Sheena Eustice, Coburn Communication
Michelle Alvarez, AARP
President Barack Obama Opens Up About Father’s Day, Why Fuel Prices are so High and Opportunities for Older Workers in the June/July Issue of AARP The Magazine
WASHINGTON (May 24, 2012) – In addition to reflecting on his 50th birthday wishes for lower unemployment and gas prices, the President also shares his thoughts on parenting, Social Security and reinvention. When asked tough questions about using tax funds to close the deficit, President Obama said, “I think it’s important to remember that even for folks who don’t feel rich, if you’re making over $250,000 a year, there’s 98 percent of the country who are making less than you.”
AARP The Magazine is conducting in-depth interviews with both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Be sure to check out the August/September issue of the magazine (out late July) for Governor Romney’s take on the same issues.
The following are excerpts from the June/July issue of AARP The Magazine, available in homes and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On Father’s Day Traditions
“We just do ordinary stuff. We might rent a movie. We might play a board game. There’s the presentation of the tie, or the painting they’ve made, where I make a big fuss out of it.”
“The greatest pleasure I get is just spending time with them.”
On His Proudest Moments as a Father
“Best moments come all the time. Malia and Sasha, they’ll bring home report cards that I never saw in my life!”
“The thing I’m most proud of is that they are kind, respectful, good kids.”
“When other parents say, ‘Your kids are a good influence,’ you feel like they’re going to turn out okay.”
On Unemployed Workers Over 50
“When you lose your job in your 50s, it’s a lot tougher, because a lot of employers say to themselves, ‘Well, I might have to pay those people more. I may have to retrain them. I may not keep them as long. Their health care costs may be higher.’ So what we’ve tried to do is to make sure that retraining is linked to jobs that we know are going to be in high demand.”
“Workers over 50 who’ve got a wealth of experience, some may want to start their own business. And we’ve actually put more financing through the Small Business Administration.”
On Taxes for Successful Business Owners
“All I’ve said with respect to that $250,000-to-$1 million group is, we can afford to go back to the Clinton tax rates if we want to close the deficit, which ultimately will be good for his business.”
“Those of us who have done well can afford to do a little bit more, and those who have done really, really well, like Warren Buffett, should be able to do more. I think it’s important to remember that even for folks who don’t feel rich, if you’re making over $250,000 a year, there’s 98 percent of the country who are making less than you.”
On His 50th Birthday Wish for Lower Gas Prices
“Emerging countries, as their standards of living rise, suddenly want to use more oil. U.S. oil production is higher than it’s been in eight years. [But] you have a world oil market, and even as we’re producing more, demand is going up faster than supply. So we can’t just drill our way out of the problem.”
“Ultimately, the way we free ourselves from this annual spike in gas prices is to diversify our energy to solar, wind, and biofuels.”
On Social Security Benefit Adjustments
“Social Security is not in an immediate crisis. It’s not the driver of our deficits, the way Medicare and our health care programs are. We can easily tweak the Social Security program while protecting current beneficiaries, ensuring that it’s there for future generations.”
“It’s going to require us not playing politics with Social Security. Understanding that millions of Americans have been lifted out of poverty because of Social Security. It is the linchpin of our social safety net. We can’t privatize it. We don’t want it to be subject to the winds in the stock market. We want it there for people over the long run.”
“There’s all kinds of things I might do if I wasn’t president. Starting with just going out that gate and taking a walk!”
“I think that what I’d love to do, and I may very well do, after I get out of office, is to learn a foreign language. Malia and Sasha are getting pretty good at Spanish, and I always regret the fact that I didn’t do it.”
# # #
About AARP The Magazine
With nearly 35 million readers nationwide, AARP The Magazine (www.aarpmagazine.org) is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. Reaching over 22 million households, AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through in-depth celebrity interviews, health and fitness features, consumer interest information and tips, book and movie reviews and financial guidance. Published bimonthly in print and continually online, AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is the flagship title of AARP Publications.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, AARP.org<http://AARP.org>. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.