Obama, Cameron talk March Madness at opening game in Ohio

ADVERTISEMENT
The interview aired on truTV. The president said he was disappointed with the play at halftime, where Mississippi Valley led 23-19. 

"Both teams are shooting terribly," the president said.

Obama went on to say that he thought it was important to bring foreign dignitaries to the Midwest, and said he and Cameron enjoyed meeting University of Dayton students seated in their section at the game.

"Sometimes when we have foreign visitors they are only visiting the coasts," Obama said.

Obama was effusive in praising the NCAA tournament, saying that the element of surprise cultivated excitement.

"Everybody, including these two teams, are thinking maybe we'll be the Cinderella ... that's what makes it such a great tournament," he said.

Obama also joked that he hoped Cameron would teach him about cricket.

The prime minister, for his part, encouraged sports fans to consider visiting the United Kingdom for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"Our message to people is to come and visit," Cameron said, pledging to "roll out the red carpet."

The leaders, who ‪through the entire game and saw Western Kentucky win 59-58 in the final seconds, despite trailing ‬by‪ double digits at points in the second half‬, were joined during the first half by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said he lobbied Obama to reduce regulations on shale development in the state.

"I was telling him about what we're doing on shale. He's concerned about the environment. We can do it where it's environmentally sound, and we can get the jobs," Kasich said. We announced a half a billion-dollar investment [in shale gas development] today. I wanted to compliment him on the fact that he would like us to be able to get this done without a lot of federal interference if we can get it done right."

The Republican governor went on to say that shale gas "can really help us to become more energy independent. And we don't have to sacrifice the environment to get the jobs. We can do both. I wanted to let him know. You want to let him know what's going on on the ground. He was pleased to hear what we're doing. I just told him that we're moving in the right direction."

But Kasich deferred when asked about the president's odds to carry Ohio in November's general election.

"Oh, it's not a night to talk about all the election stuff. It's a time to have some comfortable time together. It's nice to be here, it's nice to be included," Kasich said. "Every time I do sporting events, it seems I'm with the president. One minute we're playing golf, the next minute we're at a basketball game."

The governor notably participated in a golf match with Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last year.

alt