WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama condemned the ban on gays from openly joining the Boy Scouts of America Sunday in an interview with CBS News two hours before Super Bowl kickoff.
“Should scouting be open to gays,” asked interviewer Scott Pelley, to which Obama replied simply “Yes,” before expanding to say that gays and lesbians should have the same opportunities and access to institutions as other Americans.
In the wide-ranging interview, the president also discussed his plans for tax reform in the coming year, saying he won’t propose further raising tax rates after January’s fiscal cliff agreement raised rates on the nation’s wealthiest.
“I don’t think the issue now is raising rates,” he told Pelley, saying he wants to raise revenues by tackling loopholes and deductions — specifically mentioning the carried interest tax loophole, which benefits hedge funds.
“There is no doubt we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions,” he added, in a rebuke to Republicans who have tried to keep new revenues off the table.
Asked about his recent comments about safety in football, Obama reiterated that he isn’t sure he’d let his son — if he had a son — play the sport, which in recent years has been linked to chronic brain and other injuries.
“The game is probably going to evolve a little bit,” Obama said.
The pre-game interview has been a tradition for Obama since taking office in 2009.
“I’ve got some wings waiting for me upstairs,” he said before returning to the White House residence to watch the game.
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