Barbara Walters: This is a very close race still. What would be so terrible if Mitt Romney were elected? He was Governor, he will probably be a little more moderate, he wants…he says… I’m being Elisabeth, okay? [audience laughs]
President Obama: Elisabeth’s very good at being Elisabeth [audience laughs]
BW: OK, then I’ll be Barbara, alright. Okay.
Joy Behar: Let Barbara be Barbara.
BW: Let Barbara be Barbara. My point is, would it be disastrous for the country if Mitt Romney were elected?
President Obama: Well, you know I think America is so strong, and we’ve got so much going for us that we can survive a lot. But the American people don’t want to just survive, we want everyone to thrive, we want folks to have a shot at success, and so the question then just becomes, whose policies are more likely to lead us to where we want to go?
President Obama: I’ll give you a very clear example. Yesterday Governor Romney on “60 Minutes” was asked, does he think it’s fair that he pays a lower tax rate than somebody who’s making fifty thousand dollars a year, and he said yes, I think it’s fair and I also think that’s the way you get economic growth, the notion being that if people at the top have more income, they’ll invest and they’ll create jobs. I’ve just got a different vision about how we grow an economy. I think, Barbara, that you grow an economy from the middle out, not from the top down, and that when the teacher and the bus driver and the receptionist and the office manager — when they’ve got a little money in their pockets, when they’re doing well, then that means business has more customers, that business makes more profits, they hire more workers, and that’s been the history of our country, we grow fastest when the middle class is doing well and when folks who are trying to get into the middle class have ladders of opportunity. So that’s a different vision about how we move the country forward, and ultimately it’s going to be up to the American people to make the decision about who’s got the better plan.
First Lady Michelle Obama: I’m voting for him.
BW: [addressing the POTUS but pointing at FLOTUS] Someday she should run for office, but she said she doesn’t want to.
President Obama: Look, I mean Michelle would be terrific, but temperamentally I just don’t think that’s something she…. [audience laughs]
Michelle Obama: No, it’s absolutely true.
Michelle Obama: It takes a lot of patience to be the President of the United States and I’m not that patient. You know, I am not.
BW: What are you going to do with the rest of your life?
President Obama: Well, first things first here — we do have an election ahead and there are all kinds of things I want to do in a second term… Putting folks back to work and making sure our schools are up to snuff.
BW: And then?
President Obama: And we’ve got another war to wrap up. In a post-presidency, the thing that I think I would enjoy most is spending time working with kids. I love teaching. I miss teaching and I’m not sure necessarily it will be in a classroom, but the idea to be able to go around to various cities and helping to create mentorships and apprenticeships and just giving young people the sense of possibility.