WASHINGTON – The controversy about President Obama’s appearance at the University of Notre Dame’s commencement Sunday “paled in comparison to what to do about the football team,” Obama joked later.
At a fund-raiser Sunday evening in Indianapolis for the Democratic Party and four Hoosier congressmen, Obama drew laughter with the double-pronged joke.
Critics of Obama’s position on abortion rights argued that a Catholic university should not award him an honorary degree, and some protesters interrupted the ceremony with shouting. The Fighting Irish’s dismal record for the past two seasons was uncharacteristic for the school that has been a football powerhouse.
“That’s an issue we may not resolve within my four years,” he said of the team’s playing.
But when someone in the audience yelled out “eight,” Obama concurred:
“All right, well, maybe in eight we might get it done,” according to a transcript released Monday by the White House.
Obama spoke to a small group of high-dollar donors before taking the stage at a downtown hotel where more than 600 donors paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party and Reps. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd; Baron Hill, D-9th; Brad Ellsworth, D-8th; and Andre Carson, D-7th.