October 27th, 2012
11:55 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama explains 'bullsh***ter' remark

(CNN) – President Barack Obama took heat this week for calling his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, a "bullsh***ter" while speaking with a writer from Rolling Stone magazine, but the president on Friday said he didn't use the comment until the interview had finished.

"You know, this was a conversation after an interview, a casual conversation with a reporter," Obama told a reporter with KUSA, a local CNN affiliate based in Denver.

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Douglas Brinkley, who penned the article, wrote that while he and the magazine's executive editor, Eric Bates, were at the White House for the interview, Bates passed along a message from his six-year-old daughter who said to tell the president, "You can do it," regarding his re-election.

Obama responded, "You know, kids have good instincts. They look at the other guy and say, 'Well that's a bulls***ter, I can tell.'"

When an advanced copy of the article was released on Thursday, the comment quickly made headlines and sparked an uproar among conservative commentators. Romney's campaign also responded with a statement.

"President Obama is rattled and on the defensive," said Romney campaign senior adviser Kevin Madden. "He's running on empty and has nothing left but attacks and insults. It's unfortunate he has to close the final days of the campaign this way."

In the Denver interview on Friday, Obama was asked why he used the word and what he meant by its tone.

"The basic point that I've been talking about throughout this campaign, is people know what I mean and they know that I mean what I say and what I care about," the president said. "A major issue in any election is can you count on the person you're putting into the Oval Office fighting for you having a clear set of convictions that they believe."

Brinkley said on CBS this week he interpreted the comment as a translation of what Obama has been saying on the campaign trail, most notably the term 'Romnesia,' a word the president and his campaign have been using to paint the former Massachusetts governor as a flip-flopper.

"It's another part of Romnesia, I suppose," Brinkley said. "The working man's Romnesia is BS-er."

– CNN's Allison Brennan contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. christine

    If this is the worst Romney has ever heard said of him, he really does live in a bubble. He is what he is and Obama called him on it.

    October 27, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Clarke

    Both sides are equal in this negative name calling. The GOP acts self righteous, but has no problem attaching others. I don't get it. Both parties, need to take responsibility for their actions. It is getting old real fast. They both need to have respect for each other, and stop being bullies. Either party is not a good example for our children. Disgeaceful!

    October 27, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Reality

    The fact is that Romney will tell people whatever they want to hear, literally. I know some people believe all politicians are just politicians, but Romney thinks he tell you whatever you want to hear and you will believe it. In sum, Romney views Americans as gullible.

    October 27, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. I Voted Early In NC

    President Obama told the truth. Don't know why republicans are so upset. The truth hurts doesn't it.

    October 27, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. luke,az

    Gov. Romney is NOT presidential material as we all know. He represents the 1%. He will say anything to anybody at anytime. Gov Romney will lose this election because he is not trustworthy and lacks any core convictions. By the way Gov. Romney, SHOW US YOUR TAXES FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS !!!

    October 27, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Ron L- Mich

    Here is the question I ask ANYONE that reads this . If you met a person in your OWN LIFE that over the course of one years time told you this:
    They supported a womens right to chose – no I am a severe conservative Pro Life person
    I believe the car industry should be allowed to go bankrupt – no I want to get the private sector (that is in a panic at the time) to guarantee loans
    I am going to cut tax rates 20% across the board – but I am also going to make sure the rich pay no more than they pay today.
    I have been in successful in business and know how to turn this economy around – when Bain bought a company and could not turn it around they sold it,kept all the money to themselves and fired the employees with no severence pay, or insurance!!! So, how does that relate to running the government?
    I was a successful Governor able to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats – He is losing in the polls to President Obama by 30+ points in that state!!!
    I am going to increase spending on the military – at the same time I am going to cut the deficit
    I am going to cut the deficit – If you read his plan it does not address the deficit until he wins a 2nd term!!
    I could go on but I think you get my point...you would call this person a Bull _____ter"? I would, and even worst. Sure you may still talk and joke with the guy, but would you seriousily want him to be the President of the United States.
    I DON"T he is AMORAL and will say anything to win!!

    October 27, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. becky

    Oh gee. Many of us agree with President Obama. Mr. Romney has changed his mind so many times that it is clear he tells people what he thinks they want to hear. He certainly has not explained his reasons for changing positions.

    October 27, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Kareen

    I don't know why Obama is apologizing. He spoke the truth. !!!!!
    Even a President is allowed to speak his mind.

    October 27, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Ted

    Hmm.. He explains it but doesn't explain it. He basically said that he meant what he said. Which is why peopl are up in arms. He should quit giving interviews. He's an Emperor with no clothes. He thinks what everyone around him says is true, so he doesn't understand why The People have fallen out of love.

    October 27, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. saylor

    give them tacoos

    October 27, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. plain&simple

    The truth hurts....if you or I in our everyday life met someone like Romney that's exactly the term we would use to describe them.

    October 27, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Ed1

    Care to make a comment on this.

    Obama has cost more American jobs to China more than any other President in the US history and Mitt didn't cause any his old company might have but that was way after Mitt left.

    First off, I love Jeeps. I drove a blue stick-shift Jeep in high school and dream of one day owning another one (pre-bailout edition) of course. President Obama has based a large portion of his re-election campaign on the auto-bailout which has resonated with many voters in Ohio, a state Mitt Romney needs to win. However, due to burdonsome regulations, high taxes and the overall high cost of manufacting in the United States, Jeep (owned by Chrysler) production may be shipped overseas to China.

    Chrysler: repaid $9.2 billion, fulfilling its debt obligations to the U.S. and Canadian governments, and is now owned by Italian automaker Fiat (58.5%) and a health care trust for UAW retirees (41.5%). Overall, taxpayers lost $1.3 billion on the Chrysler bailout. In full recovery mode, Chrysler is currently the fastest-growing carmaker in the world.

    On another note 70% of the growth for GM comes from China bet there are no union jobs there. Where is UAW when you need them not in China our bailout tax dollars at work.

    October 27, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    No explanation needed or necessary Mr. President. Willard M. Romney is that and a lot more. Just don't allow the reps. to take you down in the dirt where they are. Besides, you're only human and considering the amount of sleep you're getting lately, it was probably just a slip of the tongue.

    Go Obama!

    October 27, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. enuff

    What's wrong with telling the truth?

    October 27, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Indy

    There is nothing to explain except for why Obama used such kind words for the biggest liar that ever ran for the highest job in the land. Romney lies in the name of his religion and sets the worst example possible for future candidates

    October 27, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. annie

    people might as well not vote because cnn msnbc fox have already decided the election you got mitt rommey winning and the people have not been to the ballot box i am sick of hearing about the polls and sick of the lies you call yourself reporting rommey is a liar and a cheat if you are dumb enough to believe him he should win and i thought that news reporter was suppose to smart fine example you set for other nation believe in God but hate President Obama God is love all republicans full of hate God have mercy on your souls

    October 27, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Richard Jones

    Poor ol' Barack !! He is reverting to the ways of his heritage. When he and Mooshell leave the White House I will not be suprised if they take the plumbing fixtures, the copper wire and piping, and the air conditioning coils. Better keep an eye on Air Force One, too. It will probably be on blocks with the tires and rims gone !!!

    October 27, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. iampraying

    Latest move by romney is to use the Presidents slogans–that sad Ryan/Romney win +American Returning to it's VOMIT in a major way (ref..the Bible)

    October 27, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. hyper

    Romney has no plan of his own, his only conviction is to see rich people pay no additional taxes.
    Whenever Romney is asked to explain his plans to get the economy going he says he'll cut taxes and close loopholes.
    When asked how he will reduce the deficit he has no clear answer.
    70% of his advisers also advised GW Bush. That includes D. Cheney. Romney has no foreign policy experience and has already shown he loses his cool under pressure. That is NOT a good trait as president of the USA.

    Now Obama has a plan, he has had a plan since the very beginning. and for the first 2 years it worked well. It saved the economy from turning into another great depression. Turning around the failed policies of GW Bush and turning 800.000 jobs lost a month into 200.000 jobs created a month. He saved the entire American car industry and helped it become stronger than it was before. And he reformed the health care system to give everyone a fair treatment with health insurance companies.

    Over the past 2 years Obama has drafted and submitted over 19 job creating bills to congress. Bill created to bring jobs back to our shores, to ensure people can get good jobs, and to help people start and maintain businesses. Of these 19 Bills, EVERY SINGLE ONE HAS BEEN BLOCKED BY CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS.

    2 years ago the GOP swore to do everything in its power to work Obama out of office come election time 2012. And they have. They have done everything in their power. They created a glass ceiling, a wall. that has prevented the US economy from recovering to its true potential. Whenever Romney says that Obama has failed. People should take a closer look at his Tea Party running mate Paul Ryan.

    Romney has no plan, the only plan he has is to use every dirty trick in the book. To constantly employ straight faced deception in order to please the people he is speaking to. Romney is a shrewd businessman without a moral compass out for power. If he could sell out 47% of America to get into Office, You can bet your backside he will !

    Obama has a plan, he had conviction and he is there for the full 100%.
    If you vote for Romney come this election you are voting for another 4 years of BUSH.

    October 27, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. ppp

    That's sound like something the president of United States of America should say. The most powerful man on the plantet. How unprofessional!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Rmoney Rproblems

    Truth hertz donut, Repubes,

    October 27, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. fernace

    I'm glad the President used the term because that's the term I & my friends use to describe Romney! Romnesia is also a great description! How else do you describe a man who claims he'll lower taxes for all, increase income, create 12mil jobs, increase military spending by several trillions & Still reduce our debt?! 80 CEO's disagree w/Romney's "plan" saying it's not viable! The very people he aligns himself with; the business record he's been running on, are saying exactly what the President said! B to the S, in many more words! We better listen up or we'll be dragged down again, even further w/the RReal policies of failure! Not to mention their plans for women! Obama has not failed us, congress did w/their 1% pledge & vow to make him 1 term! There's where the the real failure can be traced to! We are the government & better start acting like it! Let this bs'ser in the door & we wont need to worry about outsourcing to China; we'll be China!! Obama Nov6!

    October 27, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. miklea supporter, but

    I was thinking to vote for him, but he seems angry and with no class. No more Obama for me and family.

    October 27, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Nick

    So much for Mr civility, no drama Obama etc. he's running on empty. If he had any successes during the last 4 years he'd focus on them instead of attacking Romney. How about Obama's BS for the last 4 years: "I'll cut the deficit in half in the next 3 years". "I'll go through the budget line item by line item and we will cut out things that don't make sense". "We'll put the healthcare discussions up on CSPAN so the American people can hear all sides of the issue." "I won't allow lobbyists to work in this administration". "I'll reach across the aisle and work with both parties". All broken promises. He had his chance now he's scrambling because he has no record to run on.

    October 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |