TODAY | February 13, 2013
>>> back now at 8:44 and mover our exclusive interview with speaker john boehner . he can invite anyone he wants to, to watch the state of the union address . he reserves the seats for inner city students. fourth graders lacy joseph and zuri franklin from st. anthony's catholic school . i asked speaker boehner what he wanted those kids to take away from the experience.
>> i want them to believe that they can live the american dream and grow up and be anything they want to be. my involvement with these 800 kids at four little schools that i support is to try to expose them to the fact that they can grow up and be anything they want to be. matt, you and i, we both live the american dream . i'm here to make sure that dream is available for my kids and your kids.
>> they're your guests. could you blame them, though, if they're not a little mesmerized by barack obama tonight?
>> oh, i'm sure they will be.
>> the nation's first african- american president ?
>> i'm sure they will be.
>> is he, in your mind, the most inspirational african-american living right now?
>> i think so.
>> is that how you think these kids will feel when they watch?
>> i would think so.
>> while they'll see the nation's first african- american president , they may see a smaller number of faces of color than they might expect.h two in the senate, two in the house. one on the supreme court . if they were to turn to you and ask you, mr. speaker, why -- although they won't be sitting with you, but if they were to ask you, why so many white faces, why not more african-americans, how would you answer that question?
>> i would go back over the 22 years i've been here and guess the number of other faces in the congress has more than doubled. our society is making progress. our society will continue to make progress.
>> they're also going to sit in some moments tonight -- the president is going to say something, they're going to look down and half the room is going to clap and half the room is going to sit silent. and it might bring the question up, if they turn to you and say, mr. speaker, what is the difference between republicans and democrats? how would you answer that question?
>> my democrat colleagues, god bless them, have all this faith and confidence in government. i have more faith and confidence in people w, and want to do more to empower people to help themselves and be whatever they want to be.
>> do you think speaker boehner and the president are friends?
>> you do?
>> yes, but they have a difference because president barack obama is a democrat and speaker boehner is a republican.
>> so tonight you're going to be sitting there, the most important people in the country will be in that room. the president, members of congress, the house, the senate, the supreme court justices are all going to be there and so will be lacy and zuri. i'm looking at you smile. do you think that's something you'll end up telling your kids about?
>> probably because i've been hearing that children aren't allowed to go to the state of the union and i will -- i will tell my children because it's a special movement moment. i got invited by speaker boehner .
>> might this be that pivotal moment for these two students? i think back to that picture of a young bill clinton shaking the hand of john kennedy , and it changed his life.
>> could a moment like tonight or an hour like tonight change the lives of these young students?
>> you never know, but if you give them an opportunity, they might get a big idea . they might follow their dream.
>> speak er of the house, john boehner .