In a one-on-one interview, President Barack Obama tells NBC's Brian Williams that he has no "real relationship" with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Williams asked Obama, "What is the dynamic like between you and Mitt Romney?"
"You know, I think when you're candidates, that you -- and you haven't really interacted before, you can't say that you have a real relationship there," Obama responded.
Williams then suggested that Obama does not like Romney very much--an apparent reference to reports saying that Obama "despises" Romney. "So the reports, especially just the observations, watching the two of you, you don't appear to like each other very much. You appear to tolerate each other because you have to," said the NBC anchor.
"You know, I don't think that any relationship between me and Mitt Romney is different from previous presidential campaigns," Obama explained, according to a rush transcript of the conversation. "I mean, John McCain, I knew because I had served with him in the Senate. But i think if you look at George Bush and John Kerry, or George Bush and Al Gore, first President Bush or Bill Clinton, i don't think that anybody would say that while you were in the middle of a campaign that you felt deep affection for the other guy, because you know, look, you're fighting for competing visions. But what I think the American people understand is that this is not about two individuals or even two political parties. This is about two different visions for the country and how we are going to make sure that every single person in America who is willing to work hard, is going to have a shot at a better life."