'One of the main incentives of running was continued Secret Service protection so we can have men with guns around at all times,' the father of two joked.
The President and First Lady delved into their personal lives - including how they keep 'the fire alive' in their marriage - during a chat with ABC's Barbara Walters, their first sit-down interview since the election.
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Candid: President and Mrs Obama spoke about their personal lives - including their oldest daughter's maturation into a young woman
Armed guard: Malia, 14, walks off Air Force One under the watchful eye of a Secret Service agent. The President said one of the perks of being president is having armed guards watch his teenage daughter
'You know, we've been married now 20 years and like every marriage you have your ups and you have your downs. But if you've worked through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens,' he said.
Michelle added: 'And there's a lot of laughter.'
The Obamas married in 1992 after they met at the Chicago law firm where they both worked.
The nation has watched Malia and Sasha, age 11, grow up in the White House - and watched Malia turn into a teenager.
Malia was recently given a cell phone and her mother says she has given the 14-year-old a 'long rope.'
Light-hearted: The interview with Walters focused on the Obamas' personal lives in the White House and less on political or policy issues
He lamented that cell phones mean boys no longer have to ring up the house phone and get past him or his wife before they can talk to Malia.
The Obamas said she had not started dating yet, but the President conceded that the day may soon come when some brave boy tries to take his daughter out.
'She’s a teenager, she’s going to start at some point being interested in dating boys,' he said.
The couple also addressed Michelle's political ambition - or lack thereof.
Mrs Obama said couldn't run for office because she doesn't have the patience required of a politician.
'And she has bigger difficulty biting her tongue,' Barack Obama added.
In a moment of defensiveness, Mrs Obama scoffed: 'I've done pretty well with that,' she said.
On tour: The First Lady showed Walters around the White House during Christmas. She said 90,000 guests will visit during the holidays
'Because I love my wife,' the President said.
Mrs Obama said got gushy when she explained that their embrace, captured during a campaign stop in Iowa, was real.
'I hadn't seen him in a while and when you're campaigning, it's two ships passing in the night,' she explained. 'The first time I saw him was when I walked on stage to greet him.
Love: Asked why he was hugging his wife so tight in this photograph, President Obama said, 'Because I love my wife'
The Obamas sat down with Walters on December 11 and the segment as slated to air on December 14.
However, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut led ABC to postpone the segment.
This is Walters' fourth interview with the president.
Her meeting at the White House included a tour of the holiday decorations led by the First Lady and 'first dog' Bo.