Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama's Interview With Jim Lehrer Dec. 23

Full transcript.
An excerpt:

JIM LEHRER: Are you going to actually participate with -

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We are - we are - we hope to have a whole bunch of folks over here in the West Wing, and I'll be rolling up my sleeves and spending some time before the full Congress even gets into session, because the American people need it now. I mean, something that's gotten lost, Jim, during the course of this debate - because this is how Washington works - it ends up being, well, did the president win on that one or did he lose on that one? What's Joe Lieberman doing today, and what's Mitch McConnell doing tomorrow?

Right now there are families who don't have health insurance and, as a consequence of somebody getting sick in their family, have been bankrupt. Right now there are small businesses who've been doing the right thing by their employees and just got a notice from their insurance companies that their premiums went up 25, 30, 40 percent; and that business owner's having to make a decision, do I start dropping coverage for my employees or do I have to lay off one employee to keep coverage for everybody else?

Those kinds of decisions are happening right now. And so, you know, I intend to work as hard as I have to work, especially after coming this far over the course of the year, to make sure that we finally close the deal.