Douglas Brinkley, who wrote the Rolling Stone article, recalled an exchange with Obama and Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates, who said that his daughter told him to tell the president, "You can do it."
Obama reportedly grinned. "You know, kids have good instincts," he said. "They look at the other guy and say, 'Well, that's a bulls****er, I can tell.'"
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer was asked about the comment Thursday in Richmond, Va., and said the issue was about Romney's "trust." He said people should "not be distracted by the word" but to "focus on the issue."
Following Mitt Romney's moderate shift in the first presidential debate in Denver, Obama and his allies have suggested that the former Massachusetts governor can't be trusted. "So we know Governor Romney's jobs plan doesn't create jobs. His deficit plan doesn't reduce the deficit. And we joke about 'Romnesia,' but all of this speaks to something that's really important, and that is the issue of trust. There's no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters," Obama said Wednesday in Davenport, Iowa.
It's not the first time that the president has used unvarnished language. He has called Kanye West a "jackass" but added the rapper is "talented." Neither is he the first candidate to curse: then-candidate George W. Bush called New York Times reporter Adam Clymer a "major league asshole" over a hot mic, to which vice-presidential nominee Dick Cheney agreed.
UPDATE: 4:21 p.m. -- The full interview with the president is now available at Rolling Stone.