Barack Obama in Fox News interviews

On Abortion: Ok for state to restrict late-term partial birth abortion

On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All Iíve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didnít have that.

Part of the reason they didnít have it was purposeful, because those who are opposed to abortion have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral. Oftentimes what they were trying to do was to polarize the debate and make it more difficult for people, so that they could try to bring an end to abortions overall.

As president, my goal is to bring people together, to listen to them, and I donít think thatís any Republican out there who Iíve worked with who would say that I donít listen to them, I donít respect their ideas, I donít understand their perspective. And my goal is to get us out of this polarizing debate where weíre always trying to score cheap political points and actually get things done.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

On Education: Merit pay ok if based on career instead of a single test

Q: As president, can you name a hot-button issue where you would be willing to buck the Democratic Party line & say, ďYou know what? Republicans have a better idea here?Ē

A: I think that on issues of education, Iíve been very clear about the fact--and sometimes Iíve gotten in trouble with the teachersí union on this--that we should be experimenting with charter schools. We should be experimenting with different ways of compensating teachers.

Q: You mean merit pay?

A: Well, merit pay, the way itís been designed, I think, is based on just a single standardized test--I think is a big mistake, because the way we measure performance may be skewed by whether or not the kids are coming into school already 3 years or 4 years behind. But I think that having assessment tools and then saying, ďYou know what? Teachers who are on career paths to become better teachers, developing themselves professionally--that we should pay excellence more.Ē I think thatís a good idea.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

On Energy & Oil: GOP right on cap-&-trade: guidelines instead of bureaucracy

Q: One of the central themes of your campaign is that you are a uniter who will reach across the aisle & create a new kind of politics. As president, can you name a hot-button issue where you would be willing to buck the Democratic Party line & say, ďYou know what? Republicans have a better idea here?Ē

A: On issues of regulation. I think that back in the Ď60s and Ď70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, weíre going to tell businesses exactly how to do things. I thin that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, ďYou know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businesses--let them figure out how theyíre going to, for example, reduce pollution,Ē and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

On Principles & Values: Rev. Wright and flag pins are distractions from real issues

Q: You say a lot of this stuff--Rev. Wright, flag pins--are distractions from the real issues. But for someone like you, whoís a newcomer to the national scene, donít voters have a legitimate interest in who you are and what your values are?

A: Absolutely. And so the question becomes, how do voters draw conclusions about my values? Do they look at the 20 years in which I have devoted my life to community service? Do they look at how Iíve raised my children? Thatís a reflection of my values. I donít think that the issue of Rev. Wright is illegitimate. I just think that the way it was reported was not a reflection of both that church that I attend and who I am. On flag pins, you know, Iíve worn flag pins in the past. I will wear flag pins in the future. The fact that I said that some politicians use flag pins and then arenít acting in a particularly patriotic way, for that to somehow be translated into me being antipatriotic or antiflag--I think that is a distraction

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

On Social Security: Raise cap on payroll tax for 3% of earners over $102,000

Q: The Republicans are keeping a running total of all your plans. They say itís $662 billion over four years.

A: Right.

Q: They say for all your promises not to raise taxes on the middle class, that, in fact, you want to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax, and you also want to increase capital gains.

A: In terms of raising the cap on the payroll tax, right now everybody whoís making $102,000 or less pays 100% of payroll tax on 100% of their income. There are about 3% to 4% of Americans who are above $102,000 in income every year. So if you want to talk about whoís middle class, me giving cuts to folks making $60,000 or $70,000, and potentially asking more from friends of mine like Warren Buffett. Thatís a debate Iím happy to have with John McCain, because itís the people making $75,000, $50,000, $60,000 who are hurting.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

On Tax Reform: Under Bill Clinton, rich people didnít feel oppressed

Q: Is McCain going to go after you as another classic liberal tax and spender?

A: Well, Iím going to go right back at McCain, because look at his tax proposals. He not only wants to continue some of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, he actually wants to extend them, and he hasnít told us really how heís going to pay for them. It is irresponsible. And the irony is he said it was irresponsible. When George Bush initiated these tax cuts in 2001, McCain said, ďThis is shameful.ď He said that it offended his conscience, he said, for us to give tax breaks to the wealthy, particularly at a time of war. If you look at my approach to taxation, what have I said? I said I would cut taxes for people making $75,000 a year or less. Iíd cut taxes for seniors who are making $50,000 a year or less. It is true that I would roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans back to the level they were under Bill Clinton, when I donít remember rich people feeling oppressed.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

On War & Peace: President sets Iraq mission; Generals then implement tactics

Q: Will you vote to confirm Gen. David Petraeus in his nomination to be the head of Central Command?

A: Yes. I think Petraeus has done a good tactical job in Iraq.

Q: If Gen Patraeus says your plan to get out of Iraq is a mistake, will you replace him?

A: I will listen to General Petraeus given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years. But it would be my job as commander in chief to set the mission, to make the strategic decisions in light of the problems that weíre having in Afghanistan & Pakistan.

Q: So would you replace him or would you just say, ďIím the commander in chief, follow my order?Ē

A: What I will do is say, ďWe have a new mission. It is my strategic assessment that we have to provide a time table to the Iraqi government. I want you to tell me how best to execute this new assignment, and I am happy to listen to the tactical considerations and any ideas you have, but what I will not do is to continue to let the Iraqi government off the hook.Ē

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: presidential series Apr 27, 2008

The above quotations are from
    Presidential candidate interview series, throughout 2008:
  • "Choosing the President", on Fox news Sunday, with Chris Wallace
  • "Your World", with Neil Cavuto
  • "Hannity & Colmes", with Sean Hannity
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Barack Obama on other issues:
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Foreign Policy
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Page last updated: Dec 01, 2018