The editor for the Des Moines Register yesterday penned an article blasting President Obama for refusing to go on the record during his 30-minute interview with the influential Iowa newspaper. But now, after the issue garnered significant publicity, the Obama campaign has relented and allowed a transcript of the interview to be published.
The editor Rick Green wrote in a blog post yesterday:
Just two weeks before Election Day, the discussion, I believe, would have been valuable to all voters, but especially those in Iowa and around the country who have yet to decide between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent.
[But] it was a “personal call” to the Register’s publisher and editor, we were told. The specifics of the conversation could not be shared because it was off-the-record.
Of course, we immediately lobbied his campaign staff in Des Moines for a formal, on-the-record call. We were told it was not their decision; it came from the White House. We requested that the White House be asked to reverse course so whatever the president shared with us could be reviewed by voters and our readers.
No reason was given for the unusual condition of keeping it private. [Emphasis added]
“What the President shared with us this morning — and the manner, depth and quality of his presentation – would have been well-received by not only his base, but also undecideds. From a voter standpoint, keeping it off-the-record was a disservice,” he added.
RNC spokesman Tim Miller contributed at the time: “President Obama is telling Iowans that if they want to hear him answer some tough [questions] before Election Day, they’ll have to hope for a rerun of The View.”
But now, readers can see the entire transcript of the interview at the Des Moines Register.
The Register’s official endorsement is expected this weekend, but even before the administration relented, they said it would be “petty and ridiculous” for the issue to play a factor in their endorsement.
This story has been updated to reflect new information.