Obama reflects on absent father in weekly address
June 15th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama reflects on absent father in weekly address

(CNN) – Commemorating Father's Day weekend, President Barack Obama said he wished his own father had been more involved in his life, and he encouraged other dads to lead by example.

"Today we're blessed to live in a world where technology allows us to connect instantly with just about anyone on the planet," he said in his weekly address. "But no matter how advanced we get, there will never be a substitute for the love and support and, most importantly, the presence of a parent in a child's life."

Obama's parents divorced when he was a young child, and he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents.

"There are single parents all across the country who do a heroic job raising terrific kids," he said. "But I still wish I had a dad who was not only around, but involved; another role model to teach me what my mom did her best to instill."

The president, the father of two girls, has frequently promoted fatherhood and marriage. Notably, he stressed the importance of strong families during a Chicago speech earlier this year on gun violence.

In his Saturday address, he called for reforming child support laws to "get more men working and engaged with their children."

"And my administration will continue to work with the faith and other community organizations, as well as businesses, on a campaign to encourage strong parenting and fatherhood," he said.

"Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there," he added. "And have a great weekend."

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Here's a thought.......I didn't have a Dad, I ever knew, either.......nor did I have grandparents to raise me. I still believe it is every person's obligation, to support themselves, and not expect others to support them.

    That is something the President might ponder.

    June 15, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  2. Marie MD

    The President is the perfect example that even though he was raised by a single mother that you can still do something for yourself if you try hard and I am pretty sure that he didn't have an easy childhood but like everything else he has done he just blows it off.
    Happy Father's Day to everyone.

    June 15, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  3. iratenate

    I suppose it would be tough being a good father, especially if your children suspect you to be the biggest crapweasel ever in American politics...

    June 15, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  4. dixie

    This POTUS knows nothing of child support problems. There should be one set of laws for every state to follow not 50 different sets of laws.

    June 15, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Jopa

    Focuses on black absent father, but rarely talks about his white mother who was present.

    June 15, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  6. Phaerisee

    Good President. Great Man.

    June 15, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Amazing Obama would talk about absenteesim. Mostly he has been absent when hard decisions need to be made.

    June 15, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Anonymous

    the greatest POTUS, with great inspiring message. Just ignore the ignoble GOPs and do your job. so far an A- for your handling of the job.

    June 15, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Absent father ???

    But... but...
    WE
    Have the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    Depravity is OUR standard.
    We take The 5th

    June 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Catmandew

    Obama the man who has been nowhere to be found when anything happened in his administration. I don't think he has any room to talk.

    June 15, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. trudy

    Great man .Great father. How lucky to have him as our President.

    June 15, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Ed1

    Ray,

    Agree 100% his terms in office has been little or nothing to help anyone but his Union buddies and his big debt he owes to his fan club otherwise his big $$$$ contributors.

    June 15, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. UsGotRights

    Happy Fathers Day to the Founding Fathers, May some day a future US President reflect their wisdom and the American people have the Founding Fathers wisdom shown in their votes.

    June 16, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. joseph

    Rick McDaniel
    Here's a thought.......I didn't have a Dad, I ever knew, either.......nor did I have grandparents to raise me. I still believe it is every person's obligation, to support themselves, and not expect others to support them.

    That is something the President might ponder.
    .................................................
    No Rick, you should ponder your comments. Someone had to wipe your b....when you are born, taken you to hospital when you were sick, cook and feed you when you hungry. You may not have these things done to you when you are older. For you to relate this to the President of him doing his job, I think you are just being irrelevant.

    Happy fathers day

    June 16, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein

    The idea is that two parents are needed because of the different perspectives that they provide. There should be praise that should go to fathers that stick around and makes sure their children grow up with their values and know how to properly act in society.

    June 16, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |