PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you can stop it because it-- if you-- if you say to the banks, "You don't have some inherent right just to-- you know, get a certain amount of profit. If your customers-- are being mistreated. That you have to treat them fairly and transparently." And-- and my hope is is that you're going to see a bunch of-- the banks, who say to themselves, "You know what? This is actually not good business practice." Banks can make money. They can succeed, the old-fashioned way, by earning it. By lending to small businesses. By lending to consumers. By making sure that-- you know, we are building the economy together. But-- you know, without the kinds of protections that we're starting to see the Republicans try to roll back-- we're going to continue to have these kinds of problems. And this is exactly-- the sort of stuff that folks are frustrated by. This, by the way, is an example of the-- the contrasting visions that we have. If-- if-- if-- the Republican Party believes that we should do nothing to curb abuses on Wall Street and roll back regulations put in place to prevent the next big financial crisis, well, I've got a big difference with them. And I think the American people are going to be on my side on that.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Your White House has faced a lot of questions on Solyndra, the-- solar panel company you paid a visit to back in 2010. You really held it up then as a model for jobs and clean energy. Do you regret that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, I don't, because if you look at the overall portfolio of loan guarantees that have been provided-- overall, it's doing well. And what we always understood was that not every single business is going to succeed in clean energy. But if we want to compete with China, which is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into this space. If we want to compete with other countries that are heavily subsidizing the industries of the future, we've got to make sure that our guys here in the United States of America at least have a shot. Now there are gonna be some failures, and Solyndra's an example.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: --getting warnings not to back that company up, not to visit.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well-- you know, it-- hindsight is always 20/20. It went through the regular review process. And people felt like this was a good bet. But the fact of the matter is-- is that if we don't get behind clean energy, if we don't get behind advanced battery manufacturing, if we're not the ones who are creating the cars of the future, then we're not going to be able to make stuff here in the United States of America. And one of the most important things that I want to do over the next several years is restore a sense that America can manufacture, but we don't just purchase stuff from someplace else, but we're also exporting to other countries.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you about Al Qaeda-- following the killing on Friday of Anwar Awlaki. Back in July-- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the strategic defeat of Al Qaeda is within reach. This as we approach the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. How close are we to that strategic defeat?