Transcript: Barbara Walters Interviews the Obamas


FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: I've got an easier job.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, no, it, you know, understandably. She's a fantastic First Lady. There are issues that, that Michelle has strong opinions about, and there's some that she feels less strongly about. But she's always got an opinion. And it shapes how I think.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Because I think that, you know, she has great instincts, about, you know, how the American people are feeling.

BARBARA WALTERS: I want to talk to you about one of your own projects, that's very important to you, and that's fighting childhood obesity. What do you hope to accomplish?

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Well, our goal is ambitious but simple. I mean, we want to end the epidemic in a generation. We're really aiming at children born today, 'cause our goal is that if we begin shaping habits, and shaping the conversation, and providing information to parents and teachers, and engaging all of our leaders in this conversation, that we'll change the habits of young people today,

BARBARA WALTERS: Sarah Palin recently brought cookies to a school in Pennsylvania…


BARBARA WALTERS: To show her disapproval of the state's proposal to limit sweets in public schools. Many conservatives ask, well, you know, whose business is it? Is it the government's business?


BARBARA WALTERS: Or the parent's business. So, what do you think should be the role of government in combating obesity.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Mm-hmm. Well we've always said throughout this campaign that this, solving this problem is going to take all of us. Parents, families, communities have the largest impact on how kids think about anything, particularly what they eat. But ultimately it requires all of us. And this campaign is about engaging all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike. I mean, the beauty about this issue is that it transcends politics. Because we all care about our kids.

BARBARA WALTERS: But government has a role in the schools?

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: A government has a role to play in this issue, as does every other sector. And we reached out and engaged the grocery store manufacturers, and the restaurateurs. We brought in the mayors and governors of states and towns. We're calling on the faith-based community. There is no constituency that should be excluded from this call to action for our kids.

BARBARA WALTERS: Are you sick of people talking about your toned arms? I noticed you're not wearing a sleeveless dress.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: No, I will never get sick of people talking about my toned arms. If it's a positive compliment, I am a woman, just, like, bring it on. I'm, I'm cool with it. But no, I, you know, I still wear what I like and enjoy, and I thought this dress is pretty.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: And in fact, my, my husband is, he liked this dress.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's a nice looking dress.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Yeah. He, he said that several times today.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: She, she, she looks good, generally.

BARBARA WALTERS: Do you know one dress from another?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I do! I do. I, you know, I, I, I…


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: …I notice what, uh, she wears.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: No, he actually does, and it, sometimes it's a little irritating. Because it's like, is that new?

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