President Barack Obama previewed the upcoming budget fight, encouraged the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay members, and warned about player safety issues in football during a wide-ranging pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley Sunday.
During the interview, Obama began by reiterating his concerns over player safety in football. While the president noted that professional players “are grown men” who are aware of the health risks involved with the sport, he stressed that he is worried about head injuries victimizing Pop Warner, high school, and college players. Obama continued that although “those of us who like to see a big hit and enjoy the rock ‘em, sock ‘em elements of the game” may be frustrated by rule changes, “I want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make the sport safer.”
The president went on to preview the next budget battle with congressional Republicans. “I don’t think the issue right now is raising rates,” he said, but “there is no doubt we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions.” Obama specifically hinted that he may target the “carried interest” loophole as a way to raise revenue.
“We just want to make sure that the whole system is fair, that it’s transparent, and that we’re reducing our deficit in a way that doesn’t hamper growth,” the president said.
Obama also gave a very direct answer when asked if the Boy Scouts of America should change its policy on gay members. “Yes,” the president said. “The Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives, and I think nobody should be barred from that.”
Obama has given a pre-Super Bowl interview in every year of his presidency.