(KANEOHE, Hawaii) — President Obama may have been able to laugh off the mouthful of fingers given to him by an 8-month-baby while visiting U.S. troops in Hawaii, but the baby’s parents could not.
“I was mortified. I was so embarrassed,” Meredith Wagner, mother of the five-fingered culprit, Cooper Wagner, said Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Wagner, 27, and her husband, Capt. Greg Wagner, 25, were smiling for the cameras with their son and President Obama on Christmas Day at the Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, which the president visited while vacationing on the island with his family.
As the three adults struck a pose, Cooper reached up and stuck his tiny fingers in the president’s mouth.
Meredith Wagner saw it all happen and reached up to pull Cooper’s hand away from the mouth of the leader of the free world, while her husband smiled straight ahead at the roomful of photographers, ensuring the moment would be captured in perpetuity.
Meredith Wagner can be seen looking a bit red and embarrassed in the moment, while an amused Obama, a father of two daughters himself, laughs it off.
“He kind of laughed and said that Cooper looked up and saw a big nose and just wanted to get a hold of it,” Capt. Wagner said of the president’s reaction. “He played it off really well and got a good chuckle.”
Also not concerned, said the Wagners, were the roomful of Secret Service agents guarding the president and first lady Michelle Obama.
“They didn’t say anything to us,” said Capt. Wagner. “It didn’t appear anyone made any movements towards us. They just played it off like the president did.”
Wagner has been in the Marines for eight years. This was the first Christmas the entire family had been able to spend together since Wagner has been deployed in Afghanistan.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal
Gregory Krieg, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN