Then-Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama disputed then-President George W. Bush’s presidential legitimacy in a 2004 interview with entertainer Puff Daddy, who was then starring on his “Vote Or Die” tour.
During the interview, Puff Daddy, who later changed his moniker to P. Diddy and later Diddy, asked Obama about the importance of youth voting.
“Well, some people just got to remember what happened in Florida,” Obama said. (7:00) “George Bush won the presidency, he thinks, based on just a tiny margin of votes. If just a few thousand people more vote in Florida, you got an entirely different direction of the country. We probably don’t go into a war in Iraq. We’re probably spending more money on schools, more money on job training, more money for programs for ex-offenders.”
Obama has recently come under fire for the unilateral release of Taliban leaders. And just weeks earlier, his attorney general announced “Clemency Project 2014” to grant clemencies to drug offenders sentenced during the Bush administration.
“Listen, you’re a motivating force for young people all across the country,” Obama told Puff Daddy (1:30) in the video, which Puff Daddy later posted on his blog. “Your music moves people. You’re a trendsetter.”
Puff Daddy, whose hits include “Bad Boy for Life,” was acquitted of illegal handgun and bribery charges in 2001.
“But part of what we want to do is to make sure that we’re setting a trend in terms of political participation,” Obama added. “Music, fashion, all that’s important, but people have to also understand that when our young men and women go to war, somebody’s made that decision. And it’s typically going to be young people.”
“I just want to say how much I appreciate Puff Daddy,” Obama said (6:05, following a Puff Daddy expletive bleep.) “…There are a lot of brothers and sisters out there who are doing well, but aren’t thinking about the folks left behind.”