Obama: 'I kind of wish I was called Sting'
© Getty Images

President Obama on Sunday welcomed the 2014 Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House, ahead of a gala performance.

ADVERTISEMENT

Obama told the crowd that he watched actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks’s classic “Big” on Saturday night.

“That's a great movie,” Obama said. “I got kind of choked up."

Singer Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenTrump says he won't watch Mueller testimony The Memo: Fears of violence grow amid Trump race storm History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week MORE, comedienne Lilly Tomlin, ballerina Patricia McBride and singer-songwriter Sting were also honored.

“POTUS is a pretty good nickname, but let’s face it, it’s not as cool as Sting," Obama said. “I kind of wish I was called Sting. But I’m stuck with POTUS.”

Sam Waterston, Stephen Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Colbert, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusFederal investigators concluded Ryan Zinke's MAGA socks violated Hatch Act Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? MORE, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryJohn Kerry: Pressley's story 'more American than any mantle this president could ever claim' Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence Trump threatens Iran with increased sanctions after country exceeds uranium enrichment cap MORE were among those in the crowd in the East Room, according to a pool report.

“Songs and dance and film express our triumphs and our faults, our strengths, our tenderness in ways that sometimes words simply cannot do,” Obama said. “And so we honor those who have dedicated their lives to this endeavor. Those who have tapped into something previously unspoken, or unsung, or unexpressed. Those who have shown us not simply who they are, but who we all are. Those who are able to tap into those things we have in common, and not just those things that push us apart.”

Obama said the Kennedy Center Honorees “helped us better understand ourselves and each other.”

“And, as President Kennedy expressed, they’ve helped us center our purpose as a nation, and together reflect the quality of our society. For that, we cannot thank them enough,” he added.