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Obama makes 'personal,' 'off-the-record' call to Iowa newspaper for endorsement

UPDATE: Fox News reports the White House has given the OK for the interview to be made public after all.

Rick Green, editor of the Des Moines Register, wrote a blog post yesterday to say that he received a phone call from President Obama regarding an endorsement.

Obama spoke with Green and the Iowa paper's publisher but only on condition that the conversation were off-the-record, according to Green's post:

Unfortunately, what we discussed was off-the-record. It was a condition, we were told, set by the White House. ...

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.

Green goes on to write that the phone call was informative and what Obama had to say would likely have been "well-received" by Iowa voters. Green also says the White House's decision to keep the conversation off-the-record won't factor into the paper's endorsement.

Earlier this month Mitt Romney sat for an hour-long interview with the paper's editorial board in hopes of securing its endorsement.

[New York Times]

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