President Obama Backs Women in Combat, Gays in Boy Scouts in Pre-Super Bowl Interview (Video)
President Barack Obama shared his thoughts on women in combat and allowing gay members into the Boy Scouts during his pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley Sunday.
"Women, as a practical matter, are now in combat," Obama said, praising the Pentagon’s decision last month to lift the ban on women in combat. "They may not get treated as if they're in combat, but when they're in theater, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, they are vulnerable, they are wounded, and they've been killed. And they have carried out their jobs with extraordinary patriotism and distinction."
Pelley asked Obama whether the Boy Scouts of America should allow gay members in its ranks. Its national organization is considering lifting its ban and allowing local institutions sponsoring chapters to make the decision individually.
“My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life,” Obama said. He added that the Scouts are “a great institution” that introduces young people to important leadership and service opportunities. "And I think nobody should be barred from that."
Last month, Obama signed a "fiscal cliff" deal into law that raised taxes on families earning more than $450,000 per year. In the interview, Obama acknowledged that more revenue is needed to shrink the budget deficit, but said he believed it could be done without further tax increases. Instead, he proposed reducing government waste and closing loopholes in the tax system.
"Can we close loopholes and deductions that folks who are well connected and have a lot of accountants and lawyers can take advantage of, so they end up paying lower rates than, say, a bus driver or a cop?" Obama asked. "The average person can't take advantage of them."
Obama has an annual tradition of granting an interview to the network airing the Super Bowl. He previously spoke with Katie Couric, Bill O'Reilly and Matt Lauer for big-game sit-downs.
Watch clips from his interview below.