Rolling Stone Interview Shows Obama In Campaign Mode
While the interview showed Obama in full campaign mode, the President avoided discussing his Republican rival Mitt Romney in detail, except to say that the former Massachusetts governor would not be able to abandon the conservative views he's espoused over the course of the primary campaign. Instead, Obama focused his criticisms on Republican politicians in Congress.
This being Rolling Stone, the interview begins with governmental issues, but later veers into questions about his media diet. (He thinks Jon Stewart is "brilliant" and likes the program "Homeland.") It also references Obama's recent renditions of Al Green songs and "Sweet Home Chicago."
Here are some highlights from the more substantive portion.
On Congressional Republicans: "[...] I think it's important to distinguish between Republican politicians and people around the country who consider themselves Republicans. I don't think there's been a huge change in the country. If you talk to a lot of Republicans, they'd like to see us balance the budget, but in a balanced way."
On Gay rights: "Ending 'don't ask, don't tell' has been the dog that didn't bark. You haven't read a single story about problems in our military as a consequence of the ending of the policy."
On the Keystone pipeline: "The reason that Keystone got so much attention is not because that particular pipeline is a make-or-break issue for climate change, but because those who have looked at the science of climate change are scared and concerned about a general lack of sufficient movement to deal with the problem. Frankly, I'm deeply concerned that internationally, we have not made as much progress as we need to make."
On financial regulation: "What is very relevant, I think, is that you have a Republican Congress, and Republican candidates for president, who have actively stated that they want to roll back the financial regulations that have been put in place.[...] The notion that we would roll back [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] whose sole purpose is to make sure that consumers of financial products aren't defrauded, aren't tricked, aren't duped, and that will somehow make our economy stronger – after everything we've been through, that makes absolutely no sense."