President pardons local turkeys

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from right, and Malia, right, reaches out to touch "Cheese" after pardoning the turkey as part of the annual Thanksgiving tradition, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, at the White House in Washington. With "Cheese" are Cole Cooper, left, and his father Gary Cooper, chairman of the National Turkey Federation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from right, and Malia, right, reaches out to touch "Cheese" after pardoning the turkey as part of the annual Thanksgiving tradition, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, at the White House in Washington. With "Cheese" are Cole Cooper, left, and his father Gary Cooper, chairman of the National Turkey Federation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is defending his legal authority to take executive actions to spare a pair of Thanksgiving turkeys.

Obama joked that his annual turkey pardon will be his “most talked about executive action this month.” Last week, the president issued a series of highly anticipated executive actions on immigration that are opposed by Republicans.

The two turkeys who were granted this year’s presidential pardons are Mac and Cheese. Obama says that around Thanksgiving, turkeys named after side dishes would normally have a “pretty low” chance of escaping the dinner table.

Flock of presidential turkeys in Fort Recovery. (Photo/Cooper Farms)
Flock of presidential turkeys in Fort Recovery. (Photo/Cooper Farms)

As he sent Mac and Cheese on their way, he said “It is a little puzzling that I do this every year.”

The turkeys were raised on a farm in Fort Recovery.  National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper, his wife Cheryl, and seven members of the Cooper family were in attendance.

Cooper’s son, Cole, raised and selected the turkeys that were presented to President Obama. Both of the birds were raised antibiotic-free.

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