Obama team defends People, ET interviews
August 19th, 2012
10:57 AM ET
11 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. Claire

    From 2009-2012 Pres. Obama has given 30 press conferences. From 2001-2008 GWB gave 16.

    August 19, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Bob in Dallas

    Since we all can not be rich, what is the financial reality for the rest of us in "the perfect conservative world" that the Republicans envision? The poor farm?

    August 19, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. The REAL TRUTH...

    @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.

    Only AFTER the American people gave control of the House to the Republicans, did job creation start to happen.
    No, the FACT is the do nothing Grand Obstructionist Party has PARALYZED Congressional action with their complete lack of leadership. ACA is exisitng legislation... approved by the SCOTUS! READ IT !
    Obama';s stimulus stemmed the tide, and not a single JOBS bill has been passed by Congress since the GOBP regained control of the House. Of course they blame the Senate Dems, but seriously expect them to pass legislation loaded with Defense spending increase and anit-abortion riders?
    It's no wonder their social engineering charades can be seen thru by intelligent Americans.

    August 19, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Marvin E Woody Sr

    Medicare will be broke in a few more years. For those still working, you had better get a few new options. Interesting... Florida is probably the capital of Medicare fraud!, if you just eliminate fraud, it might last a few years longer!

    August 19, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. anthony76

    According to some of you.. OBAMA has a failing record....

    -Ended Iraq War
    -Saved country from falling into Depression
    -Over saw Killing of Bin Laden
    -Repealed DADT
    -Saved GM

    Let me also remind you about who ran on Jobs Jobs Jobs in 2010....
    Let me also remind you who publicly stated it was there primary focus to make Obama a 1 term Prez....

    Cause the recession?
    2 unfunded wars?
    Tax breaks for the rich with no revenue creation
    Try to repeal the AHCA 30+times... (where are the jobs?)
    Voter suppression?

    And next time you try and play the "Obama Failed Record" card... i'll be right here to remind you of what the reality really is.

    August 19, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |

    Sorry , but some of you Americans deserve romney and ryan. Taking money from MR. BIG in vegas. Dirty money!

    August 19, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Cathy

    Romney wants to do away with Obama's Affordable Care Act – that is an immediate $2,500 increase for seniors on prescription drug costs. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program for future seniors. Anyone in their fifties who has tried to buy private insurance can tell you, this is a disaster.

    August 19, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Dr. Moanique Shamiqua Osafae

    Obama tell us what he thinks we need to believe .
    Obama knows best .
    I trust Obama .

    August 19, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    This is the teapublikkklan agenda against the President and US (the citizens of the country).
    Saborage the economy and blame President Obama. That debt ceiling fiasco (the altar boy was a BIG part of it) make sure they do it again in 2013. mcconnell, who would rather see bridges closed than employment of workers, who said that their purpose is to make the Presient a one term president. Obstruct every reform proposed by President Obama. Collect over $1B from the 1% mega rich crowd with rove, norquist and the koch brothers at the helm. They have collected 7x as much as the President's campaign and are using misleading ads that nobody questions but the networks continue to show.
    Voter suprpression to make sure 87% of blacks and latinos cannot vote (citizens all). representative turzai in PA actually came out to say that one down to make sure the bully bishop wins in Pennsylvania. Another rep in Ohio trying to shorten the early voting hours in the mostly blue precincts.
    This is worse than living in Cuba or China!!! The american taliban is alive and well and it's wearing red blood wrapped around the American flag!!!

    August 19, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Badboy

    Catmom, getting information from biased media outlets is no crime and is prefable than getting ilies. However, left wing hate media and Bill maher MSNBC, NBC, CBS, etc etc are all just cheerleaders for Obama and Co.. But, kepp believing liesfrom people you know nothing about. I love how you people on the left insult at will anyone who doesn't agree with left wing propaganda. That is why I for one would NEVER vote for anyone people like you support, especially Obama, Pelost, and Reid.

    August 19, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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