Recognizing that Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes was far too tough on our Commander in Chief during the last night’s interview about Bin Laden’s killing, White House Dossier asked for and received permission to speak with President Obama in the Oval Office early this morning, hoping to give the president a chance to just tell his story.
While Kroft failed to bring up issues like whether the “enhanced interrogations” of the Bush years helped lead to Bin Laden or whether Obama is taking too much credit for the operation, he did work Obama over with brutal queries like “How did you feel?” and “Was this your toughest decision over?”
So White House Dossier is proud to let the president set the record straight. Below, we give you the transcript of this morning’s interview.
White House Dossier: Mr. President, how great are you?
President Obama: I’m fine, thanks, how are you?
WHD: No, no. How great are you?
Obama: Oh. I wouldn’t say I’m great, because my press secretary won’t allow it. But I’m pretty damn good. Pretty . . . damn . . . good.
WHD: Oh boy. Thank you, Mr. President, for responding to my question.
Obama: My pleasure.
WHD: I’m going to ask you another question, but don’t answer if you don’t want to.
WHD: How do you feel today?
Obama: Keith, I think I feel like any American would. Proud of my country, proud of our armed forces, and proud of our president.
WHD: Yes, of course.
Obama: But not all the credit goes to me. I admit have to share in the glory with, um, um . . .
WHD: Mr. President, there’s no need to strain yourself. Let me ask you, approximately 30 seconds have elapsed since my last question. How do you feel now?
Obama: Listen, I don’t think this should be about me. Not about me, I, me, I, I, I me. It’s about others, as well as me and I am me as you are you and we are all together. I me mine, I me mine, I me mine. All through the day, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
WHD: I see.
Obama: All through the night, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
WHD: I understand. Now, How did you handle the incredible tension in the Situation Room the day you took out Bin Laden?
Obama: It’s all part of being a leader, of being, you know, basically a badass.
WHD: Yes, absolutely
Obama: And I was there for the others. I noticed Hillary about to collapse, and I comforted here with a hug and a shot of tequilla. But me, you know, I have to admit, it was tense. But I can handle it. I just can.
WHD: Is the story true that your national security aides were divided on this, but you just knew what had to be done?
Obama: Yes, some of my advisers were sissies. They were wringing their hands, and pissing on themselves.
Me, I knew we only had a 50-50 shot. It could have gone either way. But I just said, “Sometimes, folks, you just have to go for it. You have to trust your gut. You have to say, ‘Danger? Risk? Bring it on! Tension? Uncertainty? I eat if for breakfast!’ America needed to bag this dude. And so I sad, ‘Go for it, punk. Make my day. A man has to do what a man has to do.’ And so forth.”
Obama: Would you like a glass of water?
WHD: No, I’m OK. And what did you say after you knew you’d killed Bin Laden?
Obama: I was as taciturn and cool as John Wayne putting his gun back in his holster. I just said, “We got him.”
WHD: Hot damn!
Obama: I thought, “My work is done here. Now it’s on to greater challenges for the American people. Like putting Bunson Burners in every public school science class.
WHD: What can I say? Gutsy call, Mr. President.
Obama: You know, it’s nothing remarkable. I get up every morning thinking, “How can I protect the American people?” and “What’s for breakfast?” So it’s all in a day’s work.
WHD: I’d say two days’ work, Mr. President.
Obama: Could be, Keith. Could be.
WHD: Thank you, sir.
Obama: You’re welcome. You’re very welcome.