(Reuters) - In his first sit-down interview since winning the November 4 presidential election, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama spoke about the economic crisis, national security concerns and more personal topics in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
“We have not focused on foreclosures and what’s happening to homeowners as much as I would like. We have the tools to do it. We’ve got to set up a negotiation between banks and borrowers, so that people can stay in their homes. That is going to have an impact on the economy as a whole.
“And, you know, one thing I’m determined is that if we don’t have a clear, focused program for homeowners by the time I take office, we will after I take office.”
“We need to provide assistance to the auto industry. But I think that it can’t be a blank check. So my hope is that, over the course of the next week, between the White House and Congress, the discussions are shaped around providing assistance, but making sure that that assistance is conditioned on labor, management, suppliers, lenders, all the stakeholders coming together with a plan — what does a sustainable U.S. auto industry look like? — so that we are creating a bridge loan to somewhere, as opposed to a bridge loan to nowhere.”
“We shouldn’t worry about the deficit next year, or even the year after that. Short term, the most important thing is that we avoid a deepening recession.”
“It’s a top priority. I think that we have to restore a sense of trust, transparency, openness in our financial system.”
“I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture.”
“As soon as I take office, I will call in the joint chiefs of staff, my national security apparatus, and we will start executing a plan that draws down our troops.”
Compiled by Andy Sullivan