WASHINGTON – NBC News anchor Andrea Mitchell said President Obama is not speaking to the press enough while NBC Today show host Matt Lauer expressed a different view.
Mitchell, Lauer and Katie Couric of Yahoo! News were asked at the White House Correspondents Dinner about complaints from media outlets about a lack of access to President Obama.
“I don’t think the White House ever makes him accessible enough. I think he should do longer sit-down interviews,” Mitchell told PJ Media at the WHCA dinner on Saturday evening. “I think it would be in his interest and it’s in the public’s interest.”
Lauer said Obama tends to be in front of the press a fair amount.
“I’m not sure how they feel in the press room but I see him doing one-on-one interviews quite a bit. Would we like more? We’re gluttons, we always want more,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently said Obama’s interview with Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, was his toughest in the 2012 election season. Lauer was asked if he agrees with Carney’s statement.
“I don’t know. I didn’t see it, but Jon is dangerous because he can kill you with humor and kill you with kindness and then ask you very tough questions. He’s a good interviewer – that doesn’t bother me one bit,” said Lauer.
Couric declined to express her view on media access to Obama.
“I’ll leave that for the White House correspondents to discuss,” Couric said.
However, she commented on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential run.
“I think it would be great to have a women president. I think we’re going to have to see who she’s running against and what her platform is and what her priorities are, but I think it will certainly be good for the country to have a woman as a candidate and it would be very exciting,” Couric said.