Barack Obama Super Bowl 2013 pregame interview: Football safety paramount to President

Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

The President of the United States talked about the need to make football safer at youth levels to keep the talent pipeline strong.

President Barack Obama sat down with Scott Pelley of CBS Evening News before Sunday's Super Bowl to talk about the current affairs of the nation, and outline his plans for gun control in America. He was not asked to make a prediction for the game, a tradition of non-answers that has dated back to 2010 when he said publicly that he thought the Indianapolis Colts would beat the New Orleans Saints -- they didn't.

Pelley first asked the President about the state of football, and the safety of the game. Obama said that if he had a son, it was hard to extinguish a child's passion -- but that the violence is enough to give parents pause. He discussed how the pipeline of football talent is made safer, and explained that he has no problem with the risks involved at the NFL level.

"We want to make sure that people after the game are going to be okay."

He discussed the need to do everything the game can to keep players safe at every level. From Pop Warner, all the way to college where Obama spoke about the large number of college players who are playing without a large financial gain at the end of their scholarship.

The interview turned to tax rates, and the need to reduce the deficit. The President spoke again about the need to reform health care, and reduce the waste in the system. Obama continued to discuss the need to reduce tax loopholes that are taken advantage of by those who have knowledge of them. He stopped short of saying there would be no new taxes, instead talking about how there needed to be new streams of revenue for the nation.

"An average person doesn't have a bank account in the Cayman Islands."

Women in the military has been a recent shift by the Pentagon, as women will be allowed to serve as front-line troops in combat positions. The President talked about how the risks were already there for women in combat deployed overseas, and outlined how the institution shouldn't keep women from advancing by restricting them to non-combat roles.

In a move for GLBT rights, Obama believes there should be nobody barred from any institution, prompted by Selley asking him about gay men in leadership positions in the Boy Scouts.

President Obama wasn't asked at all about Sunday's game, but said he had some "wings waiting for him," and that he was looking forward to the Super Bowl.

The tone was very different to his 2012 interview with Matt Lauer of the Today Show. The goal then was to outline his plan for the nation in the upcoming year, and begin work on his re-election campaign. Focusing on the positive, he outlined the gains the economy had made under his first term, and explained how further gains were needed in order to reach full recovery. When it came to the game itself, Obama refrained from making a prediction, instead electing to speak about the New York Giants' defense, and the high-powered New England Patriots' offense.

In 2011 with Bill O'Reilly, the focus was unrest in Egypt, as well as health care reform in the country. The President again chose not to talk about who would win the Super Bowl, as he outlined the team speed of the Green Bay Packers and the experience of the Pittsburgh Steelers being a possible difference maker in the game. O'Reilly asked the President if he even cared about the game, to which he responded "I do care, I want a great game."

Obama last interviewed with CBS in 2010 by then-news anchor Katie Couric. Sticking to tradition, the pre-game interview airs on the network showing the game that evening.

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