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. David in Chicago

    Wow, a REAL family with children and a strong wife!

    Obama – American History in the Making (Will you be a part of history?)

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. joann

    Hey John, who says Obama's kids are well raised and reflects what a good job they have done – get real – tell me that after they hit their teens. What do you expect from and 8 and 10 year old you dope! Obama is now saying he regrets the interview because he must be getting some backlash about it. He flip flops whenever the need be.

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. lois

    It was probably poor judgment on their part when they want to keep the children private away from the media. I still don't think they are prepared and experience enough on all fronts for this position. I still think of community leaders in my area and think would they be ready for such a high office. I think not.

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Mike Jones

    zwormo– What kind of comment is that? I rather have a President that admits a mistake. Unlike bushie who will never admit he was wrong about anything. You get the IDIOT post of the day on this topic.

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

    Good interview

    Good job raising the kids so far, hope you do as good running our country.

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. TEXAS

    John Do you think being well raised means taking your children to Trynity Church and let you kids hear all that none sense talk? Give me a break!!! this is so typical of the Obama's campaing. They do something, then they come back and a apologize for it. So fake!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Jim

    unscripted and spontaneous? Give me a break. "We were just enjoying a birthday party and then this happened..." Oh, and an Access Hollywood reporter happened to be there. This guy lies.

    July 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. rightytighty

    The corrupt medias is at fault here. They are the ones pimping the Obamas. Barack just doesn't understand how far these idiots are willing to go to force their progressive agenda onto the rest of America.., yet.

    July 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. sharilyn

    It is understandable that Obama would want to shield his daughters. However, this clip I saw revealed a warm, inclusive atmosphere that the children have grown up in and a relaxed, easy relationship with their parents. This is so GOOD for our country. Even showing that Obama is a regular guy who leaves his bag right inside the door as the children said is refreshing. At least he is not like Bush/Cheney who keep their families in the Photo-Op mode. Go OBAMA!

    July 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Chantey Minneapolis, MN

    Ok......I don't get it? It was a great interview, what was the problem? Where did this come from?

    July 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Eric in Ca

    You and your family were great in this interview...I enjoyed seeing and hearing from them. Reminds me of my family and many other families. Thank You!
    You have my vote!

    July 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Reality Check

    Why are you people still talking about Hillary? Please stop talking about her. She is no longer running for president, and I do not want to hear about her anymore.

    Hillary's name does nothing but bring back bad memories.

    July 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. bpower

    Obama has a lot of regrets. Always AFTER THE FACT. Like with Rev. Wright, after people reacted negatively, then he regrets. No other candidate put their children on a program of this sort: Carter, Bush, Clinton.

    Poor Judgement!

    July 9, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Kevin -- Harrisburg, PA

    Obama's right. He showed very poor judgement in putting his kids in that interview. Whatever one says about the Clintons - espcially Hillary - their daughter was never used as a political prop when she was a child. They aggressively protected her. Senator and Michelle Obama should follow the Clinton example – not the Reagan example – in this instance.

    Lets hope we do not see this mistake repeated.

    July 9, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Republican for Obama

    It was nice to see the family dynamic but I also agree with Obama, no more interviews for the kids. It's a tough line to walk, when you are proud of your kids and want to show everyone but at the same time protect them from the not so nice elements of our world.

    Haters will be haters and some of you people on these blogs need to get over yourselves. If Obama donated his life savings to cancer research you would find something hateful and bitter to say about it. If you don't like the man, fine, but when you stoop to personal attacks on people it is a perfect reflection of the type of person you are and how people will judge you.

    I am not enamored with Obama, I actually disagree with several of his stances but I also realize that when people refuse to move from their position at all, nothing happens. We all need to find some common ground to make progress or else we are doomed to failure.

    July 9, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. NObama 08

    I won't be voting for Obama, but at least it appears he cares enough for his family to look out for them despite the spotlight that they'll be living in for a while. I always got the feeling that the Clinton's treated each other like tools, only using staged "family moments" for political posturing and expediancy.

    His down to earth persona will probably take him to Pennsylvania Avenue in January. Too bad his political ideals scare me to death.

    July 9, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. The truth

    People like STILL FOR HILL really need to open their eyes. Hillary is out and may not be VP. People really need to get over it. This isn't about one candidate and then when your candidate doesn't win you want to sabotage Obama just because he got the nod and Hillary didn't? Don't be selfish and think about the implications if that old fossil, McAncient/McAngry/McBush/Mc(insert clever word here) gets in. Make the right choice.

    July 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Senator Red

    I love how people on here act like they never had lapses in judgement.

    Especially the Dems who are switching from Hillary to McCain.

    Good Job, throwing away everything youve ever believed.

    Some of you will look for the stupidest reasons to not vote for someone.

    July 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    Obama is winning without Hiliary's sore losers. I hope Obama never put Hiliary or Bill no where near him. PUMA (PEOPLE UNDER MENTAL ANGUISH)

    When is CNN going to POST THIS:

    The Washington Post writes, “Sen. John McCain hasn't had good luck joking about Iran. But he tried it again Tuesday. Responding to a question about a survey that shows increased exports to Iran, mainly from cigarettes, McCain said, ‘Maybe that’s a way of killing them.’ He quickly caught himself, saying ‘I meant that as a joke’ as his wife, Cindy, poked him in the back. Last time, it was also Iran. His singing about bombing Iran to the theme of the Beach Boy's ‘Barbara Ann’ drew derision from many quarters but a ‘lighten up’ response from McCain.”

    July 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Texas Thinker

    Zwormo, that's the problem with America today. Nobody wants to admit that they made a mistake. I would love to see the day when a President will admit that he made a mistake. You can't fix things until you admit that you have a problem.

    July 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. BJ

    I enjoyed seeing the girls, but certainly agree with Obama.

    It's amazing how much 'press' this gets, with so many other
    things going on. . . .like the Iraqi government wanting us OUT !!!
    I think the MSM pretends to be honest brokers of truth and information, when it appears they're nothing more than soap opera peddlers !!!!!

    Wake up people. . .we're being Had !!! AGAIN.

    July 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Ed

    The Hillary nuts are cracking me up. Go ahead and vote for McSame in November. You voted for a loser in the Primary, might as well continue the momentum.

    July 9, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Talk About Regrets !!

    Just wait. If he's elected, this country will be the one with regrets.

    Still plan to WRITE IN HILLARY. No other choice.

    July 9, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. Charlotte

    He regrets the interview, yet he asked for it? Obama doesn't know what to do in the most unimportant things, how will he react to real decisions that will effect the whole country? They want to be just your average family on the one hand and out of touch on the other hand. I know what he says, but I don't know where he actually stands on anything. Obama is just words, linked together quite nicely. I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot in November and pray the other 17,999 million will do the same. We need a leader, not a wishy-washy liberal.

    July 9, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. wesley

    Obama, get over it. I liked finding out you are human. I already have a robot for president and I dont want another one. Keep changing your mind all the time like this and like my other Hillary friend who just gave $2600 to McCain (which I cant) and I'll vote for him, too.

    July 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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