Matt Lauer and Barack Obama: Talk of Florida Gators and Jessica Simpson's weight
Here's some select quotes from Today show host Matt Lauer's Super Bowl Sunday interview with President Barack Obama, as circulated by NBC News. what they didn't include -- when Obama looked at cover of People magazine, in which he was seemingly cropped out of a cover photo to feature his wife and kids to make room for a headline about Jessica Simpson's alleged weight battle (photo from and earlier interview last year):
OBAMA ON LIVING WITH HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW: "Fortunately I love my mother-in-law. She defends me whenever I screw up. When Michelle is about to come down hard, my mother-in-law comes in and intercedes. The longer she stays the better off I'm going to be."
OBAMA ON HIS DAUGHTERS: "People think I'm cool. Nobody's cooler than my two girls. They just seem to take whatever comes with happiness and steadiness and their loving school, their making friends. In fact they have some friends from school over today and they've already joined some clubs. Sasha, I think maybe to endear herself to me she said she wanted to join a basketball team. What more could I want?"
OBAMA ON SEEING HIS KIDS: "It's the best deal of this whole thing. It turns out I have this nice home office. At the end of the day, I can come home, even if I have more work to do, I can have dinner with them, I can help them with their homework, I can tuck them in. If I have to go back to the office I can, but I'm seeing them now more than anytime in the last two years and that's been great for the whole family."
OBAMA ON THE MOMENT HE REALIZED HE WAS THE PRESIDENT: "There have been a couple of times, some wonderful, some sobering. Whenever you take that walk down the colonnade and go to the Oval Office I do think you get this sense of the history that you're now apart of -- some sobering moments, having to sign orders for troops who've died and sending orders to their families, you realize every decision you make counts and you don't have time to spend a lot of time on inconsequential stuff. You have to focus at this point on putting people back to work but also reminding yourself you've got hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are putting themselves in harms way and you're the Commander in Chief."
OBAMA ON MILITARY: "Here's what I think is important for everybody to understand. We've got real threats and we have to remain vigilant, but the quality of our armed forces has never been better. When you meet the people who are charged in keeping America safe it gives you enormous confidence that they are on the case day in day out with extraordinary professionalism, but there is no doubt that we have to make sure we don't let up because there are people who would be willing to do us harm."
OBAMA ON BRINGING HOME THE TROOPS BEFORE THE NEXT SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: "We're going to role out in a very formal fashion what our intensions are in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. In conversations I've had with the joint chiefs and the commanders on the ground, I think we have a sense now that the Iraqis have had a very significant election with no significant violence and that we are in position to start putting more responsibilities on the Iraqis and that's good news for not only the troops in the field but their families who are caring an enormous burden."
OBAMA ON THE ECONOMY: "I think we're going to be in for a tough several months. We've got to get this economic recovery plan passed. We've got to start getting people back to work. We have to straighten out the credit markets and make sure credit is flowing to businesses and individuals so they can start investing and hiring people again. As soon as Congress moves forward on the recovery plan we are going to be also releasing our plan for the financial sector and regulating the financial sector. I have confidence that we are going to be able to get the economy back on track, but it's going to take a number of months before we stop falling and then a little bit longer to get back on track."
OBAMA ON GETTING REPUBLICAN SUPPORT: "The important thing is getting the thing passed. I've done extraordinary outreach to Republicans because they have some good ideas and I want to make sure those ideas are incorporated. I am confident that by the time we actually have the final package on the floor that we are going to see substantial support and people are going to say this is a serious effort, it has no earmarks. We're going to be trimming out things that are not relevant to putting people back to work right now. The thing I want all of them to remember and the thing I'm thinking about every single day is the thousands of people who are being laid off with their jobs right now. They can't afford politics as usual and old habits are hard to break, but now is the time to break them because we have an urgent situation."
OBAMA ON THE FLORIDA GATORS WINNING THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: "Congratulations Gators on an outstanding season. Tebow is great. Wouldn't you feel better if you had beat every team that was out there through a playoff system? I love you, but I think they could have taken on anybody through the playoff system. By the way one of our secret service guys, his son, is a tackle on the Florida Gators so I have a soft spot for them."
OBAMA ON ROOTING FOR THE STEELERS: "Not to mention the fact that Kurt Warner is close to my age. I love Kurt Warner's story, I love Larry Fitzgerald -- seems like a wonderful young man. It's a great story but Rooney didn't just endorse me, that guy was out at going to steel plants campaigning for me. Franco Harris was out waving towels at my rallies."
LAUER: "Do you have a Terrible Towel in the other room?"
OBAMA: "I do actually. I'm not going to be rubbing it in because we've got some Arizona congressmen here and I may need their vote on the recovery package."
LAUER: "What's the score going to be in this game?"
OBAMA: "It's tough to predict, but I think the Steelers are going to eek it out in the end."
OBAMA ON PREDICTING THE PATRIOTS LAST YEAR: "I'm still wondering how that guy made that catch. It was one of the greatest plays in pro football history."
OBAMA ON SECURITY FOR HIS BLACKBERRY: "It's like Inspector Gadget. If you touch it, it might blow up."
LAUER: "I kind of envisioned that. It's like in the James Bond movie. Do they give you like fingerprint recognition technology or something?"
OBAMA: "The works. It turns into a car if I have to make a quick getaway."
OBAMA ON THE SUPER BOWL: "Have a wonderful time. The Super Bowl is one of the finest American traditions. I want to give a special shout out to our troops overseas who are going to be watching this. You allow not just this game to take place, but our liberties to be preserved and we are very grateful to you."