Obama makes light of Notre Dame woes

Updated: May 19, 2009, 1:44 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Having put up with hecklers at Notre Dame, President Barack Obama got in a shot of his own at the school whose renowned football team has gone its longest stretch without a national championship.

After giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame, Obama spoke at an Indianapolis fundraiser Sunday night for the Democratic National Committee. He began his remarks by joking that he told The Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, that the controversy surrounding his campus appearance "paled in comparison to what to do about the football team."

The Fighting Irish had records of 3-9 and 7-6 the past two seasons -- the most losses at the school in a two-year period -- and haven't won a national championship since 1988.

"That's an issue we may not resolve within my four years," Obama said.

"Eight," shouted someone from the audience.

"All right, well, maybe in eight we might get it done," Obama said.

Obama's appearance at Notre Dame capped weeks of protests by some Roman Catholics upset that he was invited to speak at commencement despite his support of abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research.

The remarks were first reported Tuesday by The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press