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. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    I don't blame Obama for says, "no more interviews", because the media is full of dirty tricks and his daughters don't need to be part of that political drama.

    July 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. John G

    No worries Barry, they didn't say anything bad...of course you can't reverse your position on the dog now.

    McCain 2008

    July 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Obama '08

    I can definitely understand them wanting to shield them from the media spotlight.

    However, its refreshing for the future POTUS to show such ease and comfort while being the brunt of the jokes from the girls at the same time still exuding a position of authority within his family unit. Michelle's personality shows exactly what she is, eduacted and powerful. Its going to be great to see her not just glowing at her husband in adoration as he speaks but have a voice and platform of her own. These are the qualities I can't wait to see in the First Family!!!

    Obama '08

    July 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Matthew, Philadelphia, PA

    "Suddenly this thing cropped up, and I didn't catch it quickly enough and I was surprised by the attention it got."

    Ok for now, but help up all if he becomes president and "this thing" that pops up is a dirty bomb.

    July 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. MK

    Didn't think it was a bad idea either. America loves and relates to this family. But I guess everything under the microscope gets overanalyzed – I can see where the Obamas would feel anxious about exposing their daughters to the media.

    July 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Veteran for McCain

    Ok, so you mean to tell me that the Obama camp asked for the interview and then he didn't think twice before putting his children in the camera's view? It sounds like he wanted to get the family view out there, but now he wants to take his kids out of the picture to look like he's protecting them. Nice PR move there Obama. Way to show both sides of it, hey wait, that sounds like a lot of your positions on various issues!!!

    Go Republicans!!!!

    July 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    The media, cable and some people are simply nuts! People twist stuff so much, it's insane. No wonder this country is in such a mess. Sorry you feel you have to apologize to morons Obama, I am ashamed of this country. You have a wonderful, down to earth family and you don;t owe an apology to anyone.

    July 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. WML

    funny how the article says the campaign reached out to the them and the obama says we won't do it again.

    why protect them for 1 1/2 years and then put them on TV? same old same old.

    July 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. James Hussein, SC

    American family goes on TV and is accused of wrong doing?
    And this is a reason why I should be proud of America?

    Obama sneezes and is accused of polluting.
    McCain takes a dump on the street and is commended for fertilizing the land.

    July 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Ann

    Still for Hill, we do want you back. Ignore Nate.

    July 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Thomas

    Richard, you are absolutly right.

    There is nothing wrong with a candidate appearing with his kids.

    It is the media that brings disrespect to the family.

    In today's environment of dirty politics I am sure the GOP will be taking full advantage of the children in their quest for "one-upmans-ship"

    July 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    I think it was great for the Obamas to introduce their children to the nation. But for security reasons I would agree that future interviews be curtailed. These children are so cute and well-mannered which certainly says a lot for the parenting skills of Barack and Michelle. If he wins, it will be like having the John Kennedy family back in the White House–youth, laughter, and a concern for average Americans! I can't wait.

    We never hear anything much about the McCain kids. Wonder why?

    July 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Good call

    Is is not the media I wouldn't trust, it is the racist bigots who are ready to due harm to the children that I wouldn't TRUST! Good call Obama. They are too young to be push out in the lime light! Let them be children!

    July 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. pshaffer

    If this is the kind of unthougtless type of thing he does, what thoughtless things will he do for our country? Think about it!

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. John

    Obama need not second guess this. Those children are well raised and are a reflection of how good a job their parents have done.

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Jake

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

    Don't worry about it. We don't want you back. Sellout!

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |

    Suz Michigan-– If O wins ( and I hope not) that will make 2 "dogs" in the White House........YOU are an IDIOT and less than a DOG

    The Illinois senator and his wife Michelle have had successfully shielded his daughters from the media spotlight since the 18 month-and-counting presidential campaign began........NICE FAMILY !!!!
    Mrs Bush shield the TWINS from the MEDIA .....no problem Mr Obama .........YOUR girls weren't DRUNK!!!

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. Lake Michigan

    I think the campaign was successful in showing Obama's family dynamic. But taking a step back, and regretting it or second guessing it pubicly, may have been a mistake. Not a good strategy. But this is minor, and worthy of news of the day, tomorrow will be something different.

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Peg Robson

    Again now give me a break, now all we will hear is these fairyland people's comment about what a wonderful family, fist lady, first kids and nothing about his qualifications...no one seems to be concerned about issues, just about looks and personality...course now the flip flopping has begun. Maybe that will jolt people back to reality.

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Kevin

    He knows children are open books and will not be able to lie on point. He is afraid they will tell the truth about his and Michelle's beliefs. I agree children that young should not be targets, but Obama put them out there to gain family value support and now he is trying to undo what he already did. Flip flopping has no bounds with Obama.

    July 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Liz

    It's nice to see a real man with his real family, rather than a political robot with a scripted backdrop, scripted speeches, scripted hand gestures and probably scripted eye blinks. They are a lovely family. It's a good call from Obama to be more cautious in the future. Too many wackos, including the news media!

    July 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. Mary in CT

    What!?!? An error in judgment was made by BARACK OBAMA!?!??! And it involved those closest to him: his FAMILY!?!?! But how can this BE? excuse me, Mr. Obama? the "junior" in Junior Senator is showing...

    July 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. gerry

    Although I do agree with keeping the kids out of the media, I must say I found the interview to be refreshing and precious.

    A beautiful well adjusted family. It gave America some insight on Obama's family values.

    July 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. Terri

    I think the interview was great. I think it should be a one time only thing with all the nuts and Hillary people out here he shouldn't trust his family in the lime light to much.

    Nice kids, wife and family over all 🙂

    Go Obama

    July 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. HSNP

    The Clinton's never paraded their young daughter in front of the cameras. The Obama's showed poor judgement.

    July 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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