Transcript: Gibson Interviews Barack Obama

The following is an excerpted transcript of ABC News' Charles Gibson's exclusive interview with Sen. Barack Obama, as he takes his closing argument to voters across the country, for "World News With Charles Gibson" in Raleigh, N.C., Oct. 29, 2008.

GIBSON: Senator, everybody's so focused on what's going to happen November 4th. I wonder how much thought and planning you've given to what starts on November 5th?

OBAMA: Well, my singular focus is winning this election. And so we're not taking anything for granted. I mean, this is going to be a tough race. The national polls, at this point, don't matter. What's happening on the ground here in North Carolina and in various battleground states, that's the key.

Gibson and Obama

But it would be irresponsible of me as somebody who could potentially be president, not to recognize that we're going to have huge challenges. We've got two wars. We've got the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And so there is a transition process that I'm not paying attention to on a day-to-day basis, but that has been set up. John McCain has the same thing. And whoever is elected is going to have to hit the ground running and make sure that they get a handle on the tough choices that are going to have to be made to get this country back on track.

GIBSON: So there's two scenarios. You can win. You can lose. So let's start with win. Let's talk about them, but let's start with win. From the beginning, you said you wanted new politics. You wanted to work with Republicans. An overwhelming likelihood is, if you win, you would have a very strong majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate. You've said you want to work with Republicans. Why would you need to?

OBAMA: Well, I think -- I think it's important that Democrats draw the right lesson from any victory. You know, it's easy to draw lessons from defeat because that's sobering. But in some ways, I think, in this election, it's going to be even more important for Democrats to come in with some modesty and humility if we win. And recognize that, first of all, a lot of the incoming Democrats come from swing districts and they have positioned themselves as centrists. But more importantly, when you look at issues like energy, that's a huge project creating a new energy economy.

And if we want to move forward in the kind of bold way that frees ourselves from dependence on foreign oil and prevents our economy from being hamstrung again by high gas prices and deals with global warming, we're going to have to everybody working together. The same is true on health care. The same is true on education. So on a whole host of these issues, I think we need Republicans, not just as show pieces. 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.

GIBSON: When you started this campaign back in Springfield, Illinois, 20 months ago, you talked about a new politics, a new attitude, focusing on what binds us not what separates us.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And yet in recent months, you have hammered at the wealthy and CEOs and Wall Street and greed. Talked about taxing the wealthy to benefit lower- and middle-income people. Isn't that a kind of classic old-time class warfare?

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