By Ashley Killough, CNN
(CNN) — President Barack Obama took heat this week for calling his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, a “bullsh***ter” while speaking with a writer from Rolling Stone magazine, but the president on Friday said he didn’t use the comment until the interview had finished.
“You know, this was a conversation after an interview, a casual conversation with a reporter,” Obama told a reporter with KUSA, a local CNN affiliate based in Denver.
Douglas Brinkley, who penned the article, wrote that while he and the magazine’s executive editor, Eric Bates, were at the White House for the interview, Bates passed along a message from his six-year-old daughter who said to tell the president, “You can do it,” regarding his re-election.
Obama responded, “You know, kids have good instincts. They look at the other guy and say, ‘Well that’s a bulls***ter, I can tell.'”
When an advanced copy of the article was released on Thursday, the comment quickly made headlines and sparked an uproar among conservative commentators. Romney’s campaign also responded with a statement.
“President Obama is rattled and on the defensive,” said Romney campaign senior adviser Kevin Madden. “He’s running on empty and has nothing left but attacks and insults. It’s unfortunate he has to close the final days of the campaign this way.”
In the Denver interview on Friday, Obama was asked why he used the word and what he meant by its tone.
“The basic point that I’ve been talking about throughout this campaign, is people know what I mean and they know that I mean what I say and what I care about,” the president said. “A major issue in any election is can you count on the person you’re putting into the Oval Office fighting for you having a clear set of convictions that they believe.”
Brinkley said on CBS this week he interpreted the comment as a translation of what Obama has been saying on the campaign trail, most notably the term ‘Romnesia,’ a word the president and his campaign have been using to paint the former Massachusetts governor as a flip-flopper.
“It’s another part of Romnesia, I suppose,” Brinkley said. “The working man’s Romnesia is BS-er.”
CNN’s Allison Brennan contributed to this report.