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Obamas in Olympic hoops kissing controversy (video)

Published July 17, 2012 10:31 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • The White House insists that the missing kiss was no diss.

Sure, President Barack Obama planted one on first lady Michelle Obama during Monday night's exhibition game by the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team. But that was their second appearance on the Verizon Center "Kiss Cam."

The first time the Obamas' images flashed on the overhead scoreboard, Mrs. Obama was seen shaking her head "no."

However, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday this was not a marital brushoff. He said the couple didn't realize it was the Kiss Cam watching them; they only found this out after, during halftime, when their daughters asked why they had ducked the chance to smooch.

The president got his do-over later in the game when the Kiss Cam again swung his way. This time, he gave Mrs. Obama a big kiss on the lips, and added a peck on the forehead for good measure. The crowd roared.

"This incident was the subject of some high-level conversations on the helicopter en route to Andrews Air Force Base this morning," said Earnest, briefing reporters aboard Air Force One en route to a day of politicking in Texas.

"I can tell you based on a very good source that reports that the president was rebuffed are false," Earnest said.