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. Old Stradlater

    That interview was the most adorable thing since WALL-E. I understand that he doesn't want his daughters in the spotlight, but I think it will calm down voters who are concerned about his "family values."

    July 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. randy

    NATE get over it obama is the norminee.

    July 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. NG in DC

    Poor judgement ....and then immediate regrets and second guessing his decisions. These are the characteristics of a very ungreat president.

    What a mistake the Democratic party has made in selecting this inexperience nice guy or Mrs. Clinton.

    July 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. martin

    scotty-it's not a raffle.people are not selected by a random drawing.they are chosen by their personal stories,regarding this campaign.you heard wrong.musy have been more republican smears that only work on idjits like you.

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Mike Dallas

    Shielding? At least one will graduate from high school while living in the White House, How are you going to "shield" them for the next 8 years? Some may not remember John and Caroline but I do and it is one of the aspects of JFK that endeared him to many. His family values were great when it came to his kids, as it would appear the Obama family's values are intact as well. No 7 year olds screaming 'Down with America' as many would have you believe she would do if she were given a public platform. Just a normal family whose Dad is running for the presidency.

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Obama-Junkie, IL

    A nice change of pace in the summer presidential campaign season. If I were Obama, I too would keep my children out of the media and political spotlight, even the young ladies did a nice job of representing themselves.

    Let's see if the McCain family follows suit with all the family members.

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. JB

    So all you Still for Hill/PUMA/anti Obama etc. . . people:

    I CHALLENGE YOU. Give me specifics. How did Obama cheat? What awful thing did he do to HRC? What awful thing did the media do to HRC?

    None of you give specifics. Why? Because nothing Obama did was cheating He played by the rules and won. Now you all don't like the rules. But, much to your crybaby disbelief, you cannot change teh rules after the fact.

    Nothing Obama did to Hillary was awful. The racist thing was caused by Bill Clinton. The SC comment about "even Jesse could win SC", in effect saying black people even if they are unqualified can win SC. Race and gender was introduced by the Clintons.

    Nothing was done to HRC by the media that was awful, unless she caused it. . . i.e. Bosnia snipergate, or, sniffle sniffle "sometimes ti gets so hard". The last presidential candidate that cried while running was out of the race within a week. If anything Hill got preferential treatment.

    So there are my specific. I will bet alot no one is willint to be specific and actually identify these wrongs, because they don't exist. You all are just crybaby genderists. The same ones who are demanding Sebelius be VP, for no other reason other than her gender.

    Feminists= genderists in pant suits

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I personally do not see what the uproar is all about. While I do not think that they should do family interviews every week or so, it was nice seeing the Obamas interact as a family and seeing how well behaved the grls are. As a Black man, I looked at our next First Family with pride in how they all handled themselves and look forward to them representing the country for the next 8 years!!!

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. carolflowery

    I dont blame him at all for regretting it, and Im sure if he could go back he would not let that happen again. But, that's Hollywood, at access.
    Children should not be bothered with reporters period.

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Jen

    I don't understand why the big deal about The Obamas making this interview. It's ridiculous that now Senator Obama has to backtrack and regret the interview. I just don't get it. There was nothing wrong with the interview. People in the media need to stop making such a big dieal out of everything. Yes, including CNN. I saw the news last night and all they talk about was about his interview. Start focusing of real issue and just leave this stuff alone. The interview was fine.

    July 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Ursula Sindlinger

    I thought it was fine. I can't wait to see this family in the White House.

    And having a daughter born on the 4th of July trumps wearing a flag pin!

    July 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Brenda

    The interview was harmless and showed us a typical American family. Barak Obama and his wife are good parents and it showed. It was great to see the family interaction and it should not be a political issue, but I am sure the republicans and Fox will state otherwise.

    July 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Claire

    I'm a lifelong Democrat, who was initially for Dennis Kucinich, but then switched to Obama after Super Tuesday. But now, after all his flips and outright lies, I'm starting to see him for the **gasp** politician that he really is. I absolutely cannot vote for Talking-Out-of-Both-Sides-of-His-Mouth-Obama.

    You can't have it both ways, Senator. You can't put your kids on TV one day to exploit them to get support, and then the next day say, "Gee, maybe that was too much," to win the I'm-a-sensitive-papa cred, too.

    So that's why I'm:

    NADER '08

    July 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Tina

    Still for Hill,
    Yes, my family and all my friends still go for Hill, NO OBAMA PLEASE!

    July 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Access Hollywood; an adult show consisting of celebrity rumors and gossip! Guess you figure to get the kids in the spotlight now rather than later. You knew exactly what you were doing sir. Get the family out for the photo shoots whether it's in Montana or Access Hollywood. Look everyone, I'm a family man. Now will you forget about Wright, Farrakhan, and Rezko? Congratulations, not only are you a run of the mill politicain, but a cad as well.

    July 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Ann Hussein West

    Nate I agree with you also.

    Obama 08 Baby!

    July 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Diing in Washington

    Keep the beautiful kids far and away from Sean Hannity and bigots. Wondering how evil looks like stay close to Sean Hannity and Karl Rove. That's true test of God's commandment "Thou shall love your enemies"

    July 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. HRC3655

    The Democrats should regret putting Barack on TV!

    July 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Phil in KC

    I'll agree that allowing his children to be interviewed was a momentary lack in judgement. But it in no way compares to the lack of judgement in voting for and supporting the continuation of the war in Iraq.

    July 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Michael, Farmington, NH

    Still for Hill has absolutely no interest in what's best for America. She/he doesn't care about universal health care, she/he doesn't care about lowering taxes, or ending the war in Iraq, or repairing our image in the world. All she/he cares about is Hillary Clinton and in the end Still for Hill doesn't care at all about the issues that Hillary Clinton stands for.

    July 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. SpringTxVoter

    Making much a-do about nothing!

    July 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Paul

    For all you Obamatrons who think that this constant backtracking, flip flopping is a admirable quality, get your heads back on your shoulders and stop granting amnesty to BHO for everything he does, doesn't, does and doesn't say. He will do the same thing with whatever he does, doesn't, does and doesn't do. This man is hopeless. Even if he gets elected, by the grace of Allah, it will be one term.

    July 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Kaylan

    I don't see the Obama family as down to earth at all. I don't think they represent the average American, either. From what I have read, Obama and his wife don't know what it is like to have normal jobs, low income, etc. Despite the family image, I know that Obama is not for life issues and so he will not get my vote. I don't like McCain but I will vote for McCain to keep anti-life Obama out of office. He doesn't represent America to me and I honestly don't know what people see in him that would make him a good president. Most of his political votes were "non vote" scenarios so we don't even know where he stands on many issues.

    July 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. kelly WI

    Where's the burkas?

    July 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Marie

    Isn't it refreshing to see a typical American family that might be in our White House in January. The whole Obama family including the cute little girls are getting my vote. I would love to have them as my next door neighbors.

    July 9, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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