Obama: 'I Don't Put People on Food Stamps'

President takes on rivals in interview, says he 'badly' wants to win
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 6:49 AM CST

Barack Obama appears to be shifting into campaign mode. In an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News last night, the president wasn't afraid to call out his would-be challengers by name, saying, "We've got a test of Mr. Romney or Mr. Gingrich or Mr. Santorum's theories. We tried it for 10 years. It resulted in a huge crash." He also directly took on Newt Gingrich's assertion that he is a "food stamp president."

"I don't put people on food stamps. People become eligible for food stamps," he said, pointing out that eligibility was expanded under George W. Bush, and that "when you have a disastrous economic crash … more people are going to need more support." Asked how much he wanted another term, he replied, "Badly. Because I think the country needs it." He also brushed off his "tense" tarmac showdown with Jan Brewer. "I'm usually accused of not being intense enough, right?" he said. "I think it's always good publicity for a Republican if they're in an argument with me. But this was really not a big deal. I think this is a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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