"Well you could say both are in favor of tax cuts, but there is a real difference in terms of how that plays out in the lives of ordinary American families," Obama continued. "I think the same is true in the international front."
Standing before a crowd of thousands at this year's Democratic convention and being watched by an audience of millions, Obama's wife, Michelle, touted her husband's values of unity and love during the convention's opening night.
She spoke of the night 10 years ago he drove her and their newborn daughter home from the hospital, how he watched the two of them in the rearview mirror "feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands."
In his interview with Koppel, Obama discussed concerns for the future he found among his constituents.
"Demographically," Obama said of his home state in 2004, "you look at its North-South, East-West, Urban-Rural, what you hear is a common refrain that 'I am working myself to the bone, my wife or husband is working, we are seeing out health-care bills go up, we're seeing college tuition go up, we have no idea how we are going to save for retirement, and we are worried that we may be passing off a world that is a little bit poorer and a little bit meaner to our kids than the ones we inherited.'"
In the last four years, the American people have faced more economic uncertainty as gas prices have skyrocketed and thousands have struggled under the weight of the burgeoning foreclosure crisis.
In 2004, Obama was already speaking of the importance of a united America.
"I would say that the most important issue of the people are feeling right now is the sense of an America that is separating. That you have more and more opportunity, greater and greater wealth for some, and you have a vast middle class that is shrinking and a working class that is having trouble getting into the middle class," Obama said in 2004. "That the opportunities that might have been available to a family of modest means 30 years ago may no longer be available 10 years from now."
Obama addressed that issue in his keynote speech, calling on Democrats to unite behind candidates John Kerry and John Edwards.
"I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us," he said.