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Obama talks gay marriage, Benghazi and daughters' dating

October 27, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey

President Obama briefly halted the rallies and stumping Friday to make his case to voters through the media.

The president sat for 10 interviews with various outlets, including MTV, talk radio and seven local news stations in battleground states.

Obama’s media marathon was tailored to reach the voters he needs most. He talked to young people on MTV, chatting about gay marriage, Facebook and his daughters and dating. He reached African American voters in an interview with the Urban Radio Network. Voters in Reno, Denver, Des Moines, Charlotte, Columbus, Milwaukee and Miami saw Obama on the local news.

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The president was asked about security at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, repeating that the matter was being fully investigated. Asked whether the results of that probe ought to be released before election day, Obama told 9NEWS in Denver that linking the investigation to the campaign was politicizing the attack.

“The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out what happened,” Obama said. “We want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people. We’re going to bring those folks to justice.”

The Denver reporter also asked about a recent Rolling Stone magazine report that quoted the president describing Mitt Romney as “a bullshitter.”

“You know, this was a conversation after an interview, a casual conversation with a reporter,” Obama said. “A major issue in any election is can you count on the person you're putting into the Oval Office fighting for you, having a clear set of convictions that they believe in.”

In an interview with MTV host Sway, Obama repeated that he believes gay couples should be able to marry. But he also said that he would not push for new federal legislation legalizing same-sex marriages in a second term.

“Historically, marriages have been defined at the state level,” Obama said. “For us to try to legislate federally is probably the wrong way to go.”

Asked about his worries as a parent, Obama said he had concerns about social networks, particularly for his famous daughter. Malia doesn’t get to use Facebook, he said.

“Because she's well-known, I'm very keen on her protecting her privacy. She can make her own decisions obviously later as she gets older, but right now even just for security reasons, she doesn't have a Facebook page,” he said.

"Dates? That’s fine because she’s got Secret Service protection so I’m not too worried," he said. "The one thing I always tell my daughters -- and hopefully I'm serving as a good example of this -- is I want them to be with men who respect them, boys who respect them and value them and understand their worth. If the boys are kind to them, then they'll be OK."

Obama is slated to jump back on the campaign trail Saturday with a visit to New Hampshire.

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kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

twitter.com/khennessey

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