August 22nd, 2013
06:14 AM ET

Barack Obama: A Peek Behind the Scenes of an Interview With the President

By Chris Cuomo and John Griffin, CNN

Syracuse, New York – The crowd gathering outside Henninger High School in Syracuse, New York, is buzzing, but polite. Young men dressed in dark suits and bright bow ties, PTA mothers, band members wearing T-shirts with "GRADUATE" emblazoned across the back, even the occasional anti-fracking or anti-Keystone XL pipeline protestor. All have gathered for this moment.

Actually, it's a moment about five hours from now, when President Barack Obama is set to take the stage here, to unveil his plan to make college more affordable. According to the White House, the cost of college has ballooned some 250% in 30 years, while Americans' salaries have gone up just 16%. Obama's going on a two-state tour to discuss his ideas for alleviating that disparity that, economists say, is robbing young Americans of a future free of debt, and the nation as a whole of its potential. For now, though, it's 1:30 in the afternoon, 90 degrees and, while the crowd jockeys for the best position in the line and the magnetometers are being warmed up, dark clouds develop on the horizon.

That storm would later take down my live shot with Jake Tapper and his show, "The Lead." Certain types of satellite truck signals, being of a certain wavelength, are actually too "big" to penetrate a sky full of clouds. We call this "rain fade," and my live hit is kaput before I've finished answering the first question.

The storm that would unload on us next nearly rips our tent out of the ground, and douses us with rain. I'm here and doing live shots for one reason: later this evening, after the president's speech, I will interview him exclusively on a wide array of topics: his college affordability initiative, to be sure, but also Syria, Egypt, NSA spying, even the president's relationships with his growing daughters, and the family dog.

Obama Cuomo interview behind the scenes Obama Cuomo interview Chris Cuomo with camera man

PHOTO CREDIT:  John Griffin / CNN @jgriffnyc

Dodging back into Henninger High School to avoid the rain, I'm impressed by just how dramatically this sprawling Syracuse institution has transformed from school to citadel. The advance team escorting us around the space has been here for a week. Sensitive areas the president will pass through are draped in thick, dark velvet so no one can track his movements through the school. Exterior-facing glass has also been blacked out, covered in a thick paper to protect the president from, if not a bullet, then from a shooter's ability to aim it. Everyone is carefully segregated: the bystanders from the ticketed crowd for the address, the ticketed crowd from the media, the media from the president's teams, etc.  And since the school has had its final "sweep," wherever we move within it, we must be "handled," escorted from place to place. Around every corner, an agent stands guard, listening to his earpiece or talking in his sleeve. If it all feels like a movie, that's more a commentary on Hollywood paying attention to the details than the agents being clichéd.

Speaking of clichés, the room that has been selected for our interview is the school's band room, and it is every bit what you would expect: xylophones poke out of lockers, an upright piano sits, well-worn, in the corner, musical staffs are pre-drawn on the blackboards and inspirational messages are pinned to the walls. It looks, and feels, pretty much precisely like the set of "Glee," a metaphor which takes on even more depth after our crew finishes lighting it and pointing cameras at it. In the end, the shot is beautiful.

And, after that, we wait, we make notes, we discuss, and we wait. Another live hit for the "Situation Room" follows, and this time, it goes off without a hitch. The weather has mostly cleared. We watch the president's address where his plan, and his subtle swipes at congress for its inaction, electrify the crowd. And then back to waiting. As the time of our interview gets closer, we make final adjustments, check the shots, check the audio, check our gear. We have to be ready the moment the president sits down.

The president is coming. Lights off, phones on vibrate. Here we go.

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Robert Lockwood

    Wow, what a hard hitting interview. I guess when the Cuomo family hosted Obama for dinner (pre-interview) had nothing to do with it. On Egypt, are any of you clueless fools at CNN aware that this so-called President supports the Muslim Brotherhood – the one and same that tried to blow up the WTC in 1993? Probably not because most of your so-called reporters were in kindergarten at the time. What is next for CNN, staged news reports from on the scene with fake Palm trees just like you did during Desert Storm. Does anyone at CNN seriously believe that any one with half a brain fall for the garbage can of lies CNN airs every day? This is why your ratings suck, you are a bunch of phonies.

    August 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  2. Brent York

    Chris – Great interview with President Obama and all the in depth questions on whats truly going on in the States. You my friend are a joke to your profession and one of the reasons CNN is equal to MSNBC on lap dog reporting. Pathetic!

    August 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  3. SONNY ROGERS

    Why didn't the question of the young Australlian man being killed come up in your interview? Are you told of boundaries before the interview sessions? I am from Oklahoma and this murder is sickening and disgusting.

    August 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  4. Elbow

    Mr. President and Mr. Cuomo, your statement that most of the middle class supports OBAMACARE is totally false. The middle class has been taxed to death to pay for Mr. President's socialist agenda. Mr. President, where is your public apology to the families whose loved ones were recently murdered by teen African Americans? I didn't hear Mr. Cuomo ask you if it was your intent to give the perception of a double standard. It is the President who is out of touch!

    August 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  5. Antonio

    In all my years i have never seen people who this President for all the world's problem, you live thru Nixon, Carter and Bush who started 2 wars and cost Trilions of dollars But u lives thru it. This Presisent was dealt a terrible hand and has done nothing tried to clean up and do a little good at the same time. He's not prefect President but niether was Regan. He had no hope from Congress they have the treated him far worst than any President even Clinton but he has still prevailed. You people need to quit the last president sent men off to die, an you guys complain about drones strike on people that are trying to kill Americans. Please don't mention the race card because Obama has done more for every other group then Black. He has never been the all black president. So quit crying and vote your guy in...oooppps your party doesn't have a guy who can win. guess thats obama's fault to.

    August 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  6. Jim Threlkeld

    Obama is following Saul Alinsky's book, Rules for Radicals to a tee. From my understanding, he taught Rules for Radicals in College. Basically, Rules for Radicals states to change a society to what you want it to be, you must agitate you opposition, create an atmosphere of class and race warefare, and weaken the economy so more people become dependent on the Federal Government. If you are honest with yourself, Obama has been successful in all those areas. All this misery is created on purpose and CNN and the rest of the media who follow Obama, the Pied Piper, will go off the cliff with him when America finally becomes a Socialist and possibly a Communist Nation.

    August 23, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
  7. What do you have to say now?

    Whats the use, I can truly see the racists and white people hate of obama, jackson and sharpton now. no talk, no response, no pity for the balck on white killings and beatings recently, but wait till it turns around and whites start waiting in the dark for blacks, oh then they will cry racism again. oh we frown on this they sau when its black on white, but when its white on black its racism, I can no longer respect or even give the time of day to any of those as obama, jackson or sharpton, we know who is racists and who hate whites abnd we know the truth now. the page will turn and it will turn soon.

    August 23, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
  8. Millerbarber

    Mr. President you are afraid of offending all the people in this country illegally and you are afraid of all the people on welfare. This arugment goes both ways.

    Seriously Chris ...!

    August 23, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
  9. What do you have to say now?

    An 88-year-old White World War II veteran was brutally beaten and left for dead by two black teens outside a lounge in Spokane, Washington, where he loved to go play pool.

    The motive? Police don't have one. The teens appeared to have picked him at random, authorities say.

    SOUNDS LIKE A BLACK ON WHITE HATE CRIME

    August 23, 2013 at 6:55 am | Reply
  10. What do you have to say now?

    hey obama, once again blacks beat and kill a white man in washington who was a veteran and you say nothing, maybe its time the whites, cubans, white hispanics and the white native americans start forming groups and pay back by beating blacks at random. you talk you talk and you talk but do nothing except play the race card. That old man could have been my grandfather, the australian boy could have been my son, the boy ob the bus could have been my grandchild, so what you got to say now obama. it is time to meet fire with fire and pay back those who want to play.

    August 23, 2013 at 6:50 am | Reply
    • Human Being

      If the black boys get off then he should talk about how the veteran could have been his grandfather. The difference here is that GZ got away with murder. These boys won't and shouldn't!! They are bad people and there are bad people in every race, just like the victims. The difference comes when the justice system allows murderers to go free.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
  11. Christine Kent

    If you don't talk to him about the muslim brotherhood and ask him why he supports them then you are a fraud and so is this stupid interview. I will be waiting to see if you mention the muslim brotherhood. if you are don't ask him if he supports terror then you are and this interview is garbage

    August 23, 2013 at 6:15 am | Reply
  12. Guss

    Do you think Elizabeth Warren will support Larry Summers to be the next chairman of the FED?

    August 23, 2013 at 4:25 am | Reply
  13. Disgruntled Veteran

    I have a lot of questions but I'm sure he'll ignore me, just like the VA does.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:02 am | Reply
  14. Fubarack

    Ask why Snowden is polling higher than Obama.

    August 23, 2013 at 12:33 am | Reply
  15. MSchuman

    When you had Osama bin-Laden killed, what did you tell your two little girls? Each time you sign an order for a drone strike, what do you tell your two little girls? When you ordered the drone strikes that resulted in the deaths of United States citizens, what did you tell your two little girls?

    August 22, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  16. Mike

    I'd like to see him asked if he will recommend a civil rights department of justice investigation into the death of Christopher Lane in Duncan Oklahoma.

    August 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  17. Mike

    I'd like to see them ask him if he considers Chris Hedges an American hero. He said when talking about Snowden he was a traitor because he ran away and didn't take his actions within the system and wouldn't face charges. Chris Hedges has showed courage, patriotism, and speaking truth to power. By Obama's description this would be his definition of a patriot and a great American. Ask him if he will characterize him that way?

    August 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  18. Micheal Garza

    I am a small business owner and a major supporter of the ACA/Obamacare. I know the law inside and out. I would have to consider myself in the minority though. I am not sure that HHS has done the best job it can letting individuals and small businesses know what is coming for them. I think people get the pre-existing conditions, the free wellness visits, but the exchanges, the tax credits, the mandates, are all somewhat mysteries to the average small business owner and citizen. What will we see in the coming months to educate the rest of the country on the coming aspects of the law?

    August 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  19. Mr President

    was it worth it ...being president?

    August 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  20. Maria Magdalena

    My husband is university professor. He teaches physics. After 25 years of incredibly hard work, he is now full professor and makes slightly over 140K. He teaches usually one class of grad students 3 times a week. He prepares the material for the class which is not only his lecture, but also includes preparing individualized problems to be solved (which are not taken from any of the textbook), and provides solutions for them after the tests is over, prepares extra support material etc. All this preparation takes him on average about at least 20 hrs per week as it is not some simple material and he is very responsible teacher. The rest of the time he works on his research, corrects papers of his co-workers, writes scientific papers, writes grants proposals to support his research and provide salaries for his post-docs, he corrects papers which are sent to him for reviews. He works from home, because he may work in here undisturbed, therefore many people may think that he does not work because he is not in his university office. Those people who suspect this are the types who cannot imagine that anybody would work without some timer and supervisor. He is his own supervisor. His scientific output is his timer. Most of the time he begins to work about 9AM and with short breaks for some food or exercise he works until 1 or 2 AM at night or sometimes even later. This also includes weekends. Sunday is exception because he goes to church, but after that he still goes back to his office at home or university. Of course he has also to go to the university to give the classes, tests, quizzes and various exams (for instance qualifiers for PhD programs) and provides special time for students’ visits in his office. He attends faculty meetings and many other mandatory meetings. All this takes the time from his research and that is why he tries to make up for this working on his research at home.
    He works on average at least 90 hrs a week!!!
    I hardly can have any time with him. He teaches quantum mechanics and other advanced physics courses, and with the grants he wins due to good results of his research, he provides salaries for members of his group. He has to work this hard because otherwise he would not be able to have results to publish and consequently to win the grants. In such scenario his post-docs will lose their salaries, because he is their provider. 140K is good salary, but for decades he worked the same number of hours and his salary was much, much lower. He was building his reputation for many years. For many years we could not afford any fancy family trips. We backpacked with kids and the tent, cooked our own meals during our vacations, because we had not enough money for hotels. For a long time we could not afford more than one car (he biked to the university). Any little money we had, we invested into education of our kids (through some extracurricular activities). We had one car only (Toyota Corolla) until it got 250Kmiles on it and we had to replace it. I shopped in Goodwill stores for years, because the new stuff was too expensive for us. Now, it is better, but it was lifetime of sacrifices to get to this point. Nobody who complains here would want to work so much for so little for so many years as he did. And this is very stressful work as you fight for your scientific survival every day. And remember, he also worked hard to get his education and superior grades, to be able to seek a position of university professor. And now finally after 25 years we have enough money to replace carpet in our house, which we were told should be replaced after 9 years.
    I realize that Harvard, Princeton, Columbia etc. may pay some of their professors big salaries, but on average this is not the case. University where my husband works is large, good (in some areas excellent) school and I believe it is representative of the average university in the country. So, don’t tell me how easy, good and worry free is a life of university professor, because you obviously have no idea what are you talking about. (Excuse my English, it is my second language).

    August 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  21. secureman10

    Obma does not care about the American peope just the just the big corprations who support him he should resign and so we could get decent human being.He is liar an a socialist pig

    August 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  22. dem

    Why is Obama pushing for free trade even though it creates a massive job loss like in the past? Why hasn't he pushed to reinstate the Glass Steagall act? Why is he supporting FSA rebels even though it is proven that they are affiliated with Al qaeda and kill civilians? I doubt CNN will ask these questions. CNN will probably ask what Obama plans to do about college costs (Hes already said what he will do) and would he like to add something to the healthcare bill if he had a chance.

    August 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  23. Jill

    Is there an opportunity to step away from the traditional funding of education and look at monitizing academic pursuits via commercial advertising?

    August 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  24. saint

    Why doesn't Obama do interviews with FOX. Will he be asked questions not outlined by the White House ?

    August 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  25. cherie kelley

    what are his plans to unify this country and why are there so many questions as to his identity and the falsification of his social security number and birth certificate?

    August 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  26. Ron

    We soon will be gearing up for the 2016 elections. Do you believe that Ted Cruz is eligible to run for President.?

    August 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  27. a disgace

    when obama leaves office and tries to go on the lecture tour the only people who will come to hear his endless vacation and celebrity party stories will be paying with FOOD STAMPS!

    August 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  28. excessive expansion of executive power?

    Obama DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to George W. Bush For Iraq War

    “The good news is that while we were disappointed with the certification, we were prepared for it,” Comar stated. “We do not see how a Westfall Act certification is appropriate given that Ms. Saleh alleges that the conduct at issue began prior to these defendants even entering into office. I think the Nuremberg prosecutors, particularly American Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson, would be surprised to learn that planning a war of aggression at a private non-profit, misleading a fearful public, and foregoing proper legal authorization somehow constitute lawful employment duties for the American president and his or her cabinet.”

    The case is Saleh v. Bush (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2013, No. C 13 1124 JST).

    August 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  29. Francisco

    6am is too early. Even though I am sure that by 6am Obama is well awake, I really doubt it is the first thing any of us would want to do. And in this case is have an interview with CNN at 6am. Obama is doing it because he has to. CNN should be thankful. Obama wants to spread the word, and that's the way to do it. He wants to show the American people what he wants to do, before he sends it to Congress, and they won't pass it again. If Obama has 100% support on a bill, good luck with that bill passing Congress.

    August 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  30. What do you have to say now?

    Want more news about the WOH, then turn to any other news reporting program than the liberal lie cnn. Seems the DHS, DOJ and the entire administration is promoting this.

    August 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  31. What do you have to say now?

    Well Mr Obama, what you got to say about your employees ???????????? Sounds like HATE CRIME.

    Homeland Security
    DHS employee spends spare time promoting race war against 'whites'

    A Department of Homeland Security manager in charge of buying weapons and ammunition for the government is, on the side, running an inflammatory website that throws around gay slurs and advocates the mass murder of "whites" and the "ethnic cleansing" of "Uncle Tom race traitors," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Ayo Kimathi, who calls himself the “Irritated Genie,” told his supervisors that the website was set up to sell concert and lecture videos.

    But the report showed the site's content strayed far beyond concert promotion, warning about a coming race war. His website, “War on the Horizon,” declares, “in order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites

    One of Kimathi’s former supervisors at DHS told SPLC’s Hatewatch that, “Everybody is the office is afraid of him,” and that his co-workers are “afraid he will come in with a gun and someday go postal.”

    Kimathi, who works for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is a division of DHS, reportedly got the go-ahead from the government to create and maintain his website.

    August 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  32. Scott

    Many Americans do not have the confidence in the health care law you signed. Wouldn't it ease some of their concerns if you yourself covered yourself and you family through the exchanges, along with requiring your entire staff to do so as well? I am sure the American taxpayer would be happy to reimburse your health insurance through the exchange.

    August 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      And extend that to all of Congress who voted for it, without letting the public vote on what we're going to be taxed on, like we're legally supposed to be allowed to do.

      August 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  33. Mark

    Ask him if he's discovered that as president he actually has no real power to change anything. It's either that or he simply lied through his whole campaign and never intended to do anything he promised.

    I was just over at Democracy Now watching a video of Sen. Obama in 2005 making a grand speech about how American's freedoms have been taken away by the National Security apparatus and these secret courts and domestic spying. It was very surreal. You could literally super impose the Obama from 2005 video on to the Obama who recently spoke in defense of the NSA and create quite an entertaining verbal battle from polar opposite sides of the debate.

    I really don't understand how so much of the country can keep giving this administration the benefit of the doubt for so many years without their patience and common sense finally waking them up. The power center in this country is NOT in the whitehouse or the congress. It's not even visible or accessible to the American people. This country has been lost!

    August 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  34. Lee

    Was the murder of the boy in Oklahoma a hate crime?

    August 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  35. donna fowler

    3 Simple questions – Where were you the night of 9/11/12??? What are the next steps to hold IRS officials accountable for their unfair targeting practices? This country has become more divided than ever when it comes to race relations. How does he explain that? I know that none of these will actaully be asked of him. More like, how was vacation.....how are the dogs getting along........total waste of everyones time.......Just like the last 5 years....totally wasted!

    August 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  36. HenryB

    And these people with their hateful comments will be offended when their inane questions are not asked.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • rj

      Will immigration reform bill pass this year..? when will the GC priority dates become current?

      August 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  37. Ben

    As Martin Luther King said,
    "Man's inhumanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad. It is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good." How long will the President watch from the sidelines and allow the Syrian regime murder civilians? He keeps saying, America will not intervene alone, but I believe he is leading from behind, the Europeans are more upfront when it comes to intervention with respect to the conflict.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  38. militarymom777

    People they have already done the interview. They are just airing it Friday at 6am.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN

      Hello,
      The interview is not scheduled to take place until later this evening, so questions are being compiled from those submitted.
      Thank you.
      Lola
      CNN Viewer Communications

      August 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  39. Matthew

    Please ask questions about transparency. The NSA is going to lose the Democrats the next election at this rate.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  40. disillusioned

    Like CNN will ask him any hard hitting questions. There will probably be a bunch of questions about the new dog. I'd like to know about his half brothers involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood. I'd like the truth about Benghazi. Maybe they should be interviewing Valerie Jarrett. After all, she's the one calling all the shots.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  41. gregingso

    I would like to ask how does he think his 'scorecard' is going to actually lower costs for students. He claims this scorecard will allow students to shop around for the best bang for their buck. I am sure he is aware that almost every state has lower tuition for in-state students than they do for out of state students. In reality this scorecard will only allow students to shop within their own state. For instance, I live in North Carolina where ins-state tuition is relatively low, even though it has increased substantially over the last few years. This relative 'deal' on college costs is only available to residents of North Carolina. How is this actually going to lower costs? It sounds a lot better in a sound bite than it does when you actually sit down and think about it. I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  42. What do you have to say now?

    Another question for the oh great one, lol How can you allow a black ICE agent to run a website called WOH that advocates a war on Christians and a war on whites, is this another issue of the fact that you hate Christians and Whites. Why does this guy still have a job in our government, sounds like a Hate crime to me.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  43. Conniving Newspeak Network

    Can you ask him whether making loans more available won't just lead to colleges raising tuition, just like when they started subsidized them?
    Can you ask him about his success rates with the issues he gets a "laser focus" on?

    August 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  44. What do you have to say now?

    Another question for the oh great one, lol How can you allow a black ICE agent to run a website called WHO that advocates a war on Christians and a war on whites, is this another issue of the fact that you hate Christians and Whites. Why does this guy still have a job in our government, sounds like a Hate crime to me.

    August 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  45. Danny

    Does he consider the murder of the boy in OK a Hate Crime given their statements on social media?

    August 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  46. Sweetness

    Was the murder of the boy in OK a Hate Crime?

    August 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  47. larry kouns

    i'm sorry i'll miss this slow pitch soft ball game.
    but just for laughs i would like to know why Benghazi was buried during the election by the white house and the media lapdogs if it's such a non issue and obama wasn't at fault.
    or maybe what he hoped to gain with the 'Fast and Furious' debacle.
    or why he ordered the IRS to suppress conservative and evangelical groups from obtaining legal non profit status.
    maybe even have him explain the egregious spending and unilateral law making decisions by the executive branch going on under his watch. but as has been pointed out. 'this is cnn and we are place political agendas over the truth every time.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  48. Pam

    I would like a question asked re obama's half brother's involvement w/ Al Queda or is that untrue? I'd also like to know if the questions Chris will pose to him are submitted b/4 hand. Bottomline, we hardly know anything about obama and his parents/sibs other than what has been methodically spoon fed to us in very little doses.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  49. Padma

    Mr President, what is the practical plan to reduce foreign oil dependency.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  50. Melody

    Please ask him what happened to his "transparency" promise and he uses the presidency seat as a means of getting rich?

    August 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  51. Sandra

    I agree with JPM. Will CNN become a news organization that reports truth and questions the obvious -or will they continually report only one view – that which is dictated to them from political strong arms? We are not ignorant Americans – we see what's going on. Why hasn't President Obama, Al Sharpton, etc. given the same attention to the murder of the Austrailian in Oklahoma that they did the Travon Martin case???? Precisely because they are seeking to divide and conquer our country – and they are suceeding......... very sad.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  52. simpleobservationsfromasimpleman

    You going to ask him about the shooting of Chris Lane? Will Eric Holder press charges that these cowards violated his civil rights? Will they be prosecuted for hate crimes? Please ask him some tough questions.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  53. gordon Motta

    Will this be just another soft interview by our main stream media ? I am so sick of our far left liberal press covering for Obama. Obama should be impeached and thrown out of office for all his lies, and cover ups. How could any one with an IQ of above 75 like what this failed president has done to our Country ?

    August 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  54. janet bush

    why not ask Obama why he can talk about a college professor whom he sees as discriminated again, and say Trayvon Martin could have been his son.... but not say a word about an evil murder in Duncan Oklahoma where an australian young man was viciously murdered... and oh... 2 or the 3 were young black men.

    Obama uses convenient 'isms' when it parlays votes. How on earth can anyone call him a leader?

    August 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  55. John

    Why? So I watch you guys ask him pre-screened and pre-approved messages? Of course I won't be watching.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  56. Michael

    -Mr President, Sean Hannity tells us that you read off a teleprompter when giving speeches. Is this true?

    -Yes, and I think it would interest you to know that every president has used one since its invention.

    -Mr President, is it true that you drink water when you're thirsty?

    -But Mr President, don't members of Al-Qaeda ALSO drink water?

    August 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  57. Kelly

    I would really like to find out what he's going to do to help people with current student loan debt. I don't qualify for his current program, but yet between my husband and I we cannot get jobs in the field we obtained the degree and we are so behind in student loans that there are some days we haven't been able to buy simple things like food because of student loan garnishments. The student loan companies don't care, they want us to pay up to 1600 a month between the two of us, and when we tried to pay $90 a month which was already beyond our means, we were taken to court.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  58. What do you have to say now?

    Here is a question I would like to hear, Well Mr Obama, this young white man that was killed by these three punks could have been my child, so what have you got to say now, or are you just going to blow over it because he wasnt black. Please show me that you truly dont hate whites and are not a true racists based on color, bet you cant do it because you have already shown your discrimination!

    August 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  59. James

    Can we please ask him to abolish the NSA surveillance program ? But i know CNN will never ask the real hard questions.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  60. bencoates57

    Ask him about the following:

    First, almost 50% of Americans have less than $500 in savings. Not surprisingly 1 out of 3 residents of Obama’s home state of Illinois live in poverty. A mind numbing 4 of 5 Americans are either experiencing poverty, foreclosure or welfare, or will in their lifetime.

    Auto sales are collapsing. The age of the average car, now 11.4 years, rose to a level we haven't seen in YEARS. Construction jobs are falling off a cliff. And U.S. factory orders just suffered the biggest drop in a year.
    731,000 of the the 953,000 new jobs gained since start of 2013 are crummy low-wage part time jobs that won’t pay the bills of an average middle class lifestyle. So far this year over 246,000 low-paying waiter or bartender jobs have been added to the U.S. economy, versus only 24,000 high-paying manufacturing jobs.

    The Obama administration just hired a company to promote ObamaCare over the phone to Americans - guess what? Even those jobs are part-time, with no health insurance!

    And, the second biggest employer in America is now a temp agency! Only 44.7% of working age Americans (16 and over) have a full-time job.

    Food stamp rolls are growing seventy-five times as fast as employment. The national debt has increased by 50% under Barack Obama. Obama promised to reduce health insurance bills for an average American family by $2,500 per year, instead your health bills went up by $3,000 per year.

    Meanwhile, labor participation by men is at the lowest rate ever measured – since they started tracking it in 1948. And here’s the clincher: 90 million able-bodied, working-age Americans are not working.

    Nearly 5 million workers are classified as long-term unemployed, while 900,000 more have stopped looking for work altogether, according to a new series of reports issued by the Urban Institute.

    40% of the unemployed (or 4.2 million) remain without jobs 4 years into the so-called Recovery which distinguishes the 2008-2009 recession from previous downturns such as the 1980s when only 25% remained unemployed for more than 6 months.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Pjwaldo

      How come I am seeing this information for the 1st time in your e-mail. Why isn't it being broadcast in newspapers, t.v., and radio? I as a taxpaying American as well as all other Americans have a right to know this information.

      August 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  61. Armagod

    Cuoma should ask just one question: "Mr. President, please spend the remainder of this interview citing the issues that the majority of Americans have expressed an interest in changing, such as tuition costs, marijuana, congressional salaries, term limits, constitutional abuse and others that you are aware of, and explain to the American people why you and Congress are incapable or unwilling to conform to the will of the people who pay your salaries."

    August 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  62. John

    Hope Cuomo ...asks the President about Oklahoma – but I doubt it.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  63. Pam

    I'd like obama to tell us where he was when Benghazi was attacked.

    August 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  64. DaveinIL

    Interview? It will be just another media straight man serving up softballs for Obama to hit. He'll make his usual speech promising something to the voting block of the moment, students, on how government aka the taxpayers can assume the inflated costs of their college educations. Nothing about the foolishness of getting a useless degree for a career in afield that pays little and is already overcrowded.

    August 22, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
  65. Johnny Here Is

    Yay, lower college costs.

    August 22, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Natrldiver

      Still drinking the Kool-Aid?

      August 22, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
  66. Scott

    I hate Fox News with a passion, but would love to see an interviewer pretend to be a Fox News reporter and ask questions Fox News would ask. I think it would really off Obama's game.

    August 22, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • wade moran

      Yes, hate them all you want, but they're the only news outlet that's going to aks the president actual questions...

      August 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  67. DBU

    What is the revenue source for the many UNFUNDED programs imposed on educational institutions by federal and state governments over the past 2o years? Public elementary and high schools can campaign for higher local taxes. Colleges and universities cannot do the same. Result -higher tuition. Investigate budgets in higher education and there have been many cuts in programs and staff. Fewer courses and larger classes result.

    August 22, 2013 at 11:29 am | Reply
  68. Oakspar77777

    He will not talk about lowering college costs. He will talk about defraying and misdirecting that cost. Nothing about lowering the cost of dorms, books, or tuition.

    So, expect to hear about government subsidies and grants (lowing the cost for the student by having taxpayers foot the bill) or lowering student loan interest rates (lowering the cost of borrowing money for school – as if that won't simply create more tuition inflation).

    August 22, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • Johnny Here Is

      The problem is that the tax payer can't foot the bill. There is about $1 Trillion in student debt in the US right now, mostly garunteed by the Federal Government. I don't know if you remember but the total cost of the 2008 economic crisis was $12 Trillion after accounting for lost GDP, people that were picked up on welfare and medicaid, and the bailouts (Better Markets financial analysis report). Now, the financial crisis was caused, initially, by what was known as the "housing bubble" bursting. That was only worth $700 Billion approx. So, if a "higher education bubble" bursts, and the individuals collectively default on thier loans, the Universities will go under because the government would not be able to collect the revenue to bail them out, because a second, and larger, financial crisis would occur, and will likely occur either way. We are approaching another tipping point, and something is going to happen, one way or the other.

      August 22, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  69. Jake

    Why don't we ask him important questions...

    " why is marijuana still a schedule 1 drug?"

    August 22, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • Francsco

      The day marijuana will be more important than education, I will leave planet Earth.

      August 22, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • larry kouns

      the only people who care about marijuana are the sellers and abusers.

      August 23, 2013 at 7:25 am | Reply
  70. Boborto

    The best thing to do is to quit making it so easy for a college student to get into debt over $130,000 for a degree which MAY get them $30,000 a year...stop the financial aid debt trap. Make it so students choose less costly (but just as good) community colleges. The big name schools and for profits will see their enrollment drop and then either go the way of the Do-Do or drop their tuition rates. The government's insistence on helping students jump into a river of debt is facilitating the rise in tuition rates. Universities charge as much as they do BECAUSE THEY CAN. Less is more in this scenario. While I recognize college students are adults and responsible for their actions, it is way to easy for them, at the ripe old age of 18 to take on more debt for education of questionable value.

    August 22, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  71. prettyfoot58

    Why is the first answer always to cut teachers' salaries...i do agree with one respondent that for State schools...there was significant loss of state fundiing..i am very much interested in hearing what the President will propose..

    August 22, 2013 at 8:49 am | Reply
  72. Boborto

    Cut Federal Financial Aid to students: quit making it so easy to spend $130,000 on a degree which will nab you a $30,000 a year job. If students can't afford to pay for the crazy college costs they will choose cheaper and just as good option (community colleges). Eventually, the big schools will see a drop in enrollment and lower their tuition rates–as long as the financial aid noose is there, universities will show them the way to put that rope around their neck.

    August 22, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  73. ghengisjohn

    maybe he can tell us that he could have been one of the three shooters who gunned down the very very white australian or maybe one of em coulda been his son. Where is al sharpton and jesse jackson? My guess is that they are trying to figure out how to twist it so that its the white mans fault. and i find it funny how none of the media including cnn have mentioned that the teens oh my bad the children if ya wanna go the trevon route are black maybe if ya say that they are white/blacks you could get the racial indignation going again. Makes me sick

    August 22, 2013 at 8:44 am | Reply
  74. yonyo

    @liberal_troll Did you even bother looking it up? There is no college where the average professor salary is 250K. My boss a 'liberal professor' makes 60k a year, for a phd. My undergrad advisor made 115K to teach a job that if he were working for exxon would be paying 150-200K. My mother passed up a job teaching at a community college because it paid 2k a class...for the whole year. I don't think the money is necessarily going to salaries. Ignoring the fact that very few people make that much what would make them worth it? I worked for an Italian who researched among other things smart programs that are like the ones mechanics use to diagnose cars. Except it was for the navy and the program doesn't know whats under the hood in advance. It could figure out systems. It would allow the navy to design and test/simulate all the electronic components down to the last outlet in a carrier. That guy left the country to go teach at some institute in Germany that paid better. How many future jobs do you think that guy represented?

    August 22, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
  75. Donald Swain

    1. High salaries driven by similar position in professions including atlhletics. If you want outstanding professors you have to meet the competition.
    2. Serious decline in state aid for many state institutions. Tuition has to make up the gap.
    3. Rising costs of utilities and services without discounts.
    4. Greater demand to fund those who qualify for financial aid.
    5. Graduate students expect full financial support. ie Medical education
    6. Look at how these factors have risen during the past 25 years

    August 22, 2013 at 8:15 am | Reply
  76. JPM

    Let's see if CNN is an actual news station. Is he going to ask about the assassination of the 22 year white kid in Oklahoma?

    August 22, 2013 at 8:14 am | Reply
    • Natrldiver

      Now you know CNN will not ask anything that might put him in a bad light. CNN has never done factual reporting or truthful interviews. They probably have given Obama a scripted list of questions, approved by his press secretary so they can be sure that he has time to word smith his answers. Unfortunately, the liberal community still believes in his hope and change from last term and now it is forward. News flash, if you are driving in a downward direction and you continue to go forward, you are still going down. Obama and the liberals are the literal iceberg that is sinking this country.

      August 22, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Pam

      Hope he asks some hardball questions and not soft ones like MSNBC or other obama news stations, e.g., don't much care how many dogs they have now. Oh & I like FNC & think CNN is coming up a close second to demanding truth from the present administration.

      August 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  77. liberal disease

    lower college costs? the first thing he will have to do is tell the liberal professors to cut their salaries, which they wont do
    some make 250 k a year and have one or two classes a year. They have no regard for struggling students only themselves and their so called Status as a professor...Obama is one of them, nothing will change..

    August 22, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
    • Justin Cider

      @liberal disease.

      You couldn't be further from the truth. First, the average college professor starts at $60,000, with the average salary being approximately $82,000 and any that make more than $110,000 are in the top 20% of their profession. The real world pays far more than theorizing... Second, some of the most conservative people you will meet are B-school profs, but hey, don't let facts get in the way of a perfectly good rant!

      August 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • Melody

        @Justin Cider, Apparently you must be speaking of some community college in some podunk little town. Try FAU or any other University in America and you will find they make no less than $150,00 and Lib was correct, they only work 1 or 2 days a week..

        August 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

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