Chicago Sun-Times
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Barack Obama, "Godfather" McCain, "Viva Zapata"--favorite movies.


WASHINGTON--CBS anchor Katie Couric asks Barack Obama and John McCain answer two questions on Tuesday night:
-When is it appropriate to lie to the American public?
-What is your favorite movie?

September 23, 2008


McCain and Obama answer these questions:

-When is it appropriate to lie to the American public? (one of the questions submitted from the Digg community)
-What is your favorite movie?

Following is the transcript from tonight's (23) report. Mandatory credit: the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC.

COURIC to Obama: Describe a situation when you think it's appropriate to lie to the American people.

Obama: I don't think it's appropriate to lie to the American people. I mean--you can--you can put together a hypothetical where--there is a national security emergency that is imminent. And you don't want to provide, for example, the location of our troops. You don't have to lie in those situations. You simply say--we're not answering questions. I don't think it's appropriate to lie. And I think that one of the things I want to change about the culture of Washington is, not just the big lie, but also the soft lie. The fudging, the manipulation, the spin. If we can restore a sense of trust between the American people and the government, we're going to go a long way to changing the country for the better.

McCain: I can't imagine it, to start with, because I'd--I just think that the one thing you have to have, as President, is your credibility. I guess you could draw a scenario where Americans were facing a threat to our very existence and you had to tell them not have them panic or something. I'm thinking out loud here. You know but--but frankly, I think--I don't know of any reasonable or logical scenario where you would feel compelled to lie to the American people.

COURIC to McCain: What about in a national security situation?

McCain: Yeah. I was trying to imagine that. But if you deceive the American people and you want their support and you want them--to beat back this national security challenge and you don't tell them the truth about it then Think they become disillusioned. That's happened in the past.

COURIC: Vietnam, for example

McCain: Yeah. the Vietnam War. The light is at the end of the tunnel and it turned out to be a train. I think one of the reasons why America came out of the Great Depression is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt went on the radio all the time and had the "fireside chats" and said here's what we're facing but here's what we're going to do. And every time the great presidents including some I really admire have not told the American people the complete truth, then they've paid the price for it.

COURIC to McCain: What is your favorite movie of all time?

McCain: Viva Zapata. It's a movie made by Elia Kazan. It was one of the trilogy of A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront and Viva Zapata. Marlon Brando stars in it. He plays Zapata. It's a heroic tale of a person who sacrificed everything for what he believed in and there's some of the most moving scenes in that movie that I've ever seen. And one of them is he gets married -- the night of his wedding night--he gets up and he and Jean Peters are in their hotel room--this little room and she says "what's the matter?" And he says, "I gotta go to Mexico City tomorrow. I've gotta be with Poncho Villa and Modero and these people. He says "I can't read." And she reaches over and takes the bible from the --table and opens it up and starts, "In the beginning." You know, it's a great scene. It's great and there's many others that are wonderful too, especially when he dies--when he gives everything for his country and what he believes in.

Obama: Oh, I think it would have to be the Godfather. One and two. Three not so much. So--so--but that--that saga I love that movie.

COURIC to Obama: Do you have a favorite scene?

Obama: Love--love those movies. I--you know--so many of them. I think my favorite has to be --you know, the opening scene of the first Godfather where, you know, the opening scene of the first Godfather where the caretaker comes in and, you know, Marlon Brando is sitting there and he's saying "you disrespected me. You know and now you want a favor." You know it sets the tone for the whole movie. Now there--

COURIC: And all hell breaks lose, right?

Obama: Yeah, right. I mean there's this combination of old world gentility and you know, ritual with this savagery underneath. It's all about family. So it's a great movie. Lawrence of Arabia. Great film. One of my favorites//and then Casablanca. who doesn't like Casablanca?

COURIC: I asked for one.

Obama: I'm a movie guy. I can rattle off a bunch of movies. But that Casablanca, you know.



McCain likes a movie where the hero makes the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Oboma likes a movie that glorifys a mob boss.

Humm. What can we infer from this regarding their character?

Much as I disagree with his political standings, McCain really knows his movies. Obama? He was obviously just tossing out titles that everyone pretty much knows and loves. I doubt he even saw The Godfather.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 23, 2008 7:00 PM.

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