"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo on Thursday conducted a leading interview with children at a school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While he discussed a large number of topics, he also seemed interested in eliciting praise from the students about Barack Obama's middle name. Cuomo speculated, "Does it matter to you that the President's name is Barack Hussein Obama? Does that make him more familiar to you?"
After one little girl deemed the name Hussein to be "good," Cuomo followed up by cooing, "Does that make you trust him more?" Cuomo, who had traveled to the region earlier in the week (the segment was taped) for GMA's sweeps series on "big" locations, also asserted that the children "see promise in Barack Obama." He then prompted, "Is Barack Obama a good president? Do we like him?" Of course, it should be pointed out that members of the media were quite upset during the 2008 campaign when anyone would dare use Obama's middle name. Now, apparently, it creates trust.
Earlier in the piece, the news anchor asked the nine and ten-year-olds if they liked America. A boy named Mohammed said he appreciated that "there's lots of people from many places" in the U.S. The girl sitting next to him retorted, "What do you hate about it?" Cuomo asked her that same question. "Every second, there's a robbery," she replied. "Who told you that," the host queried. When the young child explained that her dad informed her of this, Cuomo simply laughed.
On January 21, 2009, GMA featured a similar segment, American children offering their messages to the new President. One such boy sputtered, "Stop the wars. And- because more people die. And it's just- they don't want to die. They just die. But they don't want to die."
A transcript of the March 12 segment, which aired at 8:35am, follows:
CHRIS CUOMO: Every morning here we look forward to talking to the world's movers and shakers. We get insight. We get news. We get headlines. But very often, when you're on location, talking to that city's future, talking to their children can often be the most impressive thing you do. We went to the Al Muwakeb [ph] school in Dubai. We asked these kids, somewhere between nine and ten years of age, what do you think about America? What do you think about us as a people? What do you think about the President? What's your hope for our world? You'll be very impressed by what they have to say, I think. Take a look at the Dubai kiddie cabinet. If you could talk to kids in the United States, what would you like to know from them?
BOY #1: What's their life?
CUOMO: What's their life. Do you think that their life is different than yours?
Boy #1: No, not a lot.
CUOMO: Have any of you been to the U.S.?
CUOMO: Mohammed, you like it?
MOHAMMED: A lot.
CUOMO: What did you like about it?
MOHAMMED: I like that there's lots of people from many places.
GIRL #1: And what did you hate about it?
CUOMO: What do you hate about it?
GIRL #1: Every second, there's a robbery.
CUOMO: There's a robbery every second in the United States? Who told you that? [Laughs]
GIRL #1: My dad.
CUOMO: They see promise in Barack Obama.
BARACK OBAMA: -At this defining moment-
CUOMO: Is Barack Obama a good president? Do we like him?
MANY CHILDREN: Yes.
CUOMO: Why do we like him?
BOY #1: He can do a lot of things in the world.
CUOMO: Does it matter to you that the President's name is Barack Hussein Obama? Does that make him more familiar to you?
GIRL #2: The name is Muslim.
CUOMO: Right. And is that good?
GIRL #2: Yes. That's good. The name.
CUOMO: Does that make you trust him more?
CUOMO: And a truth, something bigger than politics. What's the biggest thing in life?
GIRL #1: Family.
GIRL #2: Even if you lose, you get to have your family still.
CUOMO: Beautiful, no? Nine-years old. Ten-years old. They know about finance. They know about the future. And they know about our president. Amazing, isn't it?