With Europe in Crisis, Obama Jokes at Game: 'Nothing Is More Stressful Than Throwing Out a First Pitch'

By Susan Jones | March 23, 2016 | 7:24am EDT
President Barack Obama, along with Cuban President Raul Castro, attends a baseball match between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national baseball team in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

(CNSNews.com) - Wearing shades, smiling -- even doing "the wave" at a baseball game with Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday -- President Obama found time to joke:

“We do a lot of tough stuff as president. And by definition you don’t end up as president if you don’t handle stress well. Nothing is more stressful than throwing out a first pitch,” he said in an interview with ESPN.

In fact, Obama did NOT throw out the first pitch on Tuesday. He said he never played baseball as a child, so he left the honors to the professionals.

The sports network asked Obama about his decision to attend the game on a day when more than 30 people were killed in two terror attacks in Brussels.

Obama said he'd spoken earlier with the the Belgian prime minister, and he promised to continue "pounding" ISIS/ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

“It’s always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24/7 news coverage. You want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation, but the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives,” Obama said.

"And one of my most powerful memories and one of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon (terror attack).

"And when (David) Ortiz went out and said -- probably the only time that America didn't have a problem with...a person on live TV -- was when  he talked about Boston, and how strong it was and how it was not going to be intimidated.

"And that is the kind of resiliance and the kind of strength that we have to show in the face of these terrorists. They cannot defeat America. They don't produce anything. They don't have a message that appeals to the vast majority of Muslims or the vast majority of people around the world.

"What they can do is scare and -- and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us. And as long as we don't allow that to happen, we're going to be ok."

The message delivered by David Ortiz in April 2013 that so inspired President Obama included language not normally heard on television:

"This jersey that we wear today, it doesn't say 'Red Sox.' It says 'Boston,' " Ortiz said. After thanking city leaders and police officers for the great job they did during and after the marathon bombing, Ortiz told a cheering crowd, "This is our f***ing city. And nobody's going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong," he said.

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