Obama criticized Vice President Dick Cheney for his public defense of "extraordinary" interrogation methods.
"Vice President Cheney I think continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures when it comes to interrogations and from my view waterboarding is torture," Obama said. "I have said that under my administration we will not torture."
When asked if he plans to require that every government interrogation program be under the same standard and in accordance with the Army Field Manuel, Obama said, " My general view is that our United States military is under fire and has huge stakes in getting good intelligence. And if our top army commanders feel comfortable with interrogation techniques that are squarely within the boundaries of rule of law, our constitution and international standards, then those are things that we should be able to."
The incoming president admitted that fixing the economy over the long-term will involve sacrifice from every American and scaling back on some of his campaign promises. "Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game," Obama said.
George Stephanopoulos' interview with President-elect Barack Obama kicks off ABC News' week-long series on the economy, "America's Economy: What's the Fix?"
"These are going to be major challenges. And we're going to have to make some tough choices... So what our challenge is going to be is identifying what works and putting more money into that, eliminating things that don't work, and making things that we have more efficient. I'm not suggesting, George, I want to be realistic here, not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace that we had hoped."
When pressed by Stephanopoulos and asked if he was "Really talking about over the course of your presidency some kind of a grand bargain...where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good?" Obama simply said, "Yes."
On when such sacrifices would be expected, Obama said, "Right now I'm focused on a pretty heavy lift, which is making sure that we get that reinvestment and recovery package in place. But what you describe is exactly what we're going to have to do."
"What we have to do is to take a look at our structural deficit, how are we paying for government, what are we getting for it, how do we make the system more efficient?"
Viewer questions for Obama came in by the thousands prior to the interview, the overwhelming majority of which focused on the economy. When asked if he feels he will be able to repair the economy, Obama said, "I think we can fix this. But it's going to take some time. It's not going to happen overnight."
"It's going to take some time to fix it. But what we tried to do was put forward a plan that says 'let's act boldly, let's act swiftly.' Let's not only provide a jumpstart to the economy and immediately or save 3 million jobs, but let's also put a down payment on some of the structural problems that we have in our economy," he said.
Obama has received some pushback on the tax break portion of his economic stimulus package, particularly the effectiveness of business tax cuts in stimulating economic growth and job creation. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, expressed concerns that Obama's plan amounted to "trickle-down" economics.