Obama Interview Looks Forward to Election Issues

President discusses the economy, jobs and political opponents.
8:25 | 01/26/12

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Transcript for Obama Interview Looks Forward to Election Issues
We sat down with the president -- he made it clear that race by the presidency 2012 is under way. Officially came here to promote clean energy but we'll get right to -- you couldn't see how the president took on his Republican rivals. Signaling after all these months it is Jamont. Beginning of the obvious nine months eleven days until Election Day you're gonna win yes how much do you want. Badly because I -- the country needs. You know we. Started this journey in 2008. Understanding that. For a decade or more middle class families in this country have been struggle we're now at a position where we're starting to come back. We created three million jobs over the last 42 months but. That work remains. Making sure that the economy is working for everybody and you know there's going to be a fundamental contrast between my vision of how we do that -- American manufacturing and American energy. And skills for American workers and a vision. On the other side that basically says your on your own. And that America succeeds. When the most powerful can play by their -- set rules watching the debate it I don't watch the debates -- get a certain neither I read the reports. And what I get a sense of is that. You know whoever wins the Republican -- Is going to be a standard -- for a vision the country. That I don't think. Reflects who we are the proposal you're rehearsing for the Republicans -- they would actually. Cut taxes for those of the very top even further but. If we are not raising any additional revenue. Then we start coming into the -- of things like basic research or education. Or caring for our veterans that are critical to who we are. But at the end of the day governor Romney says this is class warfare and it is social. Engineer -- well you know I think whether it's Romney or Gingrich or Santorum. For any of these folks. That the question asked of them is we now have the lowest tax rates. In fifty years. And if in fact we're gonna reduce our deficit while still investing in those things that we know make America -- Somebody's got to pick for we we had a an economy that was built on debt and flimsy financing deals. And it resulted in a huge crash that lost us the most jobs since the 1930s. And why we would want to adopt something that we just tried and did not work doesn't makes it. -- the fact is Barack Obama is the most effective food stamp president in American history -- detect -- speaker Gingrich he has said you're the food stamp program. And that more people have now been put on food stamps value than any president in history. Well -- first of all I don't put people -- -- says people become eligible for food stamps. Second of all the initial expansion of food stamp eligibility happened undermine Republican predecessor -- me. In South Carolina. Some people were arguing -- you know this have been a debate about there where that there isn't an undercurrent of race. In the food stamp president accusation that was levied by speaker Gingrich and he took. Profound objection to that and said absolutely not what's your view. It -- as I said -- I didn't watch the debate you know I think that. What the American people are going to be interest of this is not these kinds of rhetorical flourishes. Weathered every interest -- -- Who actually has a plan that makes my life back. And not to go there and on this issue you know I I think the American people are gonna make a judgment about. You know who's trying to bring the country together and -- dividing. Who. Reflects sort of the core values that helped create this country. Values of hard work and responsibility but also looking out for one another and who. Is. You know tapping into. -- -- worst instincts and you know that's ultimately going to be a judgment for the American people. Is that what he -- it dawned on -- saying they're going to be making these decisions. We got a lot of questions of -- state of the union from our partners that Yahoo! would have to people suffering homeowners suffering people. Hoping for jobs to come back this country in this at the same -- why is he talking about this now. In this happen in the first three years. Well first of all in the first three years we did a whole lot which is why we're in a position now to continue the growth look at the auto industry. Which has now created -- 160000. Jobs and -- GM as the number one auto maker in the world again that -- just happened by accident. If we had a little something to do with it. When that the body politics goes through. Me trauma as great as the one that we went through 20082000. Then. Everybody I think is going to be frustrated that we don't recover as quickly as we you don't second guess yourself all -- second guess myself constantly. About -- look -- make a mistake. Every hour every day after you know they're always things -- wording in the job and I've no doubt that -- a better. President now than the day I took office just because you get more experienced. He personally ordered that daring seal team six mission to rescue American Jessica Buchanan who was kidnapped in Somalia three months ago. I cannot imagine. What he went through and given -- Malia and Sasha. And for. Him to be able to stay strong and then for aren't credible man -- woman in uniform to do what they do. Makes you proud that this country have you spoken to her yet I haven't spoken -- -- -- that she still had some. Some illnesses I think she'll be fine but it's. The main thing I want to do was make sure the -- -- -- just -- were. And we'll also ask about that other headline in the last 24 hours. With Arizona governor Jan Brewer who surprised everyone flashing a letter asking him to a -- After she'd book describing a previous meeting saying the president was patronizing to her. This picture up. There have you with governor Jan -- Just going on there she -- you were tens thin skin. She's all over the Airways. Well you know what -- discovered is that. I think it's always good publicity for a Republican if -- -- -- in. In an argument with me but this was really not a big -- the attempts. You know and I'm usually accused of not being -- -- -- -- to relax. So you weren't. A quick question about the -- He told us before the first campaign Natasha -- -- -- you can be sad to lose. What does mrs. Obama saying to you about this you know Michelle is very. Enthusiastic about campaigning for the next nine months and that hasn't always been the case -- -- this puts a strain on families. But. I think she feels very strongly that will move in the country in the right direction what she's told me -- We we should finish the job. And we've got more work to do and -- you know the girls. Fortunately they don't spend too much I'm worried about. Their daddy's job. And -- they have you on their ring tone now singing. -- I don't think they are embarrassed. I have I'm sure done more impaired various entries for the -- them. And that's in little Albert. They'll be a lot more of the president's interview tonight on Nightline.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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