Obama: I pray every night, read the Bible

Praying and reading the Bible are part of his everyday life, President Obama said in a wide-ranging interview broadcast Friday.

Speaking with Barbara Walters, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama also described how they involve their daughters in daily prayer.

"Michelle and I have not only benefited from our prayer life, but I think the girls have too," the president told Walters. "We say grace before we eat dinner every night. We take turns."

"[I]n the end, we always say we hope we live long and strong," the first lady said.


"Long and strong. And that we give back." 

Obama has been dogged by criticism about his faith since he took office. A poll released in late August showed that a growing number of Americans — one in five, up from one in ten in March — say he is a Muslim.

When asked if he prays himself, the president said: "I do. Every night."

He also says that he reads the Bible, and, asked to explain why so many Americans deny that he is a Christian, blamed the internet.

"Well, you know, the Internet has a powerful effect these days, and so, the way rumors can take on a life of their own ends up being very powerful," he said.