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. T.D.T. Supports Change!

    Good looking family!!!!!!! Have no regrets!!

    July 9, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Jim from Frankfort, IL

    So was it bad judgement or a poor decision Barrack? Either way, if an inconsequential decision like that sets you back then please help me understand how we can trust your judgement making decisions that affect the entire country?

    Thought of the day - if Jack Ryan kept his intimate relations with his wife private, or Jim Oberweis won the Republican nomination or Peter Fitzgerald ran for a second term then Barrack Obama would still be an unknown state senator from Illinois. ...we didn't want him here, but putting him in the Whitehouse is not the best way to get rid of him.

    July 9, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. A rational human being

    "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."

    Ha, just imagine how different a state our country would be in right now if the current administration ever reflected on its decisions long enough to realize how many bad ones its made.

    To err is human.

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Harvey D

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

    Ain't that the truth,,,,its refreshing to see a candidate who is not afraid to admit to a possible mistake. ( I know Ain't Ain't a word, but I like using it. )

    He has my vote,,, I could be sorry down the road some day,,,but if anything is to be improved in government he is our only hope this election.

    As for the turncoats,,,we don't need your kind back. Unless of course you want to help elect Obama to his second term:-)

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. JJ

    I was a little surprised when the Obama's made the decision to put their daughters in the spotlight like that. Wasn't their forte to decide anything like that. Although the interview was genuine, refreshing and I enjoyed it, I don't blame him for second guessing and regretting it. Their daughters don't need to be in the spotlight like that, especially how young they are.

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Belle2

    Talk about double standards! When Chelsea, who is 28, campaigned for her mother, the media (MSNBC) said the Clintons were pimping her out. Now, the Obamas set up an interview between their very young daughters and Access Hollywood and a chorus of "OH HOW CUTE" goes up. The kids are cute but no caring parent would want their child connected to Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan and Access Hollywood. Now he says it was a mistake, a spur of the moment bad judgment call. This was a political move; he wanted the voters to see his cute kids. He pimped those kids out and that was certainly poor judgment. They need to be sheltered from Obama's ego, as well as the media, especially the likes of Access Hollywood. We do not need judgment like this making appointments to the Supreme Court.

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. rick

    Everyone, reality check. He's going to be the next president of the United States. He has a family he obviously loves and cares about. Thats the real story. All Americans should be so lucky.

    YES WE CAN!!!!

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. John Corboy

    I doubt that he should be considered a "bad" person for letting the media interview his family, its a good way to show America a bit more about who his family is and how they operate and also makes for exposure on many stations. I think he feels like any father would feel, responsible, for any effect this may have on his children down the line, but currently I see no harm in it.

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. J. Ryan

    NOBAMA '08!

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Danielson

    I see a concerned father worried about "being on TV" going to his daughter's heads. Though they were sweet, polite, engaging children, he doesn't want or need "this" to become a habit.

    That being said? What nice kids! As a producer I can tell you..the LAST thing you ever do is interview children–they are the unknown commodity that can DESTROY an image (or a shoot) in an instant...because kids are HONEST. LOL!

    And as an American? I want a family–a real family–in the White House...you can keep McCain and his toaster-pastry-God-forbid I-admit-I'm-55-plastique trophy wife (the one he unceremoniously DUMPED his first wife for)...and while you're at it...KEEP the 8 years of Republican policies that have crippled this nation.

    McCain and his family are what America was–and is–an America that's NOT working for us. The Obama's? They're what MIGHT be, if we can all work together again. No guarantees...but I'd rather bet on hope than on despair.

    July 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Elly

    I see nothing wrong with this
    Its not like its going to happen on a daily basis
    Besides it shows they are just a normal family like everyone else!!!
    A beautiful family!!

    July 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. BAM

    Obama has a REGRET! OMGosh! The world's coming to an end! The sky is falling! Gag me PLEASE!!! Obama = Osickening!!! Excuse me while I go barf!

    July 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Michelle

    It's nice to see something unscripted from a politician that doesn't always turn out as planned. Much better than the plastic people of the republican party.

    July 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. Hopemonger in NYC

    A beautiful family and such posed children. I perfectly understand his desire as a father to protect his children and shield them from the media glare, but I do enjoy that small glimpse into his inner life. The look of love and caring on his face when he is with his children, just increases my respect for the man. In the words of Malia, please America, "Vote for Daddy"

    July 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Nancy H

    Evidently Obama did not realize that it would be picked up by every cable news outlet and run into the ground. It seemed that it was intended to be very casual and very limited. But last nite I saw 4 talking heads analyzing the tone of the interview and what the kids said . Boy did they look silly - the talking heads that is, not the kids. An unexpected and un-natural respnse by the media who glommed onto this "little" interview to fill out their programming and run their mouths. Good idea not to put the kids forward again– but for all the people who say they don't "know" Obama, it demonstrated a very happy, healthy family dynamic. I doubt that many people in that situation would be entirely comfortable with what their kids might say .

    July 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Carol, Lansing

    I love how the McCain fanatics keep talking about Obama being stuck on himself.

    I guess they've never really caught that crooked yellow teethed smile that McCain always has for his incredibly poor jokes. That's what you call a 100 million dollar ego.

    Protect your daughters Obama, the rovian tactics of the extreme right leads them to the point that they cant reach bottom. No matter how low they get, they just grab another shovel to dig. They will somehow find a way to use them to attachk you and the dems.

    Obama 08

    P redictable Republicans
    U ndercover
    M asquerading
    A s disgruntled Hillary supporters.

    July 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Brian

    Everyone in a uproar about Obama having his family on TV sound stupid to not vote for a person because of that. What has it got to do with ANY policies? Then you say is shows lack of judgement. Hmmm, how much lack of judgement does it take to support a war based on lies? How much judgement does it take to say "Bomb, Bomb, Iran", on national television? How much judgement does it take say "We could be in Iraq for 100 years"?

    Wow, the things people are concerned about. No wonder this country is so screwed up. I always wondered how most powerful nations in history destroyed themselves from within. Now I see its from stupidity

    July 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Mike - Texas

    And it will get far worse than that.

    Just look at all of the scrutiny that the Bush twins and Chelsea Clinton got over the years.

    Obama has NO clue what he is doing to his daughters by running for president.

    Just think of all of the Secret Service agents that will be following his kids around and keeping an eye on them for at least the next 8 or 9 years. Talk about lack of any sort of privacy!! I'm sure that they will grow to hate it.

    July 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. PUMA 4 HILL

    Another bad judgment call. He is a loser... puppet put up by the old establishmen and pushed on us.

    We will remember in November what the DNC did to Hillary and her supporters.

    McCain '08 for Clinton '12

    July 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. katiec

    I think it was GREAT. It is wonderful to see what a close, loving
    family they are. And how like the rest of us they are.
    Of course, wouldn't want to do it all the time, but am
    glad they did. Let's us know, with his well rounded family,
    what a good president he will be.

    July 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. HiHater!

    Mary in CT:

    The "Junior" and "Senior" in the offical senator titles actually means nothing. Senior just means you've been there longer, it's doesn't mean you're smarter than the other senator.

    With your "logic", Former Sen. Jesse Helms was smarter than the six other "junior" senators that served for NC with him between 1975 (that's when he became "senior" senator) and 2003 (his retirement). That includes John Edwards. If you think that, well, I really have nothing to say.

    I wish the media would just leave Obama alone for a little bit. His children on TV was fine, refreshing even. I think they did a good job, and although he shouldn't (and won't) have them as the face of his campaign, their presence in that interview was a genuinely lighthearted and sweet moment that the media/the opposition will be hard-pressed to skew reasonably. It was just an interview...and they didn't even talk about anything politics related really.

    July 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Someone with common sense

    Some of you commenters sound so utterly stupid. You act like Barack Obama has to be a perfect human being in order to run this country. HELLO! No one is perfect and if that were the case, the country would not be in financial and moral ruin right now. Babrack Obama has proven that he has good judgment, character, leadership and devotion to family skills that would bring a sense of morailty back to America. Any fool that would vote for John McCain and admit it is just that. A fool. For you racist, semi-racist and quasi-racist people, stop using stupid excuses for your non-support of Brack Obama. Stop being afraid to admit your real feelings. Beisdes you aren't fooling anyone anyway. We can all read right through your stupid excuses.

    July 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. A.C from California

    Relax everyone,

    Let the Obamas be....The Obamas are a high profile family that deserve a little lime light. Most of you Obama haters won't amount to half of what the obama's achieve in there life. His girls (Obama's Childern) handle them self well and in my option have more manners and values....so relax you bigots and haters!

    I refuse to vote for Mccain and allow him to conutine the Bush crime family destruction of our great country.

    July 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Gregory, Scottsdale, AZ

    All of you lighten up! He did not do anything outside of showing who he really is and introducing America to who they really are. Folks – get ready, Obama will win – and more to the point it's in your best interest to vote for him. Forget talking points. The dems have a history of running things better than the Republicans. You know I'm right. Deal with it and vote the right way this time. 8 more years of crap! Come on and grow up. You got it wrong the two times in a row are you going to make it a third??????

    July 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |


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