President Obama recently sat down with the editorial board of Iowa’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, for what his campaign stipulated would be an off-the-record discussion:
The Des Moines Register’s publisher and I spoke with President Barack Obama this morning — but we can’t tell you what he said. Just four days before the Register’s presidential endorsement is released, Laura Hollingsworth and I received a phone call from the president. He was calling from Florida, on the heels of a morning campaign appearance and about 14 hours after his debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. The conference call lasted nearly 30 minutes and was an incredibly informative exchange of questions, answers and an insightful glimpse into the president’s vision for a second term. He made a genuine and passionate case for our endorsement and for reelection. Just two weeks before Election Day, the discussion, I believe, would have been valuable to all voters, but especially those in Iowa and around the country who have yet to decide between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent. Unfortunately, what we discussed was off-the-record. It was a condition, we were told, set by the White House.
The Register’s editors contrast this rigmarole from the most transparent administration evah with the access they were granted by Mitt Romney’s campaign: