WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama admitted in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, screened on Friday night, that his worst character fault is "laziness" and he is really a big "softie" and not at all "Spock-like."
Asked by Walters to name "the trait you most deplore in yourself," the president -- who was interviewed alongside his wife Michelle -- responded, "laziness."
"You're lazy?" Walters asked.
"You know it's interesting, there is a deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me.
"It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach," Obama said with a smile.
Obama drew on the image of the highly logical, largely insensitive Mr. Spock character on the science fiction TV show "Star Trek" when asked what the biggest misconception about him was.
"Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical," said Obama. "People who know me know that I am a softie. I mean, stuff can choke me up very easily."
"The challenge for me is that in this job I think a lot of times the press or how you come off on TV people want you to be very demonstrative in your emotions," he added. "And if you're not sort of showing it in a very theatrical way, then somehow it doesn't translate over the screen."
Asked to name the trait he most dislikes in others, Obama said, "The thing actually that I most dislike is cruelty. I can't stand cruel people."
Michelle added that the thing that bothered her most was when "people aren't willing to compromise."
"I just think that particularly in a society with big views, big differences, that, you know, the truth is often somewhere right in the middle. And, a lot of times, we don't want to give up anything. And I don't like it when I see that in myself," the first lady added.
At another point in the interview, the first lady said that if she died, she would like to be reincarnated as Bo, her Portuguese water dog. "He's got a great life," she said. "He's got it good."
Quizzed on the occasions in which he might lie, Obama said, "Usually, the only time I lie is very personal interactions with family members, who you say, 'You look great,' and they don't. 'Wonderful dress...' Uh, not so much."
"Things where the truth would hurt other people," his wife added.
"Right, the things where truth would hurt other people," the president continued. "Not too many big things. I said during the campaign that I'll always tell you what I think, and I will, always tell you where I stand. I'm not perfect, but you'll know what I believe."
Describing his wife as "beautiful, smart and funny," Obama said he couldn't come up with a pet peeve about her, while Michelle said her peeve list about her husband was "too long."
Obama said his one regret in life was not having learned a musical instrument.
"And I regret not having focused more on Spanish when I was studying it in school. I would love to be able to speak Spanish fluently and play an instrument," he said.