On the May 15 The View, President Barack Obama visited the ladies of the ABC daytime talk show to chat about his support for gay marriage, Wall Street reform, the 2012 election, and pop culture. Rather than receive a hard-hitting news interview from members of the panel, he was given fluff questions, such as “Are you going to win?” [Audio here. Video below the jump.]
The show’s lone conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, did ask a few hard-hitting questions, such as when she reminded Mr. Obama about how he forecast that he should be a one-term president if he doesn’t get the job done. By contrast, veteran journalist Barbara Walters lobbed a softball over-the-plate when she asked Obama if he thought Governor Romney was out of touch with American voters. After Obama said that Romney thinks businesses and banks hould do what they want, Joy chimed in with the piercing question, “But that didn’t work last time. What makes him think its going to work this time?”
During the interview, Behar managed to throw a small jab at Governor Romney. While talking about JP Morgan Chase losing $2 billion dollars recently, President Obama said, “That’s real money. Even for you, Whoopi.” Behar quipped under her breath, “Even for Mitt Romney, are you kidding?”
It must be nice for the president to receive free campaign time from ABC. It should be noted that when John McCain appeared on The View in 2008, he was grilled about abortion, as well as his attacks on Barack Obama, and his running mate, Sarah Palin. Ever the helpful partisan, co-host Joy Behar called some of McCain’s attacks on the Barack Obama lies. While talking about Sen. McCain’s claim that he will appoint justices who "strictly interpret the Constitution," Whoopi Goldberg asked if that meant she should be worried if she could become a slave.
Below are some highlights from the interview.
May 15 2012
11:10 AM EDT
BARBARA WALTERS: Let's move it along a little bit because you did make that historic decision to say you're in favor of gay marriage. There are 30 states which are not. But there are also federal laws that impinge on the rights of gays. They can't file a joint income tax reports. They don't have social security that they can pass to each other. Will you now fight for a federal bill that gives the same rights to heterosexuals that the federal bill now does not give to gays?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, keep in mind, on issues of social security, a lot of this has to do with what's called the defense of marriage act, DOMA. It's been passed originally when Hawaii started making noises about recognizing same-sex marriage. The idea was, we don't want that drifting into the federal government.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Right.
OBAMA: And this is part of the reason why my justice department has said to the courts, we don't think the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional. This is something that historically had been determined at the state level. And, you know, part of my -- you know, believing ultimately that civil unions weren't sufficient, and I'd been a longtime supporter of civil unions, for same-sex couples, was partly because of the issue of you know, social security benefits, other laws, state benefits, things like that. You know, part of it was also just knowing friends and family, uh, people that I had gotten to know who had these wonderful relationships. And they'd say to me, you know what, the words matter. So even though you're a strong supporter of civil unions, somehow, it still says that we're different.
WALTERS: State taxes, income taxes, things like that.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Sure.
OBAMA: And that particular set of conversations that I had is ultimately what led me to this conclusion.
BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you've talked about talking with your Attorney General. Will you personally fight to repeal that act?
OBAMA: Well, look, Congress is clearly on notice that I think it's a bad idea. And this is going to be a big contrast in the campaign.
JOY BEHAR: Right.
OBAMA: Because, we've got, you know, Governor Romney saying that we should actually have a constitutional amendment installing the notion that you can't have same-sex marriages. And I think one -- something I tried to say in the interview that I want to repeat is, I'm very respectful of people's differences on this issue. That there are, you know, folks who are sincere in their faith, in their beliefs. I think it's very important for us to make sure that churches and other religious institutions have the freedom to make their own determinations what about their religious sacraments are, but when it comes to civil law, the rights recognized by the state, then I think it's important that everybody's treated fairly, everybody's treated equally. You know, that’s been a principle of American life for a long time.
BEHAR: Do you think it's going to hurt you in the fall? Do you think its gonna hurt you in November?
OBAMA: You know, I think it's very hard to say. There's no doubt that for some folks who have very sincere, legitimate beliefs about traditional marriage, and who do so because they appreciate that family is the foundation.
OBAMA: Of this country and healthy communities. I think some will say, look, I like
barack, but I strongly disagree with him on this. And I've got friends, I've got pastors and people who have been great supporters, great friends who I’ve spoken to, and they say, look, we love you, but we disagree on this thing. What I've said to them, in the same way that you wouldn't want me saying something I don't believe in. I don't expect you to say something you don't believe in.
11:16 AM EDT
SHERI SHEPHERD: President Obama, to take it a little bit further, so now you've officially kicked off your campaign for a second term. It was tight with John McCainn back in 2008. So how tight do you think it's going to be with Mitt Romney?
OBAMA: When your name is Barack Obama, it's always tight.
[ Cheers and applause ]
BEHAR: Barack Hussein Obama! Don’t forget that.
OBAMA: Barack Hussein Obama.
WALTERS: Why do you say that now after four years?
OBAMA: No, no, I think it's going to be tight because the fact of the matter is, that you know, the country has gone through a very difficult time. The worst financial crisis, worst economic crisis since the 1930s. And the fact is that, as much progress as we've made, you know, 4 million jobs over the last couple of years. A million in the last six months, you know, despite the fact that businesses are investing again. And despite the fact that we're seeing, you know, a steady bump up in the economic indicators, there's a lot of folks still hurting out there. There's a lot of folks still are looking for work. I was in Nevada because we're announcing a plan to make sure everybody can refinance their homes, you've got entire communities where is folks' homes are under water because the housing bubble burst. And in that kind of environment, you know, it's a tough environment. And people say, you know what, I like the President. I think he's trying hard, but, you know, there's still a lot of problems in my life, and that means that they're going to take a look at all the options. And that's how democracy should work.
WALTERS: So just before -- we're going to come back -- just before we leave, so who's going to win?
OBAMA: Oh, I'm going to win.
[ Cheers and applause ]
WALTERS: We'll be back with more of President Barack Obama.
11:47 AM EDT
BEHAR: Ok, now this one you may not know. I'm hoping that you don't, as a matter of fact.
SHEPHERD: Get ready.
BEHAR: What's the controversial sex book that's on millions of women's bedside tables?
OBAMA: I don't know at.
BEHAR: He doesn’t know it. Good, ok. next!
[ Laughter ]
OBAMA: I’ll ask Michelle when I get home!
SHEPHERD: That is the answer.
OBAMA: I will ask Michelle when I get home what’s going on.
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