Obama team defends People, ET interviews
August 19th, 2012
10:57 AM ET
6 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. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    @myviewis: "Okay, that money SAVED or CUTS will be used, will be Diverted to pay Obamacare."

    This is an outright lie – PERIOD!

    August 19, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

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

    Should read: CAN'T handle the truth!

    August 19, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Pander Bear

    Govt' Dipendent bloviated: "I must have missed all of Obama's appearances?"

    Yeah you must have been watching Sponge Bob. He's had numerous interviews on all of the major news outlets including Fox. Know you like to lie in all your posts but you should at least know that they have to have some basis in truth to be believable.

    August 19, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    @Karrie: "I want to know what Romney's plan is to fix the economy. "I know how to do that" doesn't tell me anything."

    This reminds me of McCain in 2008 saying how he would get bin Laden, "I know how to get bin Laden."

    If these Repubs really cared about our country, they would tell us NOW and not wait until after the election to tell us.

    Unless of course, they are clueless and are simply lying to us again ...

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The sane choice

    August 19, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    Imagine that a president who speaks to ALL people. Just because Willard is a coward in every way possible, including showing the American people 10 years of his tax returns, don't hate the president because he knows people listen to all kinds of media and he just wants everyone to hear his message. Why don't they tell us what their plans are for helping us or is that too much to ask?

    August 19, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Howard – We know who the dirtly liars really are, and it is on your side.

    August 19, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. dave

    As the corporate national media continues their agenda of slanting news towards an emotional, divisive, and apocalyptic stories, you will see all sides of the political spectrum avoid them.

    As consumers continue to respond and seek out emotional, divisive, and apocalyptic stories the corporate national media will continue their agenda of producing these stories.

    There is little incentive for anyone to be self-reflective, thoughtful, or open minded in the modern world. Emotional self-indulgence and blaming someone else pays huge dividends, doesn't it?

    August 19, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Desmond, a Canadian

    Contrary to the "Mittology" being dished out by "Rawmoney", your President's actions and interviews are honest and effective. And he speaks to EVERYBODY, including the smaller news stations, all over your great country. He is an EVERYDAY president who is deeply concerned for EVERY(WO)MAN.

    August 19, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. difoderit

    wade moran

    "..that is where a lot of Americans get their news." And on Comedy Central, especially Obama supporters. Speaks volumes.
    says the man who gets his martching ordres from Rush – "fair and balanced" faux news org –

    August 19, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Darryl

    If the republicans and the FOX people don't like that fact that Pres. Obama is Talking to E.T or any other entertainment media out let maybe they should play back some of their videos and listen to the terrible things they say about the people who entertain us. They have demonized almost all 98% of the movie stars and Bill O'rilley especially. The entertainment bussiness doesn't allow the Fox network to even go to their events because of the terrible things they say about them. Last year at the Oscars, O'Rilley sent a news guy to the Oscars to sneak-in with-out an invitation and try to speek to him on the Red Carpet. The Movie Stars saw the FOX label on the Mic and said very politely No Thanks. Lets just face it, the Right-Wing, Conservitive, T-Party, Republicans have no RESPECT for their hard work and accomplishments period. What Losers !

    August 19, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Proud Progressive Liberal Democrat

    Dismantle the hate machine of the wealthy elite this November! Vote for anyone who is NOT a Republican!!

    August 19, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Sagebrush Shorty

    Obama makes Richard Nixon look like Mother Teresa.

    August 19, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    Romney/Ryan-The only trusted way forward.

    August 19, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. difoderit

    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.

    You're a genius – yes let's give 'business" another license to steal – heck what's another TARP bailout or three – you changed my thinking, I am going to certainly vote for the vulture/voucher ticket for sure now!! thanks for your super-duper thoguhts!

    August 19, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. jpmichigan

    Obama does not want to answer the hard difficut questions that news stations would ask. To state that American people get their information about politics and other news in order to heard real opions , from People and entertainment channels is a slap in the face to intelligent Americans. Reasons not to vote for Obama: 1. Joe Biden 2. David Axelrod #. Robert Gibbs 4. Bill Burton 5. Stephanie Cutter.

    August 19, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Candice

    Obama will win easy re-election , so we dont have to worry .
    Women need free abortion services .
    Obama 2012 , the real choice for women .

    August 19, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. The REAL TRUTH...

    @Four and The Door – Obama thinks tax returns are worthy of an important political debate about the future of the country? No. Americans want to hear about jobs, the economy, excessive national debt and what Obama & Biden have been doing since 2009 when these were the same issues.
    Of course tax returns are worthy of policitcal debate. It's abut transparency and the desire of most Americans to determine if the candidate is worthy of their trust. Anyone who refuses to release the returns is perceiveid as instantly guilty of hiding something – even if they are not. The refusal by Mitt the Twir lends credence to the arrogance portrayed by his campaign, and his spouses comments such as "you people"! Well this "people" could care less about his wealth or what he does with it, but I will certainly not vote for someone who believes he is above the rest of us and want to be our President but does not invest in us or trust the Amerucan people with his tax returns. RELEASE the returns, or are you SCARED that the American people will find out the TRUTH !

    And thanks for confirming what I have been saying all along about Obama inheriting the mess we are in. FACTS are facts, and it's EASILY verifiable that not only did Obama inherit the mess, but that the Grand Obstructionist Party has PUT PARTY AHEAD OF COUNTRY with their goal to make Obama a single-term President. Ever tried to work with a team where the goal of half that team is to do ANYTHING IN THEIR POWER to sabotage your efforts. That's what Obama has faced, and given the results has done admirably.
    Anyone voting Republican in Nov, is not votng in their own self-interest.

    August 19, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Candice

    Obama will win easy re-election , so we dont have to worry .
    Obama 2012 , the real choice for women .

    August 19, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. jpmichigan

    Obama dpes not talk about his plan, for he has none., except take from seniors via medicare to help pay for everyone else medical care. Take from the tax payer to pay for wefare and frrod stamps for those who done and won't work.

    August 19, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Dumbpolitics

    Can't we have Friday nite debate nights on tv? Right after the convention we have like 8 weeks left let's say like 5 weeks of the pres. canidates and the other 3 weeks of vice-pres. Then all of the media can carry the debates.

    August 19, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Really?

    Obama's way forward is toward Collectivism which is a form of Communism. After this country lost millions of lives fighting against communism who thinks Obama's and his regimes agenda is something anyone should be defending or promoting? Ah yes, just what I thought, those who love a handout.

    August 19, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Honey

    Does anyone in the Gop know us Seniors pay $1200.00 a year for our medicare. We get nothing for free.

    August 19, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Really?

    Pander Bear – haven't you heard yet? Romney has paid more taxes than anyone complaining about or asking about his taxes and NO ONE would pay more taxes than they have too so what's the problem. You don't think the IRS would nail him if he did something illegal? Get a grip.

    August 19, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Why do the republicans lie? It's because they have no plan, no clue, no nothing except obstructionism! And guess what? The mentally challenged people who support them believe all their BS. What a shame!

    August 19, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. IDontBelieveIt

    Cutter is just as arrogant as her boss!
    What a DISRESPECTFUL thing to say about the MILLIONS odf intelligent voters -- that they can only "understand" National news if it's presented by wannabee 'D' list celebrities!!!!!! Sreuth, I've heard it all now!

    Cutter publicly denounced Romney as a FELON with not one shred of evidence to back it up!

    Cutter publicly lied about the story put about by Obama's Ad FALSELY accusing Mr Romney of KILLING an old lady. [HE approved that Ad last May!!!]

    Cutter is a gutter-snipe who needs to get back to kicking kittens and to STOP masquerading as a decent human being.
    But she IS more of a man than Obama!

    August 19, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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