Obama: My Cabinet Would Be Bipartisan

With Election Day less than a week away, presidential candidate Barack Obama said if elected he would choose a bipartisan Cabinet and criticized John McCain's campaign's recent attacks on his economic plan.

Obama told ABC News' Charlie Gibson that he didn't have a list of people he wanted to bring into the government but said "I've got some pretty good ideas about the senior Cabinet of government officials that I think could perform very well for the country. ... I have a good idea of who the candidates would be."

Obama said he would reach across the aisle on a range of issues, from energy independence to health care to education.

"On a whole host of these issues, I think we need Republicans, not just as show pieces," Obama told Gibson. "In some cases, Republicans have good ideas. And, you know, I've always been more than happy to steal good ideas from whatever the source."

Sen. Barack Obama


Obama told Gibson that his campaign was "not taking anything for granted" and that his "singular focus is winning this election," but also said that whoever wins needs to be prepared to "hit the ground running."

He said he would encourage Democrats to "draw the right lesson from any victory" and "come in with some modesty and humility" if they win.

In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has criticized Obama's tax plan as a socialist effort to redistribute wealth, but Obama told Gibson that his plan was "as American as apple pie."

"I want everybody to succeed," he said. "I want everybody to have the opportunity at grabbing the brass ring. And we need to grow our economy and expand the pie. So this notion that somehow I'm interested in punishing wealth or success is nonsense.

"There's no class warfare involved in that," Obama said. "That's just basic American common sense and fairness."

Obama on Bipartisanship, Bailout Plan

Obama offered support for a second stimulus package that would go beyond stabilizing the system to increasing lending to small businesses and cutting the rate of foreclosure.

"I think it is absolutely necessary for us to have a second stimulus package," Obama said. "I think that we've got to take a look at where the economy is going to be in a month. I think we've got to take a careful look at this budget. But I don't think that we should be focused on the deficit right now because if this economy continues to slide the way it is, then that, over the long term, will actually make our deficit worse."

Obama, who voted in favor of the $700 billion financial rescue plan, said a "strong signal" needs to be sent to the banks that have received the first installments of funds that while they must exert caution in terms of lending, they also need to "make sure they're getting some of that money out the door."

"What I would say is the taxpayers didn't put up $700 billion to stabilize the system just so you guys can sit on your hands and watch businesses collapse across the country," Obama said.

Obama told Gibson that he would "absolutely" want Republicans in his cabinet if he was elected, and stressed the importance of protecting national security interests would influence his choices.

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