Obama, Romney weigh in on NFL refs

An official signals a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders in Minneapolis Nov. 20, 2011. AP Photo

AP Photo
(CBS News) As the NFL and the NFL Referees Association work to finalize a deal to end a three-month lockout, both Mitt Romney and the White House responded to the issue Thursday - signaling the national prominence the issue has gained in the wake of a controversial call in a football game on Monday night.

In a statement to reporters on Air Force One, White House spokesperson Jay Carney on Thursday said President Obama was "very pleased" to hear "that the two sides have come together to resolve their differences and ensure that going forward, when we watch our favorite teams play in the NFL, we can focus on the players and the game rather than on the officiating."

"It's a great day for America," Carney added.

When reporters asked Romney Thursday his thoughts about the referees coming back, he said, "I sure hope they do."

The NFL reached an agreement with the referees late Wednesday night, effectively ending the lockout. The deal is not official, however, as the referees have not yet voted to ratify the contract, which they will do on Saturday. For now, the commissioner has temporarily lifted the lockout so the referees can officiate tonight's Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game.

Sarah Huisenga contributed to this report

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