Barack Obama, 57, shared a funny story about his past with the nearby Disneyland during his campaign in Anaheim, California, for seven Democratic congressional candidates.
The then future commander in chief was kicked out of Disneyland for smoking on a ride in college.
“I went to Disneyland twice when I was younger. The first time was when I was 11 years old. Now there is no better time to go to Disneyland than when you’re 11 years old. I lived in Hawaii, so this was my first big trip to the mainland,” Obama said.
Noting that he traveled with his grandmother, mother and sister, Obama said, “It was an amazing trip … but Disneyland was the highlight. I went and did all the Bare Necessity thing and the Small World, the Matterhorn. It was the bomb.”
Obama was a student at Occidental College when he returned to the area to attend a Kool & the Gang concert. “After the concert … you could still hang out in the park, so we went into the gondolas. I’m ashamed to say this, so close your ears, young people. But a few of us were smoking on the gondolas.”
As the crowd started to cheer, Obama added playfully, “These were cigarettes, people. Terrible thing. They do. They kill you. I stopped.”
Two Disneyland police officers approached Obama and his pals and escorted them out of Disneyland. “I was booted from the Magic Kingdom,” Obama quipped. “At the end, they said, ‘You’re going to have to leave, sir, for breaking the rules of the Magic Kingdom, but you are welcome to come back any time.’”
Obama’s smoking days are behind him — all thanks to his wife Michelle Obama.
In 2017, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he had never seen Obama smoke during his White House years. He told Politico Magazine, “Oh no. No no no. He’s scared to death of his wife. Scared. To. Death.”
In 2013, a CNN microphone caught Obama telling a United Nations official that he had not smoked a cigarette in about six years. “That’s because I’m scared of my wife,” he said.
Obama is back on the campaign trail before the midterm elections. On Friday, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Obama called President Donald Trump “a symptom, not the cause” of the current political climate.
“He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have fanning for years,” Obama said. A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.”
He took another dig at the current administration, saying, “How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?”
“It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t target groups of people because of what they look like or how they pray,” Obama continued. “We are supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers.”