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. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Maybe he is just afraid his kids will "spill the beans"..it is so sickening to see all the posts were people say they are a wonderful American family blah blah blah blah...how do you know. The MSM have never never never never never printed anything about obama that is negative.

    And if something did slip thru of course, it was Hillary she did it. Hillary ruled the press she told them what to say. Gee if she ruled the press she sure as heck wouldn't have let them constantly day in and day out flame, slur, smear and lie about her while they had their head stuck up obama's you know what.

    And what in the devil do you think would have happened if obama was asked about his mother not being married to his father. About the fact that she was 16 when she got pregnant and obama Sr was 24. That obama sr had a wife and deserted two kids when he went with a 16 year old girl and went on to have four more wives while still married to the one in Kenya. BUT it was perfectly OK for the press and the low down dirty obama supporters to jeer and sneer because Cheslea would not answer personal questions about HER father. This is the unfair way this campaign was handled from the first. And I hope to God that obama goes so far down in flames he won't be able to win another political postion in his life.

    July 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. usa

    if mccain picks romney for vp,i'm voting for bob barr.

    July 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. JOEL

    NO KID SHOULD BE PUT IN TO ANY SPOT LIGHT . IT THE FATHER THAT IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT .THE MEDIA COULD TURN THIS AROUND IN A SEC . SO WE AS AMERICANS SHOULD BE SAD TO SEE CHILDREN PUT INTO THIS THERE ARE MY 2 CENTS .

    July 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. gl

    Nate – Thank you!

    Obama is winning without Hiliary's sore losers. I hope Obama never put Hiliary or Bill no where near him. Hilliary casued all this bad blood becasue she thought she had this elections all wrapped up and got the shock of her life.

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. PUMAs = Closet Republicans

    Great family!

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Brian

    I saw the interview and thought it was adorable... I understand wanting to shield them in the future, but in this case it seemed refreshing.

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. TESAP

    STILL FOR HILL. are you sugeesting that Obama is pimping his children out, The Clinton daughter is grown and campigned for her mother refusing to answer question and took the forefront of her mother's campaign. I think its people like you that made him second guess the interview. Your logic makes no sense and I am with NATE... face it CLINTON IS GONE SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK AND YES CHELSEA WAS PIMPED OUT......

    the interview was tasteful and they are children. You can vote for McCain who cares, but do not insult children you are an adult RIGHT???

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Shelby Y.

    I must admit i was surprised to hear all the "spin" about the interview from some of the cable news shows (including CNN). I dont think there was anything wrong with this interview but I understand why the Obama's wouldn't want to make this a habit. Who couldn't fall in love with those girls? These so called "Journalist" are worst than the Repub's half the time, only reporting half the story, only positive press for some i.e. McCain while only negative press for others.

    And to STILL FOR HILL: stop wasting your time on blogs and help your candidate raise some to pay her debt please. Upsetting Obama supporters is only going to make it harder for Hillary to win if she decides to run again. FYI, he has 18 million + votes as well.

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Joe

    Obama is the consumate politician...He constantly manipulates the media to have his cake and eat it too.

    First, Obama sets up an informal interview with the whole family, kids included, in an attempt to cast himself as an everyman. Essentially, he uses his kids natural innocence for political gain.

    Second, Obama says that he regrets putting his kids in the spotlight and will not do so in the future because it is not "healthy." The message is, "aren't I a great dad who watches out for my kids, even at the expense of my campaign."

    Does anyone really think that Obama did not know that the interview was going to be played on all the news channels?

    Obama = same old politician who is attempting to portray himself as post-partisan.

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. EMJ

    Yo Moron and continued immature sore loser 'STILL for HILL', did you even see the interview? I did and it was a very nice family oriented story. However the MSM as they always do spread the interview thoughout the internet and that is why Obama has said no more interviews for his children. Once again he tried to do the nice thing and got screwed. Now how you can take such a non story in the first place and tie it to your immature rant that your never voting for anyone else ever again because Hillary did not win is really stupid and old. Please go join the Repugs where you belong.

    July 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Sean O.

    How hypocritical–he brings his daughters on stage all the time and thrusts this pro-family view out, but then causes a big commotion about this interview, which he was a part of! I highly doubt he simply "got caught up in the moment."

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. What if?

    I am a Obama supporter and I find nothing wrong with him allowing his daughters to be interviewed by Maria Menounos. To those of you who states this is similar to the statement made by MSNBC of pimping out Chelsea, this was a totally different type of interview. Obama AND his family were not campaigning, they were allowing the American people to see them in a different POSITIVE family way.

    Your right sky, I wish Obama stop second guessing things. We could only wish our President had the gusts to admit when he may have been wrong with a decision he made. Just maybe our day to day lively hood wouldn't be in such a shamble...

    Obama 08

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Rave

    Mr. Obama is a good parent and has a wonderful family.
    He is not only concerned about his children, but for any child in general, their education, future.
    While many people like McPain keep thinking about spending billions of dollars a month in senseless wars for the next 100 years, Mr.Obama is a true parent who thinks and cares about our children's future
    OBAMA (2008 – 16)

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Michelle

    I think Obama knew exactly what he was doing.

    Now he wants to backtrack.

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Abby

    My God, some of you are so bitter and hateful. This is a beautiful family that was having fun! Such adorable kids! And I can see whey now that the interview has gone so viral, the Senator thinks its not a good idea to do it again. Move on please. Stop posting out of hate.

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. OBAMA 08!!!

    While it was a nice interview I agree with Obama that it would probably be best to keep his daughters away from the media as much as possible. At the end of the day it is he and Michelle’s job to protect them. The media sure wont, all they want is a great story to get great ratings. If that happens by exploiting children then so be it.

    People are not the bottom line, money is. Obama would be wise to keep them from doing anymore interviews.

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. pat C.

    i think obama has a bueatiful family. it was nice seeing how loving and normal they were to each other. it is a shame that this is being made political. can't he have just a moment to be a dad on his daughters birthday folks?? i have never seen such a frenzy over anything this man does. who would ever want to run for office in this country watching what this family is having to go thru.
    god bless obama and his family.

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    George Bush NEVER regreted anything..............See how messed up America is TODAY!

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. fredrick denver

    no matter what obama does do matter how innocent he will all ways be criticized for it. but we love him obama o8

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. lin lin

    HSNP July 9th, 2008 9:52 am ET ;

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

    July 9, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Lynnette

    This is not that big of a deal. I'm sure actually seeing the interview all over different stations put it in a different light for him.

    It was great seeing out future first family in a relaxed, natural setting!

    God Bless the Obamas!

    July 9, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. TESAP

    JACK... How did he pimp out his Kids........ did they go to Elementary schools campaigning for him??????? did they go to playgrounds across America and campaign for him??????
    Who cares if you vote for MCCain................ That is your choice......

    July 9, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Sharon Reynolds

    Mr. Obama ... continue to be the man ... hunter-gatherer ... provider ... protector of your family.

    America would be better off if others told the media from time to time that _______ is none of your business.

    And as far as I'm concerned, you get to say that whenever you want. The media has ZERO "rights" here. ZERO.

    I wanted to reach into the TV and pimp slap Campbell Brown yesterday for suggesting that the media gets to critique you on the topic of this light hearted "interview" or that they "the serious media" has THE RIGHT to interview yur kids. ________, please!

    You are their father. You decide. not CNN, not Fox, not NBC, not ABC, not MSNBC, not PBS ... NONE OF THEM.

    I believe in the soveriegn powers of PARENTS when it comes to their Children. Not the state, not the department of child services, not some holier-than-thou media clown.

    You've got my support on this one 100% .... and I'm voting for McCain.

    July 9, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. Also Lisa

    I don't see anything wrong with it. I just wish he'd stop apologizing for "bad decisions" after the fact. If something doesn't seem wise to do, don't do it in the first place!

    July 9, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. Mario O'dwyer

    Everyone needs to relax. It was a soft friendly interview with Access Hollywood. they talk about Fashion and celebs for Christ sake....Its not like they were on The FACTOR WITH BILL or HARDBALL.

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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