Obama Jokes About 'Screw-Up' of Not Giving Dolly Parton a Medal of Freedom: 'She Deserves One'
"I think I assumed that she had already got one and that was incorrect," the former president said
During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, the former president took some "questions we're pretty sure Barack Obama has never been asked before," which let him wryly reflect on the "mistake" of not awarding the country music legend a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Host Stephen Colbert asked him outright: "How does Dolly Parton not have a Presidential Medal of Freedom?"
"That's a mistake, I'm shocked," Obama, 59, replied.
"Looking back on your eight years, do you realize that was the mistake you made?" Colbert, 56, joked.
"Actually, that was a screw-up," Obama said. "I think I assumed that she had already got one and that was incorrect."
"I'm surprised — she deserves one," he added, saying, "I'll call [Joe] Biden."
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, is given "to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to the White House.
Parton, 74, would be in good company in having one.
Obama also gave the award to other notable figures, including Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, as well as Steven Spielberg, Ethel Kennedy and Bill Clinton — and, in an emotional moment, his own Vice President Biden.
RELATED VIDEO: Joe Biden Surprised with Presidential Medal of Freedom
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