Updated: 2:14 p.m. ET
After Des Moines Register editor Rick Green chided President Obama for making his recent interview with the paper off the record, the Obama campaign released to the Iowa newspaper a transcript of the call.
Obama spoke to Green and publisher Laura Hollingsworth for 30 minutes in what was described as a “personal call.” The White House made clear it was to be an off-the-record conversation, Green wrote in a blog post Tuesday evening.
“Seeking the Register’s endorsement and making a closing argument as to why this president should be reelected is of great public interest,” Green told TPM in a statement Wednesday. “Voters deserved to hear those answers; to learn more of those details.”
On Wednesday, without comment, the campaign sent the Register the transcript, which is now posted on the Register’s website. During the interview, Obama laid out his second-term agenda, which includes immigration reform and large-scale deficit reduction.
“Gov. Romney was on-the-record with his comments at the Register’s October editorial board meeting. I saw no reason why President Obama shouldn’t have been, too,” Green added in his statement to TPM. “I was very pleased this morning when the White House and the Obama 2012 campaign agreed to release the transcript from Tuesday’s conversation with us. It was the right move - and not because of pressure from the Des Moines Register. It was the right thing to do for voters and readers who already are voting or will be heading to the polls on Nov. 6. Transparency is essential in journalism and national politics. I’m glad the White House agreed.”
Obama campaign traveling press secretary Jen Psaki explained to reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday the nature of the call.
“This was a call — he’s done many editorial board meetings with them as well,” she said. “This was a call that was meant to be a personal check-in with a publisher and an editor, one of whom he hadn’t spoken with in four years, one of whom he’d never spoken with before. They expressed a desire to put this on the record, make it public. We’ve said that’s fine and they’re going to be posting it this morning.”
The Des Moines Register is set to endorse a presidential candidate this weekend. Mitt Romney spoke on the record to the paper’s editorial board earlier this month, and the Register posted audio of the interview online.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com