Barack Obama photo

Interview With Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America"

January 25, 2010

[Broadcast Date: January 26, 2010]

Diane Sawyer: Republicans are already out saying what you're talking about so far, for Wednesday night, is not going to create any new jobs.

The President: You know, I would suggest that they save the rebuttal for after the speech -- [laughs] -- since they haven't really -- they haven't really heard what we're proposing.

Diane Sawyer: But what is it going to be?

The President: We're going to talk about how we can, first of all, focus on job creation and growth. And I met with the Republicans, so I have their ideas. And some of the things we propose are things that actually should get some strong bipartisan support.

Diane Sawyer: But a year ago, you said the first item on the agenda a year ago --

The President: Right.

Diane Sawyer: -- jobs.

The President: Absolutely.

[Begin video clip.]

The President: Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.

[End video clip.]

Diane Sawyer: Painted a picture of jobs from coast to --

The President: Well, now, Diane, I think -- I think that's not fair. Here's what --

Diane Sawyer: A hope -- a hope for jobs, at least --

The President: Here's --

Diane Sawyer: -- in infrastructure --

The President: Here's what I said was that our number-one priority was stopping the economic contraction. Now, the economy is growing again. And we did create or save several million jobs. But we still lost 7 million jobs. And so, you know, I understand why the American people -- their attitude is how do we make sure that we keep on getting it better.

Diane Sawyer: There are reports now of other potential suicide bombers coming out of Yemen. Osama bin Laden, as we know, has issued a tape championing the Christmas Day attempted bomber.

Do you have any indication that they're already here?

The President: Since 9/11, we have put in a series of measures that make us much safer now than we were before 9/11. Al Qaeda itself is greatly weakened from where it was back in 2000.

Bin Laden sending out a tape trying to take credit for a Nigerian student who engaged in a failed bombing attempt is an indication of how weakened he is because this is not something necessarily directed by him.

Diane Sawyer: Ever in the middle of all this coming at you, do you think maybe one term is enough?

The President: [Laughs.] You know, I would say that when I -- the one thing I'm clear about is that I'd rather be a really good one-term president than an mediocre two-term president. And I -- and I believe that.

You know, there's a tendency in Washington to think that our job description of elected officials is to get reelected. That's not our job description. I will not slow down in terms of going after the big problems that this country faces. I am not backing off the need for us to tackle these big problems in a serious way.

Barack Obama, Interview With Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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