Obama team defends People, ET interviews
August 19th, 2012
10:57 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama team defends People, ET interviews

(CNN) – Interviews with People magazine and Entertainment Tonight are just as important as sit-downs with national news media, President Barack Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Sunday.

"Not more important, but equally important, and that is where a lot of Americans get their news," Cutter said on CNN's "State of the Union." Obama answered questions from both People and ET this week, and while the questioning included some softballs, both interviews probed Obama about Vice President Joe Biden's remarks in Virginia when he told a crowd that Mitt Romney's regulatory policies would "put y'all back in chains."

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Republicans have been hammering Obama for not conducting a news conference with the White House press corps, and released a web video Friday mocking Obama's recent interview with a New Mexico radio station - an interview which included questions on food, music, and what superpower the president would most like to have.

Both Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, have granted interviews with local outlets in battleground states in their fight for the White House. They field questions from national news outlets with varying frequency.

Romney's most recent press conference with the national press corps was on Thursday in South Carolina. Obama last took questions from wire service reporters in mid-June at the G-20 conference in Mexico, while his last full press conference was in May at the NATO conference in Chicago.

On Sunday, Cutter told CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta that doing interviews with local outlets was as important as taking questions from national media.
"The president was talking to the reporters to the ground in Iowa. Do you think that is less important than talking to somebody like you? Everywhere that the president goes he is talking to reporters," Cutter said.

Romney's press conference on Thursday wasn't of any service to the public since his answers weren't truthful, Cutter said.

"Mitt Romney might have had two media availabilities, but what did he tell you in the media availabilities? He told you he would not release the taxes, because he was afraid of getting attacked, and spouted out lies about the president's plan. And is that media availability important if he is spouting lies and misstating the president's plan?" Cutter asked.

At Friday's White House briefing for reporters, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest was asked when the president's next press conference would be.

"The president has spent a lot of time answering questions from journalists all across the country," Earnest replied. "The president has spent a lot of time talking publicly about the issues he thinks are at stake in this election and are worthy of an important political debate about the future of the country. That is something he feels a responsibility to do."

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Lizzie

    OBAMA2012, if Prince Harry Reid would look at the bills send over by the house and not just throw them in the wastebasket and follow what THEY preach, cooperation, maybe something would get done, one way or the other. At least we would find out WHO are the obstructionists.

    August 19, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. PaMom

    I guess I have to agree with Obama.....his suppo0rters have proven by their lack of knowing the truth that they do get thier information from these shows. What a sad reflection on the education of this country.

    August 19, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Howard

    Stephanie Cutter is a dirty liar, who promotes and defends the lies of other dirty liars.

    August 19, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. A. Moore

    CNN tell Mitt Romney not to worry about who the President is or aren't talking to and just release his tax returns.

    August 19, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. wade moran

    "..that is where a lot of Americans get their news." And on Comedy Central, especially Obama supporters. Speaks volumes.

    August 19, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. T'sah From Virginia

    A MUST listen-to in regards to Ryan and the Stimulus – Under Obama, it's NOT ALLOWED; but under Bush, it's a MUST!!! And his argument is what the democrats are using now in order to "stimulate" the economy.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-support-of-stimulus-2012-8

    The Republican governors who were elected in 2010 knew exactly what they were getting into – they slashed hundred of thousands of jobs knowing damn well it would hurt the economic recovery. They did this all in an attempt to make President Obama a "one-term" president!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA – Listen to more than one station to get all views and facts!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 19, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Rosslaw

    The Republicans sincerely wish to reinstate and protect the financial criminal class by ielimnating Dodd-Frank, gutting the SEC which of late has been putting securities fraud artists in prison at an impressive rate, gutting the FTC and CFTC which used to regulate derivatives, and once again they're pulling out their hankies and smelling salts and complaining they're about to faint over "shackles". Poor babies. And People who watch the soon to be indicted sleaze of Faux News complain about interview to People?

    August 19, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. carly

    The GOP hypocrites are at it again. Doesn't matter who does the interview if you (Romney) don't answer questions (where are your tax returns, how will you pay for your medicare plan, how will your tax plan be paid for and on and on)

    August 19, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Paulcat

    I'm waiting to see Mitt Romney make his rounds on the sunday morning shows.
    Will this ever happen, before the election? "NO". WHY?

    August 19, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. JimB

    Romney can only spread his lies on FOX. He is an awful interview because he can't tell the truth. How many more times will he try to explain his Medicare vs Paul Ryan Medicare plan, or their different tax plans, or what he is hiding in his taxes? People are beginning to believe that he is sleazy and this is why, with this awful economy, Obama is tied or ahead in most battleground state polls. We don't want another Nixon and more scandal.

    August 19, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. NOT a Government Dependent

    The FACT is that Obama and the Democrats have the entire business community PARALYZED with no idea what is going to happen to some of their biggest expenses: healthcare costs and tax rates. It has been this way for 4 years. Obama's and the Democrats, MORE uncertainty and the same government deficit spending on make work union jobs. They have already tried it and it didn't work now they scream that others won't double down on their proven failed approach. Obama and Democrats are the living breathing definition of insanity.

    Only AFTER the American people gave control of the House to the Republicans, did job creation start to happen. They stopped the Obama and Democrat insanity. ONLY after the American people remove Obama and the Do Nothing Democrat Senate will this country TRULY start to recover. If you want 4 more years of failed policies and the Obama Jobs Depression, vote for Obama and watch the country implode. If you care about the future of this country and your kids, then you MUST vote for ROmney/Ryan. It IS that simple.

    August 19, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Juanita Jackson

    Obama is unable to RUN on his RECORD FAILURE of 1) Over 3 years with unemployment over 8% 2) Record US Citizens in Poverty in US History 3) First $1 Trillion Deficit and 3 years in a ROW 4) "Work to Welfare" now FREE "Welfare checks". Have OBAMA Explain his DISMAL Record.

    August 19, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. NOT a Government Dependent

    Paulcat
    I'm waiting to see Mitt Romney make his rounds on the sunday morning shows.
    Will this ever happen, before the election? "NO". WHY?
    ===========================================================
    I must have missed all of Obama's appearances? Oh yeah, there have been none. No opportunities for the press to ask him ANY questions, other than what his favorite ice cream flavor is. The media has become a joke the way they have protected and shilled for Obama and the Democrats. If a Republican was President, the unemployment rate and near zero economic growth would be front page news EVERY DAY. But Obama gets a complete pass.

    August 19, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. george of the jungle

    too bad mitt is mad he didnt think of it first but then again he doesnt like answering questions especially about his taxes. Only person running that has ever keep his money off shore. Wade is your last name moron? Howard shut up comments like yours from the party that wouldnt know the truth if it hit them in the head. Nobody that buys people wants to read about that dull lying mitt and his milktoast family. Tell us if you got a tax deduction for your horse???? And ryan lib media said last week he would pull out his mom in florida and sure enough . Talk about desperation. Like she needs to worry about medicare. Forward 2012.

    August 19, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Karrie

    Like we don't see enough of Obama on tv. I want to know what Romney's plan is to fix the economy. "I know how to do that" doesn't tell me anything. The only thing I know he knows how to do is make money for investors and outsource jobs.

    August 19, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sunday media circus Romney’s lies doesn’t matter to media but president’s humor matter to media

    August 19, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. catmom

    WOW!!!! The hyprocrisy and outright LIES coming from Republicans and the right is amazing! Listening to Rick Santorum defend Romney's negativity and attack on the President is mind blowing after he and Gingrich whined like babies when he did the same thing to them. Republicans trying to make the American people believe that President Obama is the one who has spent the past four years dividing our country, refusing to work with the President to move our country forward is outlandish. And then to think Republicans are now trying to convince people that a Democratic President is now trying to destroy Medicare? After Republicans have been whining the last four years about cuts having to be made in Medicare, Medicauid ans Social Security, they are now telling us THEY are the ones who will NEVER cut benefits but that President Obama is stealing money from these programs? Right. You people can believe this BS if you want, we get the country you vote for. Just remember that as you vote against your own best interest and the black man.

    August 19, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. 1twinsfan

    Obama answering the softball questions at a local radio station is still far more info than Romney will give when asked by reporters what he bought at a hardware store. "Hardware stuff."

    August 19, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. myviewis

    Anthony

    Myviews,
    Medicare is not adequately funded. Without reform It is going to go bankrupt. Without the 700 billion in cuts, Medicare will run out of money for impatient care in 2016, instead of 2024 if the cuts are kept. This is why Ryan included the cuts in his own budget, because the cuts EXTEND the life of Medicare. Romney said that he will cancel the cuts. Is this what Romney wants, "saving" Medicare by making it go bankrupt faster and replacing it with a voucher plan sooner, which only applies to people who are younger than 55 because Romney knows seniors want no part of the voucher plan?
    ----------------------–

    To answer your comment. The "Cuts" will result in saving us money, I say us because we each pay for Medicare out of our paychecks, right? Okay, that money SAVED or CUTS will be used, will be Diverted to pay Obamacare. Our SAVINGS will be redirected to the account of Obamacare to pay for it, the money we SAVE IN CUTS is not staying in Medicare. Obama should have charged us in our paychecks an Obamacare/Affordable Care Act TAX so that it gets paid by our money from our paychecks and not the money we pay for Medicare. We don't get to keep our SAVED or CUTS Money in our Medicare account. It's a simple math process. Get it???????

    August 19, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Pander Bear

    Romney interviews on Fox News exclusively. Probably because the hard hitting journalists of People magazine might ask him questions about his tax returns.

    August 19, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    @Howard: "Mitt Romney might have had two media availabilities, but what did he tell you in the media availabilities? He told you he would not release the taxes, because he was afraid of getting attacked, and spouted out lies about the president's plan. And is that media availability important if he is spouting lies and misstating the president's plan?" Cutter asked.

    Everything she said here is true – and you and your obstructionist party can handle the truth!

    August 19, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. catmom

    Howard

    Stephanie Cutter is a dirty liar, who promotes and defends the lies of other dirty liars.

    August 19, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Howard, what has Stephanie Cutter lied about? Since you seem so adament about her being a liar,I'm sure you can list many of her supposed lies.

    PaMom, getting information from various media outlets is no crime and is prefable than getting it from right wing hate media. But, way to go insulting people you know nothing about. I love how you people on the right insult at will anyone who doesn't agree with right wing propaganda. That is why I for one would NEVER vote for anyone people like you support.

    August 19, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. NOT a Government Dependent

    Why don't ANY of these people interviewing ask Obama about releasing his college records? What is he hiding from the American people? Don't we have a right to all the information on him?

    I guess super hero powers are more important to the looney left.

    August 19, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. myviewis

    catmom
    After Republicans have been whining the last four years about cuts having to be made in Medicare, Medicauid ans Social Security, they are now telling us THEY are the ones who will NEVER cut benefits but that President Obama is stealing money from these programs? Right. You people can believe this BS if you want, we get the country you vote for. Just remember that as you vote against your own best interest and the black man.
    -----------------------

    It's a simple mathematic, accounting trick. Go to the White House website and read the Affordable Care Act and Strenghtening American and the reports by Nancy Ann DeParle and Kathleen Sebelius. Now imagine you go to the store and when paying for the meat you find out it has $2.00 off. You just saved yourself $2.00. $2.00 you keep in your wallet. Obama will say to you now let me take those $2.00 you saved and use it to pay Obamacare. In other words, Obama will get cheaper care, cheaper prescriptions, lower the payments Medicare makes to doctors and hospitals which the in the Affordable Care Act on page 10 it states that the United States Department of Health and Human Services reported that this lower payments could put almost 15% of hospitals and providers into debt and could cause Seniors to not have accessibility to medical care. So, Obama is using whatever he can save by lowering payments to doctors and hospitals and lowering payments to Home Health Care, our SAVED Money, to pay for Obamacare.....Medicare is paying for Obamacare and he is also raising our Medicare Tax come 2013 by .9%. Get it????? The money Obama saves Medicare is still our money and should stay in Medicare. What Obama should have done is charges us an Obamacare TAX on our paychecks to pay for Obamacare and leave Medicare alone.

    August 19, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. steven harnack

    Hey not, so I guess that what you're saying is that if the GOP hadn't spent the last 3 years crying over an already done law, and kept threatening it and tying up Congress with 37 votes that meant absolutely nothing, well, then businesses wouldn't be confused? Republicans seem to have problems with reality and facts and truth telling. Heck, most of them act like the country didn't overwhelmingly reject them 4 years ago and elect a black Democrat as President. They've been running for election since 2004!

    August 19, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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