Obama to ABC: Pat-Downs Are Worth The Price - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama to ABC: Pat-Downs Are Worth The Price

USATODAY.COM - President Obama says full-body screenings and extensive pat-downs are part of an evolving air travel security strategy that's needed to prevent further acts of terrorism.

Obama tells ABC's Barbara Walters that and more on a Thanksgiving special airing tonight.

"This is going to be something that evolves. We are going to have to work on it," Obama says, indicating the need for new technologies. "I understand people's frustrations with it, but I also know that if there was an explosion in the air that killed a couple of hundred people ... and it turned out that we could have prevented it possibly ... that would be something that would be pretty upsetting to most of us, including me."

The president's remarks follow the well-publicized outcry over TSA pat-downs that leave nothing to the imagination, as our colleague Alan Levin wrote about earlier this week.

Among the highlights of the interview:

  • First lady Michelle Obama, who appears on the show with the president, says she went to sleep on Election Night rather than watch what turned out to be dismal returns for Democrats.
  • Pursuing an overhaul of the nation's health care system was worth the time and effort. "That's going to be a lasting legacy that I am extraordinarily proud of," Obama says.
  • The first family says grace together every night they can. "In the end we always say, 'We hope we live long and strong,'" Michelle Obama says.
  • Thanksgiving at the White House was a family and friends affair, but the guests didn't have to contribute. "The Secret Service would have to taste everything," the president quips.
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