Excited George Stephanopoulos Rides Air Force One With Obama, Watches Soccer

An excited George Stephanopoulos on Friday recounted his flight on Air Force One and the thrill of watching the U.S. World Cup with Barack Obama. In the 8am hour, Stephanopoulos bragged to co-host Robin Roberts: "You were teasing me earlier about my trip yesterday on Air Force One. So, I'm just going to rub it in." 

At the top of the show, he trumpeted, "ABC News exclusive: My day with the president on Air Force One, watching Team USA." The host enthused, "The President invited us up to his conference room to watch with his team onboard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The GMA co-anchor then showed video of himself watching the soccer game with Obama and staff. 

This included conversational asides, such as noting, "We really only had a couple of shots at the goal." After Stephanopoulos touted that the Americans are a "real team now," Obama countered, "We're a middle of the pack team." 

Earlier in the show, the journalist actually pressed Obama with some tough questions, noting, "You have got Speaker Boehner talking about suing you for executive actions that he says has crossed the line. 'We elected a president. We didn't elect a monarch or a king.'" 

Perhaps the soccer segment was a way of making up for the first story?

A transcript of the June 27 segment is below: 


7am tease

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And ABC News exclusive: My day with the president on Air Force One. Watching Team USA. And our frank conversation at a crucial moment in his presidency. Are you failing by your own standards?

8:15 a.m 

STEPHANOPOULOS: You were teasing me earlier about my trip yesterday on Air Force One. So, I'm just going to rub it in. You know, we got some rare behind-the-scenes time on that plane, which is really a White House in the sky. And like so much of the country, the President did not want to miss the World Cup on Air Force One. That's not a problem. Our trip began just as team USA was taking the field against Germany. As we boarded Air Force One, everybody was ready to watch. The President invited us up to his conference room to watch with his team onboard.

BARACK OBAMA: We really only had a couple of shots at the goal. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: This has been a tough game. And now everyone knows not to bite. 

OBAMA: We have advanced from a non-factor, to being a solid– 

STEPHANOPOULOS: A real team. 

OBAMA: We're a middle of the pack team. We're not Germany yet. Or Italy or France. But–or Argentina or Brazil–but we're now in the mix. You get a sense that it's catching the popular imagination. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: I was surprised how much this has broken through. My little girl, my 9-year-old came up to me and asked to watch the game Sunday. She doesn't see much of TV. But everybody's talking about it. 

OBAMA: Yeah. You know, even kids who end up being basketball players or whatever, a lot of times– 

STEPHANOPOULOS: They start with soccer. 

OBAMA: They start with soccer. I’ll tell you though, we have to–there had been elements which I won't detail, of our foreign policy that have had to be shaped around the World Cup. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Get out of here. Phone calls? 

OBAMA: You know certain phone calls. Certain meetings. Initiatives that we might roll out but we had to think about–

STEPHANOPOULOS: Just because the whole world stops for this? You haven’t met with Angela Merkel– 

OBAMA: No. I think that would be–unless she was giving me points. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And after the game, Obama celebrated America's advancement with his Minneapolis crowd. 

OBAMA: I have to begin by congratulating our U.S. soccer team, team USA, for advancing to the next round of the World Cup. USA! 

CROWD: USA! USA! USA! 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And with Sasha and Malia moving forward in their lives, spending more time away from the house this summer, the President's been getting cabin fever. 

OBAMA:  I was thinking why that is so. And part of it maybe is the girls are getting older. When the girls were young, we would spend the time with them. And now, you know, you end up seeing them go everywhere.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're working. Having a good time? 

OBAMA: They're having a great time. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org