President Obama named two people who he doesn’t think would make good presidents — Mitt Romney (not surprisingly) and, somewhat surprisingly, his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.
The president’s comments on his GOP opponent were certainly more serious than the remark he made about Michelle, saying, affectionately, that she lacks the patience necessary for the office.
And she agreed when the subject came up Monday in New York during a taping of “The View” in which the President and First Lady made a joint appearance that aired Tuesday morning (11/10c). The mid-morning talk show cleared away the entire hour for the appearance by the First Couple, skipping the customary co-hosts’ roundtable conversation and other segments so that each of the “View” co-hosts could get a chance to ask a few questions of the Obamas.
With an hour to chat, the show covered a number of topics, including serious subjects such as the anti-American violence in the Middle East, the U.S. economy and the upcoming elections. On the lighter side, the Obamas were asked about their marriage, their daughters and life in the White House.
“Someday she should run for office,” Barbara Walters said to the President, indicating his wife, “but she said she doesn’t want to.” Walters, 83 (her birthday was on Monday), who’s the most experienced of all the co-hosts at interviewing heads of state (and who’s also the boss of “The View”), asked the most questions.
“Look, I mean Michelle would be terrific, but temperamentally I just don’t think that’s something she …,” Obama said.
“No, it’s absolutely true,” the First Lady interjected. “It takes a lot of patience to be the President of the United States and I’m not that patient. You know, I am not.”
On the subject of Mitt Romney, Walters asked the President, “What would be so terrible if Mitt Romney were elected?”
Obama replied: “Well, you know, I think America is so strong, and we’ve got so much going for us that we can survive a lot. But the American people don’t want to just survive, we want everyone to thrive, we want folks to have a shot at success, and so the question then just becomes, whose policies are more likely to lead us to where we want to go?”
He outlined one area in which he strongly disagrees with his opponent: Taxes. “I’ll give you a very clear example,” the President said. “Yesterday Gov. Romney on ’60 Minutes’ was asked [if] he think it’s fair that he pays a lower tax rate than somebody who’s making $50,000 a year. And he said, ‘Yes, I think it’s fair and I also think that’s the way you get economic growth,’ the notion being that if people at the top have more income, they’ll invest and they’ll create jobs.
“I’ve just got a different vision about how we grow an economy,” the President explained. “I think that you grow an economy from the middle out, not from the top down, and that when the teacher and the bus driver and the receptionist and the office manager — when they’ve got a little money in their pockets, when they’re doing well, then that means business has more customers, that business makes more profits, they hire more workers. And that’s been the history of our country. We grow fastest when the middle class is doing well and when folks who are trying to get into the middle class have ladders of opportunity. So that’s a different vision about how we move the country forward, and ultimately it’s going to be up to the American people to make the decision about who’s got the better plan.”
Though the President is naturally hoping to extend his residence in the White House for four more years, he was nevertheless asked — by Whoopi Goldberg — what he would like to do after his presidency runs its course (either soon, or in 2017).
“In a post-presidency, the thing that I think I would enjoy most is spending time working with kids,” he answered. “I love teaching. I miss teaching and I’m not sure necessarily it will be in a classroom, but the idea to be able to go around to various cities and helping to create mentorships and apprenticeships and just giving young people the sense of possibility.”
His wife added that she’d like to take a nice, long vacation.