Transcript: On the Trail With Barack Obama

And given the track record of Iran helping terrorist organizations, like Hamas and Hezbollah, there's the possibility that a nuclear weapon fell into the hands of terrorists. So we cannot abide by them developing a nuclear weapon.

On the other hand, we recognize that they have interests, as well, that is important for them to be part of the World Trade Organization. It is in their long-term interests if they can normalize diplomatic relations with other countries, including the United States. They're under enormous economic pressure, and they do need energy, ironically, despite being an OPEC country, because of their lack of refinery capacity.

So are there ways for us to work through a situation where the Iranians are able to meet their energy needs, their sovereignty is respected, and their economy grows? And they are able to partner with the world community to benefit their people long term. If we can work out a deal, that's something that we should be open to.

MORAN: President Obama would do a deal with Iran.

OBAMA: I think what you want is carrots and sticks. The notion that this is controversial indicates the degree to which the Bush-Cheney administration have shifted the debate in such a profoundly damaging way. I mean, think about it. We negotiated with Stalin. We negotiated with Mao, people who we knew had slaughtered millions of their own people. I mean, the notion that this country that spends 1/100th of what we spend on military equipment every single year, that somehow we are treating, elevating them to this level that we can't even talk to them makes no sense.

And the irony is, is that, of the original axis of evil countries that the Bush administration identified, the one country that was probably the most dangerous and most volatile, North Korea, is the one that we've talked to and where we're seeing the most progress in getting them to stand down on nuclear weapons. So the notion that anything I said was controversial, given the track record of the alternatives, I think indicates the degree to which we have governed by fear when it comes to our foreign policy, as opposed to thinking in tough, strategic, smart ways, ways that have historically, by the way, been bipartisan. I mean, this is not something that is uniquely Democratic or left-wing. I mean, this is standard -- should be standard, realistic, tough, thoughtful, diplomatic strategy.

MORAN: So your cousin, Dick Cheney, has got it all wrong?

OBAMA: You know, he's definitely got this one wrong, yes, yes.

MORAN: Thanks.

OBAMA: Thank you.

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