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. Jack

    Why doesn't MSNBC accuse Obama of "pimping" out his daughters like they did with the Clintons? Eventhough Chelsea is a grown woman! My vote still will not go for Obama...don't trust him at all.

    July 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. zwormo

    Our country can't afford to have a president that says woops i made a bad decision. "I think that we got carried away in the moment " comment won't work when you are the commander in chief.
    McCain 08

    July 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. deb0155

    This makes me want to vomit! After the Obamas made such a big deal of NOT putting their children in the media (or shall I say "using their children") – they now "get carried away" and put the kids in the spotlight.

    It only goes to show you the character of a man who uses his kids for the spotlight and disses his own mother and grandmother because of their race.

    Shame on you! I will be voting for McCain in November. Obama has absolutely no scruples at all. He'll use anyone to get ahead!

    July 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Sharon, MA.

    I thought it was nice to see the whole family interact! His children are sweet...and it's pretty sad when his children are shown and people have to talk about "pimping"...I was also a Hillary supporter and thought it was rude and crude what they said about Chelsea.....but I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face and vote for McBush!! Do you think our country can stand more of "The Same"!!

    July 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. DOH!

    oh Nate...you make me laugh.......I'm with you on that one!!!

    July 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. pat C.


    July 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Sen.John McCain't!

    although the interview in its entirety was great and refreshing.. i happen to agree with the next Prs. there are just far too many nuts out there.. i am AGAINST parents who shield their children toooooo much, but these kids wont be the norm and it would piss me off should they become targets in any form of attack whatsoever!(candidtaes wives are questionable as targets.. but not the babies!!)

    July 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Marie

    What a nice interview they did. Those girls are so adorable. It was nice to see their family dynamic and how down to earth they really are. I think that if more people saw that interview, they would find a lot to like about the Obama's.

    July 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. gl


    Get over yourself. Hilliary lost fair and square. The only reason you are voting for McSame is becasue you are a sore losers. McSame doesn't have a change. True Hiliary supporters would never vote for McSame.

    July 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Susann

    It's perfectly natural for President Obama and First Lady Obama to have second thoughts of allowing there children to have that type of exposure, but the interview only proved that power and intelligence runs through the whole family.

    This family is the most well rounded family that I've seen in politics ever!

    I want change and it's coming!

    You Rock Barack.

    July 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. martin

    i'm glad we got to see obama as a family man,but,i understand his concerns.people are crazy,and he doesnt need to expose his children to the insaneness.just look at these blog posts for proof.some of you people, and the hatred you spew,are kinda scary.

    July 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Mike Dallas

    The kids were great. It added a depth to Obama that we have not seen. I would like to see more. It seemed very unscripted and not rehearsed. I see no problem with it, since the kids are 10 and 7 and can decide if they want to do it or not. So, I don't quite get the "exploitation" aspect, except for the Republicans whose candidate only has great grandchildren to be surrounded by in a family setting...

    July 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Jeff Radun

    It goes to show you how he will pimp out his girls to get elected. Like all his supporters and the media said Hillary did to Chelsea who is an adult and can make her own decisions on if she wants to campaign for her mother. These 2 children can not make that judgment. He has very bad judgment IE: Mr Wright, Rezko, Ayres, and
    It is OK for him to have them appear on this show but have them be on CNN or Fox and a real news show is out of the question.
    It was his campaign that went looking for the interview not the other way around.

    July 9, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. idahosa, Canada

    STILL FOR HILL, did you hear the kids say vote for my dad because of blah blah blah? how many stump speeches or rallies have these two girls held for their dad?

    its funny how you could compare both acts... am sure you are still having those wishful thoughts and the earlier you let them go, the better it would be for you. hillary footing any psych bill for your sake, cos she is still trying to pay off her debt. if you really love hillary, that should be your main concern at this crucial moment.

    July 9, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Bernie

    I saw the interview and I thought it was terrific. The older girl is a genius. Both kids are cute and very "normal" for being in the spotlight. As a dad I can see Barack's reluctance, but the interview was refreshing and positive to me.

    July 9, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Alex M

    An Obama White House will be amazing!

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. Frank

    A foolish decision by Obama. Obama is weak when it comes to making decisions, period. He will get caught up in many so-called 'moments' where a wrong decision will be costly. Please vote Republican, they may have their issues but they are the party that will keep our founding fathers ideals alive. The Democrats are so far left that they are almost non-americans! Shame on the Democrats!

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. margo

    Everything Obama is doing is scared. He has socialist tendencies that are not compatible with this country. Obama is not to be trusted.

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. Douglas


    Would you come back in 2012 to help us re-elect Obama? that's great news!!!!

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Doug

    I think it is good for the candidates to show at least some of their families to the voting public. It helps us to see what they're like and helps to reinforce our view of the candidate. Over -exposure is a problem and the Obamas are right to try to shield their kids from the spotlight. But an occasional moment such as this is good.

    On the topic of those who are leaving the Dems to vote for McCain: You are all fools. Plus, you evidently aren't Democrats. Many Republicans crossed over due to the Bush failed presidency, probably out of spite. If you're going to vote at all, do it because you believe in what a candidate stands for. Clinton Democrats who vote for McCain are Republicans anyway. Either stick to your guns or stay home. This kind of stupidity got us the president we now have.

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Foreign observer

    This shows that a candidate for president canĀ“t behave as a normal guy. There are too many vultures out just waiting and willing to attack the weakest targets.

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. P. Morrison

    What a shame that a perfectly delightful session with the entire Obama family has to be turned into something "sleazy". Many people say they don't know him-what better way to learn the kind of family person he is? So much talk of family values-and it has to turn ugly! How very disappointing. I think they were wonderful and will be a credit to the White House.

    Obama/Biden 08-12

    July 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. cherrystrawberry

    I thought the kids adorable and the interview was quite good. Although I do understand his not wanting to exspose the kids to the media too much.

    July 9, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Josh

    At least Obama admits his when he does something he wasn't proud of. Unlike others, his ego is in check and he realizes he is human.

    by the way... PUMA=Republican immaturity.

    July 9, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. saga4obama

    i loved the interview, but Obama is right, it was on every news cast last night...i thought that that was weird.

    i finally understand PUMA and the folks like STILL FOR HILL...there misery has nothing to do with Obama, he is merely their scape goat. they are angry at the way the MEDIA treated Hill. feeling like the MEDIA was wrong, they can not punish the media , so they are taking their anger and frustration out on OBAMA...it is kind of like a battered woman who cant fight her husband back, so she beats the kids...with the damage those groups are causing Hillary or any other woman may not be able to run in 2012...."this movement as been televised" it will hurt Hill come 2012

    July 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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