Transcript: George Stephanopoulos' ABC News / Yahoo! News Exclusive Interview With President Obama

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I think that we have done more in the last couple of years-- than any time in the last ten years-- to bring that about. Obviously, the most prominent-- case was-- us getting Bin Laden. But when you look at that entire leadership tier of Al Qaeda, they have been decimated. And-- they are-- rapidly approaching the point where they just cannot replace trained, skilled operatives--

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: --attack on our homeland?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well-- you know, I think that-- given the nature of our open society, we're always going to be vulnerable-- to the possible terrorist attack. But for them to be able to mount something that is a big project with a lot of financing, that is very difficult for them to do now. They're still dangerous. They're still our number one enemy. We've got to make sure that we-- don't let up. But I think that we are in a position where over the next couple of years, if we stay on it, that-- it's gonna be very difficult for them to mount the kinds of spectacular attacks-- that we saw on 9/11.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You gave a pretty passionate speech at the Human Rights Campaign fund Saturday night. And said that every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. Is that possible without legal gay marriage?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I-- you know, I think that it is certainly possible for us to make sure that-- not only can they serve in our military, but we fully support them. That-- hospital visitation is available-- to gay and lesbian partners. That they're not discriminated-- against on the job. Being gay or lesbian is not a fireable offense. That at minimum, that gays and lesbians have strong civil unions that provide the same kinds of protections.



GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you've said your position is evolving. You said you're struggling with it. What more do you need to know?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well-- you know-- I probably won't-- make news right now, George. But I-- I think that there's no doubt that-- as I see-- friends, families-- children of gay couples-- who are thriving-- you know, that-- that has an impact on how I think about these issues. It's also one of the reasons that I made the decision for us not to defend-- The Defense of Marriage Act, which-- I believe violated the Constitution. And, you know, is going to be-- decided in the courts probably-- in the next-- next few terms.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You think you'll change your mind before the election?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know-- I-- I'm-- I'm-- still working on it.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're not going to tell it's how long it's going to take? (LAUGH) Let me just finish up with a couple personal questions. We got a lot of those-- on Yahoo, as well. A lot of people want to know-- first of all, I should say happy anniversary.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much. 19 years.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: 19 years. And they want to know what is the best single piece of advice Michelle has given you?

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