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Emanuel dismisses Obama overexposure concerns

  • Story Highlights
  • Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says president using media to spread message
  • Emanuel says Obama wants to keep Americans aware of his economic plan
  • Some say president risks diluting his message by being visible so frequently
  • Emanuel: In troubled time, Americans "expect the president to talk to them"
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(CNN) -- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel dismissed questions about whether President Obama is being overexposed with his recent media blitz, saying Tuesday that the American people want to hear what Obama is doing about a struggling economy.

Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says President Barack Obama is using the media to keep citizens informed.

Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says President Barack Obama is using the media to keep citizens informed.

Speaking to CNN's Larry King moments after Obama finished a prime time news conference, Emanuel said people are talking about issues like jobs, education and health care, and want to know where their president stands.

"You can say maybe there's overexposure," Emanuel said. "I think if you watch and see, there have been greater audiences for the shows he has been on to answer these questions, because these are the questions the American people are asking around their kitchen tables."

In the past week, Obama has appeared on CBS' "60 Minutes" and NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," the first appearance by a sitting president on a late-night talk show. He fielded questions for an hour at Tuesday's news conference and also appeared last week on ESPN filling out his bracket for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Some analysts say the president risks diluting his message in the public's mind by being visible so frequently. Some Republicans and other critics have accused Obama of maintaining a campaign mentality when he needs to be governing.

But Emanuel said a public anxious about the economy has largely rejected those notions.

"I think in this troubled time ... the American people expect the president to talk to them, walk them through his thinking -- why he makes the decisions he makes, what are the tradeoffs to those decisions -- and carry them through this process," he said.

"I think they're very engaged in this conversation. If you look at the data, they are involved in this conversation and interested in this dialogue and appreciate an adult conversation with them about the changes they're making and the changes their government and their elected leaders are making on their behalf."

All About Barack ObamaRahm EmanuelNational Economy

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