OBAMA: Why don't we just clear it up right now. I'll repeat again what I've said many times. This is a guy who engaged in some despicable acts 40 years ago when I was eight years old. By the time I met him, 10 or 15 years ago, he was a college professor of education at the University of Illinois. And we served on a school reform board together, by the way, that was funded by Walter Annenberg, who had been an ambassador and close friend of Ronald Reagan. And so I have talked to him about school reform issues.
And the notion that somehow he has been involved in my campaign, that he is an adviser of mine, that he -- I've palled around with a terrorist, all these statements are made simply to try to score cheap political points. And, you know, the idea that the McCain campaign would want to make this the centerpiece of the discussion in the closing weeks of a campaign where we are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and we're in the middle of two wars, I think makes very little sense not just to me but to the American people.
And if, you know, look, I can handle these attacks for the remaining four weeks, but it's certainly not serving our democracy right now. We need to be having a debate about how we're going to yank ourselves out of a very difficult situation. And that's what I'm going to spend my time talking about.
GIBSON: Senator, thanks.
OBAMA: Thank you, so much.
GIBSON: Appreciate talking to you.
OBAMA: Thank you.