Obama refuses on-the-record interview with leading Iowa newspaper; Update: Obama changes his mind

posted at 8:41 am on October 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama demanded that an Iowa editorial board keep an interview with him entirely off the record, and not just any Iowa newspaper, either, but the Des Moines Register, the state’s most influential publication — and just fourteen days before the election.  Mitt Romney had no trouble granting the DMR an on-the-record interview, giving them almost 40 minutes at a supporter’s farm and allowing the newspaper to release the audio of the conversation.  The Leader of the Free World apparently didn’t have enough confidence to allow the DMR to use the material, which brings up the question of why they bothered to do the interview at all (via Katrina Trinko at The Corner):

It was a “personal call” to the Register’s publisher and editor, we were told. The specifics of the conversation could not be shared because it was off-the-record.

Of course, we immediately lobbied his campaign staff in Des Moines for a formal, on-the-record call. We were told it was not their decision; it came from the White House. We requested that the White House be asked to reverse course so whatever the president shared with us could be reviewed by voters and our readers.

No reason was given for the unusual condition of keeping it private.

We relented and took the call. How could we not? It’s the leader of the free world on line one.

I’d give them that one.  When the President is on Line 1, you take the call.  And then you report the fact that he won’t go on the record with your newspaper.

Bear in mind what Obama’s schedule looks like this week.  He’s appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight, and doing a 30-minute MTV interview on Friday.  Why will Obama go on the record with entertainment outlets but not with news organizations?  The obvious takeaway is that Obama is much more willing to discuss Nicki Minaj on the record than his economic record with reporters and editors who can call him out on his false representations of the economy, and prefers “boxers or briefs” questions to whether or not he was briefed on what happened in Benghazi.

If the Leader of the Free World is too afraid to meet with real reporters, that tells us we need a new Leader of the Free World — one who actually acts like a leader.

Update: Our fearless leader has apparently flip-flopped on his demand:

Just like Obama’s second term agenda, it’s too little and too late to reverse the impression made by this already.


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“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan.”

DumboTheAvenger on October 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Just like Obama’s second term agenda, it’s too little and too late to reverse the impression made by this already.

Let me predict up front that, like his second term agenda, the rat-eared wonder’s comments to the DMR are vague platitudes without specific substance. Talking about the need for the rich to “pay a little more” and calling for deficit reductions without once approaching the real solution of entitlement reform.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

My prediction is that Obama will magnanimously ‘allow’ them to print his holy words 3 days before the election so that the unclean and undecided can bask in his light once more.

Yeah, that sounded a little 2008-ish, didn’t it?

CitizenEgg on October 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Of course Obama changed his mind and went on the record…. AFTER they were able to review the interview and decide that there is nothing damaging to him.

spinach.chin on October 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

The Des Moines Register has apparently responded with a “Thank you, your Majesty”.

As Dana Perino said this morning, “If the PResident can give an on the record interview to “Pimp-with-a-Limp” he can also with the editorial board of the most important paper in Iowa”.

What a loser.

MTF on October 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Update: Our fearless leader has apparently flip-flopped on his demand ~ Ed

You think maybe because sweet Martha MacCallum has broadcast this story twice this morning? Or, that it exploded on twitter for the past hour? Way to go Barry! How many other “off the record” phone calls did you make……hummmm?

Rovin on October 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Update: Our fearless leader has apparently flip-flopped on his demand ~ Ed

Awkward. Ain’t to proud to beg, Sweet Darlin’, please don’t leave me, don’t you go.

Fallon on October 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Leader of the Free World? But the post doesn’t mention Stephen Harper by name, 0nly s0me0ne else. It is a puzzlement.

Gene Hunt on October 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

The Register, if it had any journalistic ethics, would tell Obama, “No, you can’t have it released now.” Releasing it now would set an extremely poor precedent. It would open the door for politicians to grant “conditional” interviews, where they get to dictate what is included in a story.

topdog on October 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

They’ll endorse him anyway.

Darksean on October 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Wow, Obama played this perfectly. Do an interview off the record. Make sure there’s nothing bad in it. Then say, it’s on the record now! It makes the libs at the Des Moines register feel happy and special, enrages the republicans. Say what you want about how Obama is a terrible president, but he’s an expert in what Obama worshipers need from their idol.

happytobehere on October 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Maybe Moochelle said she would divorce him if he went on the record.Ha!

redware on October 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM

I guess I missed the 1 in my last post.

CitizenEgg on October 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Of course Obama changed his mind and went on the record…. AFTER they were able to review the interview and decide that there is nothing damaging to him.
spinach.chin on October 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Interviewing from behind.

conservative pilgrim on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Update: Our fearless leader has apparently flip-flopped on his demand:

Here it is if anyone’s interested in reading it. I’m not.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121024/NEWS09/121024003/President-releases-transcript-of-Register-interview?Frontpage&nclick_check=1

Flora Duh on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

After the interview was over, I guess the One decided that he hadn’t faux pas’d up, so it would be OK to share his words of wisdom with the unwashed masses.

WestTexasBirdDog on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Maybe, the Register reported back to the White House that they were getting a stream of emails asking why they were protecting Obama and asking if, possibly, Obama was using a form of extortion to get an endorsement… Maybe, they got at least one email asking about the extortion angle, lol.

*whistling*

Fallon on October 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

WestTexasBirdDog on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

More realistically, the campaign had time to write a new response to the editor and then let him published the updated answer.

Flange on October 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Interviewing from behind.

conservative pilgrim on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

HA!

workingclass artist on October 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

More realistically, the campaign had time to write a new response to the editor and then let him published the updated answer.

Flange on October 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

He’s always hoping for a mulligan. Not this time, duffer-in-chief.

Fallon on October 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

We endorse Obama
-dmr

In 5…..4……3

cmsinaz on October 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Ed –
You beat Trump to the punch here.
This is what he wanted to tell everyone about.
I guess he’ll need to come with his own non-story.

verbaluce on October 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Here it is if anyone’s interested in reading it. I’m not.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121024/NEWS09/121024003/President-releases-transcript-of-Register-interview?Frontpage&nclick_check=1

Flora Duh on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

From the link

“Q: Very good.

Q: Thank you so much, Mr. President, for your time.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, guys. I appreciate you taking the time. I want your endorsement.

Q: Thank you so much.

THE PRESIDENT: You’ll feel better when you give it. (Laughter.) All right? Bye-bye.

Q: Appreciate it.

Q: Best of luck, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Bye-bye.

Obama…me…me…meeeee!

workingclass artist on October 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Am I missing something here?

I understand that they have now published the interview transcript.

Why would a News Organization interview a President and not have it on the record? What purpose would that serve other than to allow the President to potentially sway that organization’s coverage of the candidate?

It seems awfully fishy to me.

weaselyone on October 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

First the blogger at the Register fell all over himself congratulating Obama and the paper for a very fine interview and very good path forward and then lamented they couldn’ tell us about it. I wrote them that their arrogant condescension and ass kissing was a prime example of why the News Industry is in decline and being overrun by the net. I told them to go ahead and endorse the Liar and totally destroy the fascade that they have any journalistic integrity and are anything other than a bunch of Presstitute water carriers, from thier knees!

ConcealedKerry on October 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Here it is if anyone’s interested in reading it. I’m not.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121024/NEWS09/121024003/President-releases-transcript-of-Register-interview?Frontpage&nclick_check=1

Flora Duh on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I already have an iffy stomach today – reading this may take me over the edge.

gophergirl on October 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

They didn’t allow him time to get the questions and answers into a teleprompter! Come on folks, this is the big time now. The first black president’s career hangs in the balance.

slickwillie2001 on October 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Why would a News Organization interview a President and not have it on the record? What purpose would that serve other than to allow the President to potentially sway that organization’s coverage of the candidate?

It seems awfully fishy to me.

weaselyone on October 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

A news organization wouldn’t. But a propaganda machine for Obama would, by definition. It’s not fishy once you realize the point of the MSM is to be the palace guard for our Dear Leader. They’re just doing the job that Pravda couldn’t do.

happytobehere on October 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM

They’d endorse Obama even if he flat-out refused to give them an interview. So why shouldn’t he think they’d withhold the details of the interview if he demanded it?

He locks them in broom closets, refuses to take anything but pre-approved questions at the few press conferences he holds, ducks interview requests to favor outfits like Us and MTV and Rolling Stone where they’ll let him just be The Preezy, and just generally treats them like absolute dirt. Yet they can’t wait to slobber all over him anyway whenever they get a chance, despite all their whining.

And then they wonder why a large percentage of the population doesn’t take them seriously, doesn’t believe a word they print or broadcast, and refuses to support them.

Gator Country on October 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

OT, but MEANWHILE …

R&R pack the house in CO, yesterday,
and
TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE for Preezy’s appearance in Tampa tomorrow.
Both links are on Drudge, right column, under that SUPER pic from CO.
:-)

pambi on October 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Via politico its because he bashed the gop about latinos..
,

He will win because of them he says

cmsinaz on October 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

This certainly proves the transparency of the Obowma administration…….or not.

Here is a brief summary:

Blame Bush, ATM’s, tsunamis, Arab spring, fat cat bankers, Wall Street…. for the poor economy

If a manager can’t repair what was broken at a company while he creates a much worse mess, can he continue to work there while blaming his predecessor for his own failures? What company would continue with a manager that is inept and continued to run the company into the ground?

He would be fired, as should Obowma.

dthorny on October 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Obama is making one wrong move after another. I’ve never seen a campaign with so many reversals. Are the American people watching this incompetence and lack of direction?

paul1149 on October 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

LMAO, read it!

It’s not an interview it’s a scripted DMR endorsement.

Oh my God the editor actually says after an opening “speech” …

Q: Very good, Mr. President. First question for you —

Q: Great. Mr. President, we know that John Boehner and the House Republicans have not been easy to work with, and certainly you’ve had some obstacles in the Senate, even though it’s been controlled by the Democrats.

Q: Yes, that begs a question from us, Mr. President. Some say you had a super majority in your first two years and had this incredible opportunity, but because of what you were talking about, as you were running, you had to go to get Obamacare done.

Q: One question — as you watch voters here and just everyday interactions with people that are so undecided, so fearful of either choice — I found people becoming even more ambivalent and even voters making statements such as it really doesn’t matter who’s President anyway because of the problems in Congress and really that’s what’s going on — what would you say to a statement that somebody was saying, it doesn’t really matter who should be President?

Q: Mr. President, we’re very sensitive to your time. I know you’ve got a busy schedule. But we just had just one last question here. As we close in on the final hours of this campaign — it’s been a long one. It’s been exhausting. It’s been very, very expensive, as I know you know. Why should the Des Moines Register offer its endorsement to you, sir?

Hyped to get folks to read a very scripted statement from the president. Okay, we got sucked in too.

hawkdriver on October 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Desperation.

COgirl on October 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Trump offers $5 million to charity of Obama’s choice if he’ll open his passport and college records. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgOq9pBkY0I&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

petefrt on October 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Seems like he is trying to sham the Hispanics again. How is he promising this to those that supposedly can’t even vote for him?

fbcmusicman on October 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM

pambi on October 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

.
Someone needs to tell the Liar in Chief he’s wasting his time if he thinks FLA is a toss up for him…..

STILL have not seen any Obamamania here- zip -zero-nada (like the One)

FlaMurph on October 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Bruce Springsteen played a free concert/Obama fundraiser in Ames last week (Iowa State University).

The arena seats 14,000; The Boss drew under 4,000.

Free.

In a college town.

Bruno Strozek on October 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Leader of the Free World? But the post doesn’t mention Stephen Harper by name, 0nly s0me0ne else. It is a puzzlement.

Gene Hunt on October 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Now now, you know how Americans crave attention. Let’s keep that little fact to ourselves.

IamDA on October 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Ed, thank you for saying “brings up the question” instead of “begs the question.” =)

DavidW on October 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I guess Obama flip-flopped on this one ….

ProfShadow on October 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

When someone sees they are winning, they decline debates and interviews because there is no up side for them. If they are already winning they stand nothing to gain and can only hurt themselves. If Obama has agreed to this interview, it says he realizes he is in trouble. He must believe if he doesn’t give the interview, he is going to lose anyway.

crosspatch on October 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM

From the interview.

So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent — at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit — but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business.

So I guess the sequester has gone from “will not happen” to “should not happen” to “will happen and help a lot.”

Spade on October 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Bruce Springsteen played a free concert/Obama fundraiser in Ames last week (Iowa State University).

The arena seats 14,000; The Boss drew under 4,000.

Free.

In a college town.

Bruno Strozek on October 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Truth is, that’s how they got the big crowds in 2008, free rock concerts.

slickwillie2001 on October 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Jug Ears’ team must be soooooo careful to screen everything for public consumption about Jug Ears for fear that the truth will come out about him.

jqc1970 on October 24, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Flip flopper.

Mimzey on October 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

PRESIDENT: You’ll feel better when you give it. (Laughter.) All right? Bye-bye.

Translation: Overlook my sH!TTY record and lack of vision for the future and just give me some love. I know you looooooove me!

Nicole Coulter on October 24, 2012 at 5:04 PM

gophergirl on October 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

i read it. it seems he was far more concerned with other subjects than the economy=especially in the first 2 years

gerrym51 on October 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Ed, thank you for saying “brings up the question” instead of “begs the question.” =)

DavidW on October 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

There is nothing wrong with using the saying, “begs the question”.

hawkdriver on October 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM

From the interview.

So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent — at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit — but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business.

So I guess the sequester has gone from “will not happen” to “should not happen” to “will happen and help a lot.”

Spade on October 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

And, there is the explanation for why 0-bow-mao didn’t want the interview published!

He is a pathological liar, easy to manipulate. I wish Mitt were better at exploiting that kind of weakness to his advantage – if he were, this race would not be close right now.

Anti-Control on October 25, 2012 at 1:38 AM

I’m curious to know in what way Ed believes the newspaper is influential?

Dante on October 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

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