, but he regrets now that he's gotten all the publicity he can out of it.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. orlando

    Obama should regret his flip-flop.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Mike Stuhlreyer

    WHOOPS! My kids ended up on national TV!

    Sending your two little girls out for a TV interview doesn't happen by accident. It's not something you "regret" 24-hours later, it's something you avoid beforehand.

    What does this say about the capricious nature of his short-term judgement? What are the large scale implications should he become President?

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Michelle

    Obama's children are cute but that doesn't mean anything.

    Copy this into YouTube Search:
    Obama's Iraq Problem: Change That Works For Him

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Nevada Independant

    WHat's the big deal?
    They seemed like a regular, ol' family to me...
    Precocious girls and two parents nervous every moment about what one of those girls might say!
    Seemed like my family a bit... especially with the husband/dad wearing his 10 year old clothes when there are new ones hanging in the closet.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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