Should the Scouts be open to gays? It's a clear cut issue for the President. "Yes," he said, as if like, duh, during his pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS's Scott Pelley. When asked to expand on his answer, Obama said equality trumps all. "Gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same as anybody else," he said. There's an ongoing debate over whether the group should permit gays to join the Boy Scouts, and the national Scouts board will announce its decision on the matter tomorrow. Former Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry came out against letting gays in. Who would you rather listen to?
The President also seized a big opportunity to preview where he's going next on the budget fight. "I don't think the issue is raising rates," the President said when asked about where the budget fight is going. Obama focused on trying to close has many loopholes as possible and getting rid of deductions for the rich. “There is no doubt we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions.” Combining spending cuts and smart investing, but doesn't rule out raising rates. "The average person doesn't have access to Cayman Island accounts."
Pelley also asked if he has any hesitation about women serving in combat. "You know, I don't," Obama said. "Women are serving, they are taking great risks, & we should not prevent them from advancing." Obama said there was a member of his team who served in some capacity (he didn't elaborate) who is small, and doesn't weigh much. She doesn't look like a quote-unquote "soldier." But he said she can do just as much as any boy in their office, and more.
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They also, you know, talked about football. Pelley focused on the issue of player safety. "As I said before, I'd have to think about it," the President said. Obama told The New Republic that he would think twice before letting his (theoretical) son start playing football, because of the dangers of the game. "I want to make sure we're doing everything we can to make the sport safer," he said. Obama cited what we know about the effects concussions are having on retired players as a reason to "give parents pause" before letting their kids start playing. But it could be different in the future. He acknowledged that "the game is probably going to evolve a little bit," as we learn more about the effects of head injuries. Big hits and the "rock 'em sock 'em" part of the game might have to change first, though.
And then, it was time to go. "I've got some wings to go eat," the President said.