Transcript: Barbara Walters Interviews the Obamas

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BARBARA WALTERS: Really?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "You know, how did that start?," or...

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Mm hmm.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: ...they'll say, "You know, uh, you know, people talk about a recession. What's a recession?"

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So they're curious but if they have got an option of watching the news or watching SpongeBob. I think it's pretty clear the choice that they are gonna make.

BARBARA WALTERS: Are the girls still writing to Santa?

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Hmmm. Well, one is.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Don't divulge anything for any families who are watching. Santa…

BARBARA WALTERS: Not a word. We all write to Santa.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: We're going to see where the letters go this year

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: …I will say when, when it comes to the Tooth Fairy, you know, there was a, a little dialogue that we had with, with Malia. Well, when Michelle forgot to…

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Hmmm, I don't remember that.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: ...to signal the Tooth Fairy to come in...

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Yeah, I know…

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: ...failed to come in. And we came in and it was missing. And then we put the money in later.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Because we, we hadn't called the Tooth Fairy.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And here is, and here is what Malia said. She said, "You know, whether I believe in it or not, I sure like getting the money."

BARBARA WALTERS: Oh, OK. She knows. She knows. After your husband lost the Democratic Primary, um, candidate for Congress in the year 2000, you wanted him to give up politics.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Ah, yes.

BARBARA WALTERS: Yeah. And you talked about it openly.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Mm-hmm.

BARBARA WALTERS : It affected your marriage...

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Mm-hmm.

BARBARA WALTERS: ...You wanted him to get out. Is there ever a moment when you say to yourself, one term is enough?

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, I think that it's important for him to finish what he started. I mean, the thing that doesn't get talked about in that is that, any ambivalence that I felt was all personal. It was all the sacrifice that this life requires of one's family. But, if I had to pick the man I'd want to be in politics, the kind of person that we seek out in this country, somebody who's honest and sincere, and smart as a whip, he would be the person that I would pick and that's always been why I followed him into these escapades is because I would feel guilty to think that because of me that somebody like him didn't do what this country needed. And I still feel that way. And I'll feel that way until the job is done. But that's up to the American people.

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President Obama on Policy

BARBARA WALTERS: Mr. President, your supporters say that you saved the banking industry from collapse. And you saved the automobile industry. You have cut taxes for the middle class. If you did all of these things, why are you so unpopular?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well…Well, first of all, Barbara, I am… I am not so unpopular…

BARBARA WALTERS: First I gave you the compliment…

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