Talkin’ Some (Tense) Texas Politics: Obama Spars With Local Reporter

By Kristina

Apr 19, 2011 10:11am

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

During an interview with WFAA-TV of Dallas, Texas yesterday President Obama faced some tough questions – from immigration reform to why he’s so unpopular in the Lone Star State – which would have contributed to a quip taken at the end of the interview

“Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right,” Obama said to Senior Reporter Brad Watson.

Watson’s interview was among four local TV interviews President Obama participated in yesterday in the Map Room of the White House, strategically picked locations and stations by the White House to get out president Obama’s message on deficit control, and no doubt a little forward-thinking for the 2012 campaign.

Watson noted that in Texas, the president’s plan for deficit reduction would be a tough sell, as the president is unpopular in the state.

“Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, for you know, historic reasons,” Obama said noting though that he had only lost the red state by a few percentage points to then Republican contender Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) during the 2008 presidential race.

Watson corrected the president – noting that in actuality Obama had lost the state by a larger margin – at least 10%.

“I understand. I mean if what you’re telling me is Texas is a conservative state, you’re absolutely right,” Obama quipped back.

On Republican governor Rick Perry, who has at times criticized the president, the president opened up.

"Governor Perry helped balance his budget with about $6 billion worth of federal help, which he happily took, and then started blaming the members of Congress who had offered that help," President Obama said

WFAA’s Watson also asked about the view from some that the White House did not award Houston with space shuttle orbiters, opting for other states that would help him in his re-election campaign for 2012.

"That's wrong," the president responded. "That had nothing to do with it; the White House had nothing to do with it."

Adding again later when asked again, "I just said that wasn't true."

-Sunlen Miller

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