(WASHINGTON) — Sometimes President Obama just wants to hang out.
Bemoaning the loss of his anonymity ahead of his trip to Israel next week, the president told Israeli Channel 2 that he often wishes he could just be a regular tourist.
“Sometimes I have this fantasy that I can put on a disguise, wear a fake mustache and I can wander through Tel Aviv and go to a bar and have a conversation,” he said in an interview taped at the White House this week.
Obama said he misses the “spontaneous interactions” he used to have when he traveled.
“I’d love to sit at a cafe and just hang out,” he said.
“The last time I was there as a senator, I still had the option of wandering through the Old City of Jerusalem. That option becomes much trickier once you’re actually president,” he said, noting the tight security around him when he travels.
“You can’t just slip out and interact with people without having a bunch of guys with machine guns with you,” he added.
Obama told the interviewer he plans to find as many opportunities as he can to interact directly with the Israeli people, but admitted, “You’ve tapped into something that chafes at me.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Dan Merica and Jeff Simon, CNN
Euan McKirdy and Susanna Capelouto, CNN