Now, I want, actually, the government to get out of the banking business as quickly as possible. And I think that it's important for banks to continue to make good decisions, sound decisions about who they're lending to. On the other hand, there are an awful lot of terrific companies out there that are having trouble getting credit, and part of the rationale behind us shoring up their balance sheets is to make sure that they're getting some of that money out the door.
GIBSON: The second $350 billion was held back. Congress will have to approve it. If more lending doesn't get into the revenue stream, would you suggest holding that back?
OBAMA: Well, I'm going evaluate what they're doing carefully to make sure a couple of things are happening. Number one, that money is getting out. And if there isn't, then I'm going want to sit down with the banks involved and find out why not.
Number two, it is absolutely critical that we have a strong program to stop foreclosures or at least slow down the rate of foreclosures. And we have haven't -- the Treasury has not moved as quickly as I would like to have seen to stop foreclosures and help people stay in their homes and renegotiate mortgages between bankers and borrowers.
And I think that number three, we've got to make sure the taxpayers are protected, that the limits on executive compensation that were put in place, that those are real and that, more importantly, taxpayers are treated like investors, the same way that people like Warren Buffett, when he puts money into Goldman-Sachs, he's getting a pretty good rate of return.
I want to make sure that we're getting a good rate of return as well.
GIBSON: Coming back to November 5th and what comes after. Do you have a spreadsheet of people that you would like to bring into government?
OBAMA: No. I've got some pretty good ideas about the senior cabinet of government officials that I think could perform very well for the country.
GIBSON: So you don't have to tell us, but do you know now who you'd want as Treasury Secretary, State, Defense?
OBAMA: I have a good idea of who the candidates would be.
GIBSON: Would it be a non -- or a bipartisan cabinet? Would you be...
GIBSON: Would you want Republicans in it?
GIBSON: Would you be receptive to Secretary Gates staying at Defense?
OBAMA: I'm not going to get into details, but I can guarantee you that it is important for us, particularly, when it comes to national security, to return to a tradition of nonpartisan national security. You know, we -- we have politicized our foreign policy in a way that I think has done us great damage, and I want to return to a tradition that says, you know, our differences end at the water's edge.
GIBSON: And given the present economic situation, is it necessary, in effect, to accelerate the transition? To make known those people early? So, particularly, at Treasury, they can begin to integrate into the system?