President Obama speaks to guests before a movie screening at the White House, March 19, 2014.
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Obama teases Ellen for ‘cheap shot’ selfie


President Obama teased talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for breaking his record for most retweets of a single tweet during an appearance on The Ellen Show set to air Thursday. 

DeGeneres told the president she set out to break his record when she posed with more than a half dozen A-list celebrities to tweet out a selfie during the Oscars earlier this month. 

“I heard about that. I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself, getting a bunch of celebrities in the background,” Obama said.

The president’s 2012 election victory tweet – a picture of him hugging first lady Michelle Obama – has been retweeted more than 780,000 times as of this writing, but DeGeneres took that to a new level. Her post has racked up more than 3.4 million retweets for the photo she snapped with Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and others.

Obama talked about the first family and admitted that, like any dad, he struggles to convince his daughters that he’s cool.

“I really have no complaints except for the fact that increasingly they don’t have that much time for me,” he said. “I am not that interesting.”

But his recent trip to the Gap was a success by that standard. Obama reported that his daughters “did not scowl” at the pink sweaters he bought them. The president visited the Gap to highlight the store’s move to increase its minimum wage to at least $10 an hour. “I thought it was great for me to able to go frequent a store that’s doing right by their employees,” he said to cheers from the Ellen studio audience.

The president also plans to use his self-proclaimed less-than-cool status to discourage his daughters from getting tattoos by promising he and Michelle would get matching tattoos in the same place. “I expect that will be a pretty good deterrent for both Malia and Sasha,” Obama said. 

“I hate to say it, but I hope they get tattoos. I really do,” DeGeneres replied. 

The interview is the latest in a media blitz the president has embarked on to encourage Americans to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the last two weeks of open enrollment. He impressed upon the mothers in the audience to encourage their children to sign up. “I hope that people take advantage, because if you don’t sign up before March 31, then you won’t be able to sign up again until November,” Obama said. 

“It’s doing very, very well,” DeGeneres said, pointing out that while enrollment “had a rough start,” 5 million people have signed up. 

The president acknowledged that rough start, but said he has heard from Americans who are pleasantly surprised with how well the sign up process works now. 

“I’ve got a lot of folks who write me letters saying, ‘I didn’t vote for you and I’m pretty skeptical about Obamacare, and I heard about all the problems on the website, but when I actually signed up it turns out that I’m saving $100, $200,’ or ‘I’m getting health insurance for the first time,’” Obama said. “So all I’m encouraging everybody to do is to take a look and see what options are right for you and your family.”


Barack Obama and Social Media

Obama teases Ellen for 'cheap shot' selfie