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. black woman for mccain

    Okay, so... I'm an black woman backing McCain. There are several issues I have with Obama, but honestly, I didn't find the interview to be manipulative or in bad taste. The Obamas appear to be raising a lovely family, which is nice. It paints a positive picture, especially for the african american community, where so many families are divided and suffering greatly from a lack of family unity.

    July 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. gluv

    i was thinking the samething about how cable news exploited this so unprofessionally, especially cambell brown who actually for an implied dig at their daughters openess....

    all it was was an innocent interview, but the media these days are so ugly and immoral in their positions that even children aren't safe for exploitation

    July 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Eric

    Kind of refreshing to see someone being able to look at his own actions, reflect on them and admit mistakes. So the choice is between a lunatic who won't even acknowledge the war was a mistake, and this guy with good judgement, humility, and strong family values. Easy choice.

    July 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Like it or not, the Obama children as potential "First Children" are and will continue to be as unique as their father and mother.

    People want to know them. I have not as yet seen the interview, but apparently it went well.

    My prediction is that the Obama kids will always be in the political spot light, even if dad doesn't make it to the White House. They certainly are role models form my children.

    July 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. randy

    He should not regret it. Is just fine for people to know your entire family.while some people will try to spin this for what is not.we trust you obama.

    July 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Typical White Person

    Lake Michigan July 9th, 2008 9:51 am ET wrote:

    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.

    That, LM, is the point. Tomorrow he will be changing his position on something else.

    He floated a trial balloon to see how well it would be recieved and got a lot of flack for pimping his kids so now he changes his position on granting media access to them.

    The excuse of getting carried away is getting old, too. Wasn't that his explanation for why he said NAFTA was bad during the primaries but now thinks they just need a little refining?

    July 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Eric-PA

    Also appearing on ABC Wednesday morning, Obama said he didn't think it was healthy for his two daughters to be so exposed.

    I would say the same thing about listening to Rev. Wright's sermons.....bad judgement....

    July 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. The Truth

    Model American family, I'm glad he gave us a glimpse into his family life.

    PUMA's (closet republicans or racists) will never succeed spreading their hate.
    The "if not Hilary then McCain" nuts are not voting on the issues. Voting McCain if you supported Hill is self-defeating.

    Intelligent Voters for Obama!

    Connecticut for Obama!

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |

    How many "regrets" is this to date?

    This is only another indication of what the next four years will be like...

    People... The United States is NOT a crash course in basic presidential training!!!

    Inexperience equals disaster.

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Terry

    To Scotty – The DNC convention will be held in Denver Colorado not Minnesota. The MN Gambling laws have nothing to do with the convention.

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. RJ, CA

    Lin lin - maybe you were the panda bear in the zoo in the 90s. I was right here, and the Clintons did NOT parade Chelsea around.

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Chris from San Antonio


    First he wants his kids on TV, now he regrets putting his kids on TV. Is this the man you want with his finger on the button??!!

    (did I get it right, republicans?)

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. S. Denice

    I'm almost sorry that CNN allows these blogs and postings. I say almost because for the most part it allows one the opportunity to get a general idea of how America is feeling about this election year. What saddens me is the hate-filled positions against Senator Obama and his precious family.

    You certainly don't have to like Senator Obama or his wife but if you have even half a heart, how can you not see the the great dynamic of this family? Those children are well raised and their parents absolutely adore them. There is nothing staged or fake about the video. Why can't Senator Obama change his mind, refine, or rethink a position without it being said that he is "flip-flopping?"

    I agree that it is probably a good thing to keep the children from the media as much as possible. A parent's job is to protect the children. I really wish that you Hillary Clinton supporters would just grow up and stop acting like spoiled brats that can't have what they want. The temper tantrums are becoming a bit scary.
    Can You Say T-H-E-R-A-P-Y???

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Flander Annapollis

    The children were wonderful. Of course it is the MSM and their disecting and over analyzing every word , that ruins everything. Campbell Brown was a "bitty" . As a mother you would think she would have been nicer concerning the girls. She's probably jealous it was Maria and not her. Heck, even Bill O'Liely thought it was cute.

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. R.I.F.

    I thought the idea and the interview was great. It was just trying to show a lighter side and the human side of a presidential candidate. It wasd said watching Campbell Brown last night on the Election Center rip Obama. She was really harsh on him with what was a harmless interview. It wasn't like he had them on Meet the Press or something. Oh well, I think based on the media's craziness to attack Obama on all fronts its a good idea to pull back.

    July 9, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. rachel

    His daughters are cute and articulate, but shouldnt be put out for a dog and pony show. The interview was not bad, I actually enjoyed it and I am not a fan of his, but once you open that gate the girls will have no peace. Its funny how people think Obama can do no wrong. I was proud how Hillary and bill kept chelesa out of the spot light when she was younger even the media had feild day calling her hateful names, and Obama puts his young girls out there and people say its beautiful, Hillary has her GROWN daughter stomping for her for a couple of weeks and they say she is pimping her out what gives? Such a double standard.

    July 9, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. ANGIE

    well what do you expect the MEDIA is every where on obama but fail to expose john mccain and his lies and flip flops i think the media gives john mccain FREE RIDES how about they lay off obama and start exposing john mccain and all his flip flops and how he called his wife the c word as well as laughed when someone called hillary a b

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Eric

    Hey CNN, how come there is nothing about Mccain campaign banning a sixty year old woman form attending his speech, only because she had a sign saying Mccain and Bush are the same. How come there is nothing on his bad interview on your own channel, where Mccain contradicted himself continuously on the economy.

    Just try to be balanced. You won't but the effort will be noticed.

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Cathy Brandes

    I thought the interview was done in a "light-hearted" manner, the girls seemed to enjoy the moment and was tastefully done. It was nice to see what could be the First Family, in a relaxed atmoshpere where the subject matter was not politics. A refreshing change!

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Pete

    This guy will use anyone... Remember he threw his own grandmother under the bus when it was convenient...so watch out Kids.

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Kris Hussain from AZ

    Still for Hill....you can stay right where you are. Real true blue dems dont want you. As far as Obama..You guys are ok. You have some cute kids my friend. OBAMA 2008. OBAMA IS TRUE BLUE DEMOCRAT!

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. Herman in LA

    They are a beautiful family and I enjoyed seeing the girls talk about how they loved mommy and daddy and being in the white house. I seen nothing wrong with the interview with the family.

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. Chi-Town Cheryl

    How wonderful to see the Obama family so relaxed, laidback, comfortable, happy and so "real." Malia and Sasha were wonderful. It will sure be a great pleasure for America to see these adorable girls growing up in the White House for the next eight years, along with their new puppy. God bless the Obama family.

    July 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Country of fools

    Listen Americans, you are electing a president....not a "nice family"
    Stop looking at the kids and the wife and look at the man who has no substance and no experience.

    July 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. BE CAREFUL!!!

    to- 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
    ............That reminds me ..during a press conference BUSH wasn't aware that gas was $4.00 a gallon-HUH

    July 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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