Transcript: On the Trail With Barack Obama

MORAN: Now, Hillary Clinton mocked your claim that your childhood experience would be relevant to foreign policy. She said she is a person that world leaders know, they look up to, and they're confident in, and she wouldn't need on-the-job training to be president. That's a pretty sharp jab.

OBAMA: You know, we must be doing pretty well in Iowa. She wasn't paying much attention to what I said before then.

MORAN: But she does -- her claim is that as somebody who was in the White House, lived in the White House for eight years, she's far more prepared to deal with world problems than you are.

OBAMA: Well, look, you know, if this a resume contest, then she certainly doesn't have the strongest resume of the people on the stage. I mean, I think that -- you know, if the question is longevity in Washington, then probably the top three candidates right now in the Democratic primary can't make that claim.

The question is, who's got the judgment and the vision to move the country forward? And I believe -- I wouldn't be running if I did not think that I've got the best judgment, in terms of what the country needs right now, both internationally and domestically, and if I did not believe that I can be the most effective agent for change, in terms of how we do business.

And so, you know, I've been in Washington long enough to know how it works. I've sat on Senate Foreign Relations Committees. I have traveled around the world in my capacity as a U.S. senator. I have confidence in my knowledge base to deal with the problems around the world. But what is most important, I think, is my capacity to prepare the damage that's been done around the world, and I think that I can present a new foreign policy and a new way of doing business that the world will respond to.

MORAN: I want to get to some specifics on that, but let me stick with this question of experience and the back-and-forth that you had with Senator Clinton on this. You got a little snarky there. You said, "Well, she wasn't treasury secretary."

OBAMA: Well, this is when, you know, she was making a claim about her vast economic experience, which is not evident just looking at her resume. I mean, I think the fact of the matter is that Senator Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it. So NAFTA, for example, which was probably as significant an economic policy as ever came out of the Clinton administration, in the last debate, she suggested was a mistake. So, look, I have no problem with her making claims on behalf of her work as first lady being relevant to the presidency. That's her prerogative.

What she can't be is selective, in terms of, you know, cherry-picking and making determinations that she's now suddenly the face of foreign policy, that she shaped economic policy, except the stuff that didn't work out, in which case that was somebody else's problem or somebody else's fault.

MORAN: So you think her being first lady isn't all that, isn't as much as she's claiming?

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...