TAPPER: You and Senator John McCain are both talking about the need to reach across the partisan divide.
TAPPER: It's not difficult to look at Senator McCain's record and see examples of times when he reached across the partisan divide at great political risk to himself: immigration reform, Gang of 14, campaign finance reform.
I know that you have worked across the aisle.
TAPPER: But have you ever worked across the aisle in such a way that entailed a political risk for yourself?
OBAMA: Well, look, when I was doing ethics reform legislation, for example, that wasn't popular with Democrats or Republicans. So any time that you actually try to get something done in Washington, it entails some political risks.
But I think the basic principle which you pointed out is that I have consistently said, when it comes to solving problems, like nuclear proliferation or reducing the influence of lobbyists in Washington, that I don't approach this from a partisan or ideological perspective.
And the same is true when it comes to the economy. The same is true when it comes to national security. You know, this administration, the Bush administration, has made, for example, the war on terror into a sharply partisan issue.
But the truth is, is that I admire some of the foreign policy of George Bush's father. And I've said so before. I think that there's a tradition of us working together to make sure that we are dealing with the threats that are out there and that we are building a consensus here in the United States. That's the kind of approach I intend to take when I'm president of the United States.
TAPPER: OK, last one, and that is same-sex marriage is now going on in California.
TAPPER: You oppose same-sex marriage.
TAPPER: Do you think that the fact that this is now going on in California, does that cause you to re-think your pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act?
OBAMA: No. I still think that these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I'm a strong supporter of civil unions. And I think that, you know, we're involved in a national conversation about this issue.
You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should be able to visit each other in hospitals, they should be able to transfer property, they should be able to get the same federal rights and benefits that are conferred onto married couples.
And so, you know, as president, my job is to make sure that the federal government is not discriminating and that we maintain the federal government's historic role in not meddling with what states are doing when it comes to marriage law. That's what I'll do as president.
TAPPER: Does it bother you, what California's doing?
TAPPER: OK. Thank you, Senator. We really appreciate your time.
OBAMA: Appreciate your questions.
TAPPER: Good luck. Good luck on the campaign trail.
OBAMA: Thank you very much, Jake.