ABC has released the following excerpts from ‘The View”s exclusive interview with President Barack Obama, recorded today and airing tomorrow, May 15 on ABC at 11 am ET:
BARBARA WALTERS: Let’s move it along a little bit. You did make that historic decision to say that you’re in favor of gay marriage. There are 30 states which are not. But there are also federal laws that impinge on the rights of gays. They can’t file a joint income tax report; they don’t have social security that they can pass to each other. Will you now fight for a federal bill that gives the same rights to heterosexuals that the federal bill now does not give to gays?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, keep in mind that on issues like social security, for example, a lot of this has to do with what’s called the Defense of Marriage act, DOMA. It was passed originally when Hawaii started making noises about recognizing same sex marriage. The idea was we don’t want that drifting into the federal government, and this is part of the reason why my justice department has said to the courts, we don’t think the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional. This is something that historically had been determined at the state level, and part of my believing ultimately that civil unions weren’t sufficient and I’ve been a longtime supporter of civil unions for same sex couples was partly because of the issue of social security benefits or other laws, state taxes, things like that. You know part of it was also just knowing friends and family, people that I’d gotten to know who had these wonderful relationships, and they’d say to me, You know what? The words matter. So even though you’re a strong supporter of civil unions, somehow it still says we’re different, and that particular set of conversations that I had is ultimately what led me to this conclusion.
BARBARA WALTERS: Well you’ve talked about talking with your Attorney General. Will you personally fight to repeal that act?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, look, Congress is clearly on notice that I think it’s a bad idea.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Mr. President ,you took a lot of flak for passing the stimulus bill and helping out the banks, and then you took a lot of flack because people felt you didn’t do enough with the folks who were responsible. They didn’t go to jail, nobody got into trouble. So now I’m wondering, because I watched this JP Morgan Chase thing just go down, I’m wondering (A), what do you think happened, and (B), sir, what are you going to do about it, because this has to be the last straw.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well look, first of all, JP Morgan is one of the best managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion and counting precisely because they were making bets in these derivative markets. We don’t know all the details yet. It’s going to be investigated, but this is why we passed Wall Street reform. The whole point was, even if you’re smart, you can make mistakes, and since these banks are insured, backed up by taxpayers, we don’t want you taking risks where eventually we might end up having to bail you out again, because we’ve done that, been there, didn’t like it. So this is why we raised capital requirements, so that when they do lose money, they’ve got enough money socked away so they can pay off those obligations. This is why we put in place something called the vocal rule that says, if you are a federally insured bank, you can’t make bets on your own trades with your own money that could end up resulting in 2 billion or 3 billion dollar losses. Think about it, this is the best or one of the best managed banks. You could have a bank that isn’t as strong, isn’t as profitable making those same bets and we might have had to step in and that’s exactly why Wall Street reform is so important.
BARBARA WALTERS: You’re very young. You’re what now, 50?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I’m 50, 51 this year.
BARBARA WALTERS: Okay so you will still be a very young man even if you run another four years. Can you look ahead and say, this is what I would like to do with my life?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No. I think at this point, what I want to spend the next 5 years doing is recreating that America where, if you work hard, you can make it, regardless of where you come from, what you look like (HUGE AUDIENCE APPLAUSE/CHEERING) and the one thing, if you don’t mind me taking just a little bit of time on this, you know sometimes you hear about America’s declining or we’re weaker or China’s on the rise or this, that or the other. Let me tell you, I travel all around the world and everywhere you go, if you ask people, where would you want to be, what country you admire, what cards would you like to have in your hand, it’s what we’ve got. We’ve still got the finest workers in the world, the best universities in the world, we’ve the best scientists, the best entrepreneurs, we’ve got the best market system in the world, so we’ve got all the ingredients for success for the next 100, next 200 years, but what’s happened is, is that our politics break down, we’ve become more obsessed with winning the election than setting things up for the next generation, and if we can break through that, I could not be more confident or more proud of the this country and the direction we’re headed. (AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
JOY BEHAR: Will it happen?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It will happen. I believe it. It always does. (AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
JOY BEHAR: And we’re back with President Barack Obama. Now we know that you know a lot about politics, you know about the law, but do you know about pop culture? That’s the question.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I don’t know, but we’re going to find out.
JOY BEHAR: I have some questions.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Fire away
JOY BEHAR: Let’s see what you’ve been reading.
JOY BEHAR: Number one: Which Karadashian was married for only 72 days? (LAUGHTER)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: That would be Kim. (APPLAUSE)
JOY BEHAR: Very good! (APPLAUSE) Okay
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Because he was a ball player. I know he was a ball player. That’s how I know from watching basketball.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: That’s why. Because I’m sure you don’t watch the show.
JOY BEHAR: Okay, this one you may not know, I’m hoping that you don’t as a matter of fact (laughter)
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Get ready
JOY BEHAR: What’s the controversial sex book that’s on millions of women’s bedside tables?
JOY BEHAR: He doesn’t know it. Good
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I don’t know that. (LAUGHTER/AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
JOY BEHAR: Okay, good. Next.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I’ll ask Michelle when I get home (LAUGHTER/AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
SHERRI SHEPHERD: That is the answer
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I’ll ask Michelle when I get home what’s going on (LAUGHTER/AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is the featured guest, TUESDAY, MAY 15 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET) on ABC’s “The View.” President Obama’s exclusive appearance is part of the show’s continuing “Red, White & View” campaign, which is committed to political guests and discussions. President Obama’s interview, taped Monday, May 14, touches on such topics as his administration’s accomplishments, jobs, the economy and family life inside the White House.
President Obama’s historic visit to “The View” on July 28, 2010 was broadcast on ABC on July 29 and marked the first time a sitting United States President had visited a daytime talk show. His appearance ranks as the show’s most-watched broadcast ever in Total Viewers (6.59 million). President Obama was also a featured guest on “The View” in March 2008 and November 2004.