"What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated," Obama said. "And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world."
And on the same day that he was extolling the need to shake up the "status quo" in education, Obama also defended his opposition to school vouchers.
"We don't have enough slots for every child to go into a parochial school or a private school. And what you would see is a huge drain of resources out of the public schools," Obama said.
McCain advocates giving every parent a voucher to essentially choose which school they'd like to send their child. Obama, whose two daughters attend private school, said that idea would crush the public school system entirely.
"But what I don't want to do is to see a diminished commitment to the public schools to the point where all we have are the hardest-to-teach kids with the least involved parents with the most disabilities in the public schools," he said. "That's going to make things worse, and we're going to lose the commitment to public schools that I think have been so important to building this country."
Read the full interview transcript HERE. With contributions by ABC News' Bret Hovell and Jennifer Parker.