President-elect Barack Obama asked Americans at his first news conference to end partisan bickering and "politics," but he used his forum to take a swipe at former First Lady Nancy Reagan.
The not-so-kind comment was made after Obama was asked how he was preparing for the job of president.
"Have you spoken to any living ex-presidents," one reporter asked. "I was wondering what books you might be reading, everyone wants to know what kind of dog are you going to buy for your girls, and have you decided on a private or public school for your daughters?”
Obama responded: “Hey, I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances . . . "
The remark garnered a laugh from the press, though the statement was not true.
In fact, it was First Lady Hillary Clinton who admitted to having at least one séance in the White House residence in which she and a small circle of friends summoned the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Nancy Reagan had consulted an astrologer during her White House years. Mrs. Reagan said she did so after her husband was shot almost fatally in 1981. She said she feared for his life and thought the astrological information might help protect him.
Mrs. Reagan has not responded to Obama's swipe. The former first lady was hospitalized last month after sustaining a fractured pelvis.
Late Friday, news reports indicated that Obama had called Mrs. Reagan to apologize for his remarks about her.
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