Obama Pardons Turkeys Caramel and Popcorn

The president makes good on a White House tradition for two lucky turkeys.
11:52 | 11/27/13

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Transcript for Obama Pardons Turkeys Caramel and Popcorn
-- I'm -- Hernandez in new York and this is an ABC news live event and we are watching. The White House for secret Thanksgiving tradition is about to take place. Presidential Turkey part -- and this year. It's serious folks it's -- -- -- vs team popcorn aren't. Paramount has about 38 pounds two feet tall has a steady and deliberate walk quick and -- gobble. His favorite food is soybean meal and his favorite pop star is -- got. Now popcorn on the other hand weighs in at just over 37 pounds boxer -- proud strut -- in -- long garbled notes he -- Beyoncé. Is an epic -- -- straight out of the Hunger Games and Americans. Are deciding on the winner casting their votes on social media. -- Karen now antique popcorn taking swipes at each other as you can see there on the Twitter commentary. White House. Really getting in at this -- putting out this show down video. -- -- -- I would -- you -- for all the details on the -- -- for joined by ABC's Mary Chris live from the White House briefing room. And -- we're talking about a competition between the two birds but they both get to live frank. They do absolutely and I and it turns out we have a winner just -- about that popcorn is officially been national Thanksgiving Turkey. Which means they care amount will be his replacement the Biden of birds if you will. The -- them into the White House likes to have a lot of fun with this is now the second year of road they've done this kind of public competition to pick which of the two birds will be. Baird and named as a national Turkey yes -- Both of them -- now granted their freedom going forward they will avoid that Thanksgiving dinner -- -- will be able to. -- -- their remaining days on a beautiful sprawling -- in Virginia. This is it tradition we see every year we -- take it for -- they give us a bit of the history about it. That's -- -- -- carved out an important role in the White House history. Dating back to the nineteenth century turkeys are often given as gifts to the present although most of those ended up on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Starting in 1963. -- Kennedy was actually the first. To go ahead and spare Turkey saying that he would go and send history back to the farm bag here but it wasn't until. President George H. W. Bush. Actually officially pardoned a Turkey in the early eighties that this became somewhat of an official presidential tradition to grant that pardon and the president of course. A President Obama has continued that tradition while he's been an office of these turkeys go exactly. Well these spoiled. Here at Mount Vernon George Washington's estate where they are taken to an official Christmas events and then from there. They go to a farm for their official retirement. Farm in Leesburg Virginia. -- just think some video of last year's competition. Cobbler. Won the title over cobbler. But sadly. Doppler died just a few months later so you know it seems most of the pardoned turkeys. Don't have a very good -- Why spanned do we know why that is think they're not being slaughtered they're just dying of natural causes. That's right it turns -- their freedom is somewhat short lived to hide these turkeys really their bread to for eating not for retirement. And so they are sent to these farms -- most of them don't live very long they move on to greener pastures all eight of president Obama's pardoned turkeys and actually died but. Nothing in nothing specific to President Obama it's it's -- department where most presidents -- have had some trouble. The and that what is the lifespan of the Turkey by the way. Average starting lives three to four years but -- that as we mentioned they're not bad for those they're not meant to be living out their lives on a farm like -- they're meant for eating and even though these turkeys are very spoiled they go through some poultry -- to be able to come here they go through media training in fact. -- to be able -- handle all the lights in the cameras these two birds are about to face but. Dave they'd often have a short life but one that I'm sure they enjoy running around on the farm rather than being on your dinner table. So you know I think like this might be are correct me if I'm Rhonda first year with a social media brouhaha over the Turkey then there was the surf competition last year this. Taken off more this year than in years past a popular happen. -- -- This is the first of the Beverly pitted the two of them like this online we jokingly referring to the Hunger Games these two birds put -- -- tribute with only one eventually winning the title. But the White House has some good fun with it now we should mention not everyone enjoys this holiday tradition keyed up for want to always puts out a statement urging the White House to -- what they call as a cruel tradition they say just -- further attention to this national slaughter of the -- Insisting. And speaking of the slaughtering of Turkey's do expect the president will have Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner I mean this is just. This is one tradition and then there's of course tomorrow Turkey day. Absolutely I think despite spending some good quality time here with these two birds the president we expect we'll still enjoy eating a Turkey. Tomorrow afternoon here at the White House the family will be joined by more family and friends here to enjoy the annual Thanksgiving -- And that we're gonna stay with you as we -- people -- filing into the events. No way this must be a nice time for the president take a -- -- -- -- to focus on issues like this I imagine isn't fairly light schedule today. Absolutely I think there as we should mention that right out here on the north portico of the White House to bring out the birds and of course the president will come -- usually he's joined by. His two daughters for this event he has some fun with the turkeys usually makes them. -- poultry ponds -- the birds in his remarks. But today it's all really about getting ready for the holiday the president just got back from an official trip out on the West Coast and makes -- official events and fundraising. Now he's doing this event here today with the birds and then later this afternoon the first and then -- -- -- -- service event before -- celebrate the -- -- to. And speaking of the first family here they aren't as president. The the most powerful position in the world's brings -- many awesome and solemn responsibilities. This is not one of them. But don't attack. The White House Turkey -- is a great tradition and I normally a love that. The Sasha. Generally speaking Thanksgiving as a bad -- to -- -- Turkey. Especially. At a house with two dogs. So I salute our two guests of honor -- and popcorn. For their bravery. They came all the way from outside -- Minnesota to be -- -- -- like my chief of staff are vikings fans. I'm not sure that they know that oh. Six. I'm not sure they know that my bears are heading to Minnesota on Sunday but in the spirit of Thanksgiving I'm gonna give them a break. We are also excited abstruse from badger high school here. Does that they are right there. And finally let me say thank you John -- chairman of the national Turkey federation. Give a big round loss. -- Eighty turkeys on -- farm competed for the chance to make it to the White House and stare up -- Thanksgiving table. It was quite literally the Hunger Games. -- After weeks of vocal practice and prepping for the cameras the two attributes formal popcorn went head to head together for. America's vote as top goblet. The competition was stiff but we can officially declare that popcorn is the winner. They -- to go -- that even a Turkey with a funny name can find a place in politics. As for probably sticking around is -- -- busy raising money for his next campaign. On a more serious note later today Michelle Malia Sasha and I -- -- A couple less fortunate -- -- -- great organization works to help out. Our neighbors here in DC who need it most and I want to thank Jen -- Turkey -- -- or feel Pennsylvania for donating those dressed birds for. -- -- -- -- -- This is a reminder that there's -- season not only be thankful for the incredible blessings that we have. But also to remember the neediest. And generously serve those who are not as fortunate. You know this is quintessentially American holidays and during this time we give thanks for friends and our family. For citizens who show compassion to those in need and for neighbors who help strangers -- -- -- We give thanks for the blessings of freedom. An opportunity that previous generations worked so hard to secure four and we give thanks for the service and sacrifice. Of our brave men and women in uniform who serve our nation around the world. For those Bure watch you keep -- -- you make us proud. You remind us of our obligations to build on the work of our predecessors and leave something better. For our own kids so on behalf of the Obama family -- a wish everybody a very happy Thanksgiving. -- we gather -- our own friends and family will count ourselves lucky that there is. More be thankful for the we can never say and more be hopeful for -- we -- ever match and now before these turkeys get away with a power vested in me. I want to grant. Popcorn and a full incorporated. I'm -- you have President Obama -- pardoning. Two very lucky turkeys there. At the White House and we just bring in ABC's Mary -- to recap there but there one thing that -- my I his daughters Sasha and Malia -- within. -- -- rolling their eyes it data little -- these young ladies are getting a little too old lady for the the corny gags here at the White House. -- -- -- And now the girls face an official Turkey regarding -- getting a little too old to be. Trotted out there with dad for this event but -- had you heard popcorn is now the official winner of the White House Turkey Hunger Games. Winning the title of national Thanksgiving Turkey. Care mounds of runner up said. We were joking earlier the vice Turkey. We'll also be spared they will now -- head to the sprawling estate in mount -- and to live out their lives in blissful Turkey peace. -- far away from the thanks. Giving dinner table but they have a -- that there is much more to say then that others to lucky turkeys. I've been spared ABC's Mary -- thank you so much for joining us there they're quite beautiful. And you've been watching ABC news digital special report on the Thanksgiving pardon a turkeys. House.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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