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ABC "Good Morning America" Interview - Transcript


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ABC "Good Morning America" Interview

MS. SAWYER: Senator Obama, good morning to you on this big day.

SEN. OBAMA: Good morning, Diane.

MS. SAWYER: We have just shown our viewers what it has been in the last 24 hours crisscrossing the country for all of you, something never asked of you before. On a scale of one to 10, how exhausting has it been?

SEN. OBAMA: (Chuckles.) You know, it's actually been exhilarating, up until this morning, having to wake up and do the the morning shows. That's when it all hit me.

MS. SAWYER: (Laughs.)

SEN. OBAMA: But it's been a wonderful -- we've been traveling, you know, every place from Boise to Boston. And everywhere we go we've been seeing these enormous crowds and people really, you know, concerned about the state of the economy, what's happening in terms of home foreclosures, people concerned about their jobs, their pay, whether they can pay for college for their kids.

And you know, I think we're seeing that American people are understanding unless we change how things work in Washington, unless we reduce the power of special interests and get our economy back on track, that a lot of people are going to be hurting, and that's been one of the central themes of our campaign.

MS. SAWYER: As we know, the Clinton campaign has increasingly talking about you as a vice presidential candidate, their choice. In fact, let's listen to Terry McAuliffe, who's the campaign chairman, just yesterday. Here's what he said.

MR. : (From videotape.) So I might be a good idea to put in on the ticket?

TERRY MCAULIFFE (Clinton campaign chairman): (From videotape.) Sure it would be. Absolutely. How could you deny consideration of someone who's excited so many people?

MS. SAWYER: Do you think they're just giving you a compliment? Or do you approve of the suggestion that they can vote for her and get you, too?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, here would be my suggestion to Terry McAuliffe, and that would be, I'm running for president and I don't think that Senator Clinton would be willing to accept the vice presidency. I think that would be presumptuous for me.

Now, we're in a pretty fierce contest and, you know, I think we're getting way too far ahead of ourselves when we start talking about vice presidential candidacies. But I can tell you this, that's not something that I'm running for.

MS. SAWYER: Is it a confluence?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, my sense is -- let me put it this way, if I were 20 points down, then we probably wouldn't be hearing that. I think it's a sign that we're doing pretty well.

MS. SAWYER: Before we leave on this big day, Senator Obama, whatever happens, it is such a powerful statement that you and Senator Clinton are the front-runners for the Democratic nomination. And we have a picture of you as a kid out there. And I think all us wonder which of the grade-school kids sitting next to us will be the ones who grow up and make history. I just wonder, what's the main thing about this kid we're seeing? What did he have inside him that got him to this point?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, it was my mother, who had me when she was 18 years old. My father left when I was two. And she had to work, she had to go to school, raise me and my sister at the same time. She gave me a huge amount of love, she gave me a great education, and she gave me hope. She gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to do the right thing and have an impact in the world.

And so, yeah, she's passed away. She died of cancer when she was 53 years old, ovarian cancer that's often undiagnosed among a lot of women. But, yeah, if it hadn't been for her I would not be in he position that I am today, so I think about her a lot of days like this.

MS. SAWYER: Well, again, we really salute all of you out there today. And thank you again, Senator Obama, so much.

SEN. OBAMA: Thank you, Diane.

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