June 21st, 2010
12:36 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama marks Father's Day with launch of new mentoring program

'Our children don't need us to be superheroes.' President Obama said.  'They don't need us to be perfect.  They do need us to be present.'
'Our children don't need us to be superheroes.' President Obama said. 'They don't need us to be perfect. They do need us to be present.'

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama marked Father's Day Monday by announcing the start of a new mentoring program for families and urging dads across the country to live up to their parental responsibilities.

He also highlighted a new Justice Department initiative to help ex-offenders more effectively reintegrate into society and find employment that will allow them to support their children.

"I can't legislate fatherhood," Obama said. "But what we can do is send a clear message to our fathers that there's no excuse for failing to meet their obligations."

"Our children don't need us to be superheroes," he said. "They don't need us to be perfect. They do need us to be present."


The president noted the absence created in his own life after his father left when he was only two years old.

I always "felt the weight of that absence," Obama said. Growing up without a father makes "a hole that no government can fill."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. another program?

    how about we do what we do (with what we have created already) and do that well

    June 21, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Angus McDugan

    Good. I hope he gets himself someone to mentor him in leadership.

    June 21, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Laurie

    Good for President Obama.

    June 21, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You have been an outstanding example of fatherhood, especially needed in some Black communities. Yes, I said it.

    These young men can look up to you as an example of what being a good father and husband looks like. Those that are misguided can see strength and pride in the way you treat your wife and are there for your daughters.

    You've also made it cool to be INTELLIGENT!

    Hope you enjoyed your Father's Day.

    June 21, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Suzanne

    Just another excuse to spend money..... give me a break... Father's Day Monday.... once a deadbeat always a deadbeat and your programs are NOT GOING TO CHANGE THAT.... A LOSER IS A LOSER..... SAVE OUR MONEY!

    June 21, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Steve-O

    Wasn't Father's day 6/20?...Always a day late and couple-o-billion short!

    June 21, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. mms55

    who do you suggest "angus",bush lmao!

    June 21, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Larry

    Well said, Mr. President.

    June 21, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. rawley

    I hope he counsels Tiger...

    June 21, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. nwhiker

    Beautiful! Only small minds could criticize this wonderful goal.

    June 21, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Joyce

    The Republicans can cry, whine, blame him for all their woes & stomp their feet in childish tantrums all they want but they can never say Obama isn't a good father.

    June 21, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Jerry in NC

    Those two negative posters are a prime example of the hateful people in this country. Here is a very positive story involving the president, where he is promoting a program that our society desperately needs, and those clowns use it as an opportunity to make some negative comments. You people are disgusting!

    June 21, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Rick

    SLObama is up to his Nazi tactics again, watch out, he is trying to start the SLObama youth and corrupt your childs mind with his socialistic views and his nazi ideals.

    June 21, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Eric

    "Our children don't need us to be superheroes," he said. "They don't need us to be perfect. They do need us to be present."

    Unfortunately, the same can be said of presidents.

    That said, uh, Mr. Obama, could you please come in off the golf course?

    June 21, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. john

    To Angus-

    I get that you don't like President Obama, and you have plenty of reasons not to. However, you don't have to immediately make light of every thing that he does. I think that everyone can agree encouraging responsibility and commitment in fathers is a good thing. Don't be so quick to be pessimistic.

    June 21, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Eric

    Has it ever occured to anyone that if Baby Boomers as a whole hadn't done everything they could to destroy the basic family unit, maybe there would be NO NEED for Father Mentoring programs being pushed by the most senior executive on the planet?

    But then again, this is the plan of the statists since they became a force nearly 200 years ago... destroy the family and replace it with government.

    I swear, Orwell and Huxley's writings almost seem like the blue print of the entire "progressive" movement.

    June 21, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Get A Grip

    Sure would be nice if this guy would live up to his presidential obligations. Also, sure would have been nice if he kept many of his campaign promises.

    June 21, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Dave

    Wow, a new government program. Imagine that! How much will this add to the debt and deficit?

    June 21, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. The Real Me

    And how much is this going to cost me?

    June 21, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Enough

    We do NOT need a government program to further get involved in our lives.

    June 21, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Greg Pottstown PA

    Yet another program aimed at helping the black population. Lets face the facts.
    Most ex-offenders are black.
    Most Fathers that have nothing to do with there kids are black.
    The people that stand to gain most from this are black.

    Bad parents or EX-offenders can be any color But facts show that most are black. This is not racism it is fact and even Obama stated it.

    June 21, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. gt

    amen....just be there and try...

    June 21, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. HOLD ON MR PREZ!

    I feel for you as a child who's father was absent from his/her life that also happened to me but your personal experience vs your political life as POTUS should remain private and not brought to the hill or the white house. We already have a mentoring program in BIG BROTHER/BIG SISTER PROGRAMS. YOU NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON THE REALLY REALLY BIG ISSUES NOT TO MINIMIZE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF NOT JUST FATHERS BUT MOTHERS AS WELL TO BE THERE FOR THEIR CHILDREN.
    @ Angus McDugan, since you feel POTUS needs mentoring in his leadership put your name in the hat as it seems you feel you can do a better job it STUPID PEOPLE WHO MAKE STUPID REMARKS THAT REALLY SHOWS HOW REALLY STUPID THEY ARE!

    June 21, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If our pastors and religious communities focused more on parenting instead of politics we may get more results.

    June 21, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Slick William

    Here is how my Father's Day went...

    Daddy can we go to Disney Land? Sorry kids, Mommy and Daddy are both highly educated professionals that have worked hard for everything we ever earned, but Mommy and Daddy don't have jobs anymore and we have spent all of our life savings on keeping our household afloat, so no sweetheart, Daddy is very sorry, we cannot go anywhere now or in the foreseeable future. How do you like your hotdogs and beenie weenies cooked again honey....

    Hope you enjoyed your imported steaks President Obama!

    June 21, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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