Obama Worried About Malia and Sasha “Going Steady” with Boys

If anything goes wrong, the President told interviewer Steve Harvey, "I've got men with guns following them around all the time."

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U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters Malia Obama, 15 and Sasha Obama, 12, help pack and sistribute bags of food to needy children and seniors at the Capital Area Food Bank November 27, 2013 in Washington, DC.

In an interview with comedian Steve Harvey that aired Friday, President Obama joked that he ran for a second term partly to keep his teenage daughters under constant supervision.

“Malia and Sasha are very sensible, so I trust them to make good decisions,” he said. But if anything does go wrong, “I’ve got men with guns following them around all the time.”

“Hey, this is the main reason I ran for re-election,” the President said. “You know I’m gonna have ‘em covered for most of high school.”

Obama said he trusts Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, to have good judgment when it comes to men. “What I’ve told them before is, as long as that young man is showing you respect, and is kind to you, then I’m not going to be hovering over every second,” he said. “But, I’m counting on you to have the self-respect to make sure that anybody who you’re going out with comes correct. And hopefully they’ve seen how I treat Michelle.”

Obama said he’s not sure how he’d react if one of his daughters started dating someone, but that he’s definitely been thinking about it:

Well I will tell you, I’ve got a good friend whose daughter is a little older than Malia, she started going steady with a guy. And this friend of mine, when this young man would come into his house, he didn’t speak to him. I mean he’d just pretend like he wasn’t there. And this lasted for six months. And I told him, I said, “C’mon man, you can’t. That poor kid, he’s a nice young man, he’s polite, he’s trying, you know? He’s coming by the house.” And my friend’s attitude was, he said, “No I want to see him earn this. So I don’t want him comfortable up in my house.” You know, and eventually, the young man won him over and so he started saying a few words to him. But not many.

But he’s trying not to be that overprotective. “Probably the bigger concern for me is making sure that I’m not getting in the way of the girls just having a normal life,” he said.

Later in the interview, as he and Obama surprised some White House visitors, Harvey asked, “Any chance we could go in the gym and shoot 10 free throws. Best one if I beat you I get free taxes for 10 years?

“No,” the President said, “there’s no chance of that.”