President Obama Opens Up on Fatherhood, Weighs in on Weiner Scandal, in Exclusive Interview

President believes Weiner will "bounce back" from scandal.

ByABC News
June 16, 2011, 7:20 PM

June 17, 2011 — -- President Barack Obama had words of encouragement for disgraced former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned yesterday in the wake of a sexting scandal.

"I think it was just important for him to be able to focus on his family. And what's most important, I think for all of us, is, how do the people we love … how are we interacting with them? And this gives him some time to do that," the president said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts.

The interview, which aired on the program today, touched on the economy, taxes, and jobs, but was focused on fatherhood.

Weiner, whose wife, Huma Abedin, reportedly is pregnant with the couple's first child, has announced he would seek treatment, but hasn't given details about what that would entail.

Earlier this week the president indicated he believed the embattled Weiner should resign. Following days of fierce denials and outright lies, Weiner -- a Democrat representing New York's 9th Congressional District -- admitted on June 6 that he exchanged lewd photos with six women on Twitter and Facebook.

His resignation came on the heels of intense pressure from within his party and from some of his constituents.

"I wish Rep. Weiner and his lovely wife well," Obama told Roberts. "Obviously, it's been a tough incident for him, but I'm confident that they'll refocus and he'll refocus, and they'll end up being able to bounce back."

With Father's Day drawing near, the president answered questions about fatherhood submitted to him via video from members of the public.

The questions came from, among others, a Little League player, a father serving in the military in Afghanistan, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, 47, have two daughters, Sasha, 10, and Malia, 12.

The president, 49, opened up about what it was like to become a father for the first time, describing a scene that he says unfolded like the "the classic comical father situation."

When his wife told him she believed it was time to go to the hospital, he said his reaction was "like out of a sitcom.

"You know, I jump up and I'm looking for the bag. And fumbling for the car keys … ."

But, when he saw his daughter for the first time "it was love at first sight," he said.

He chuckled as he recalled being up with her at 2 a.m., "feeding her and burping her. And changing her diapers. And now she's 5'10"."

As a father, the president said his chief worry was for his two daughters' health.

"One of my worst days was when Sasha, when she was 3 months old, got meningitis. And we rushed her to the emergency room. And … there was a stretch of time where we didn't know whether it might do permanent damage," he said.

Sasha had to have a spinal tap.

"You know … your world narrows to a very small point. That's all you care about," he said.

He shares the concern of every parent, he said.

"As president, I end up meeting a lot of parents who have sick kids" and "who are worried about health care costs.

"I mean, part of my motivation for making sure that we reformed our health care system was, I cannot imagine being in a position where my child was sick and I could not make sure they got the best possible care," he said.

Asked whether he and the first lady were ready for what could happen when the girls became teenagers, he was very much the proud father.