— President Obama explains why he was not rude at the debates.
— Obama says it will be a close election in every state; there are lawyers deployed in every state to guarantee absentee votes are counted properly.
— The president jokes: “Like I said after the first debate, didn’t I say it was going to be a seven-game series?”
President Barack Obama called the Tom Joyner Morning Show today to talk about the debates and why voting early is crucial to the election.
After a lackluster first debate, but better second and third debate performances, critics remained vigilant in opposing the president. Fox News, Obama's biggest critic, called the president rude. But Obama remains unfazed by the comments, choosing not to worry and press forward with his efforts to secure a second term.
"What we want to do is just make the American people clear he’s got this agenda for going back to the economic policies of George Bush and the foreign policies of Dick Cheney, a top/down economics that has not worked for America?" said President Obama. "We’re making real progress digging our way out of the mess that they left and I intend to continue to do that for the next four years."
And the Obama administration believes that one of the most important avenues to securing a second term is for folks to vote early.
"we’ve already banked over a million votes here in Ohio, in places like Iowa, and Colorado, and Nevada. Florida…So we are really pushing and encouraging people to vote early. And if you need any information about voting early then you can go to barakobama.com or gottavote.com," said Obama. "We have to pump up the vote."
For assistance voting or to get help if you face any form of voter suppression, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or go to www.866OURVOTE.org.
Read the full transcript below.
TOM JOYNER: On the phone right now is the 44th President of the United States of America, the 44th. And we want four more for 44 good morning, President Barack Obama. Welcome home.
BARACK OBAMA: It’s good to talk to you, Tom. How’s everybody doing? Sybil, you doing alright?
SYBIL WILKES: I’m good, sir. Thank you.
TOM JOYNER: We’re fired up. We’re fired up.
SYBIL WILKES: We are fired up.
BARACK OBAMA: J. Anthony there?
TOM JOYNER: We, we, we uh, we let him go to the bathroom for this segment of the show.
BARACK OBAMA: Uh-oh. You don’t have to be putting out his business all everywhere. C’mon now, Tom.
SYBIL WILKES: Otherwise he be putting your business out, sir.
TOM JOYNER: Yeah, otherwise we be putting your business, I can choose.
BARACK OBAMA: Yeah. Well listen, we got two weeks left in this election. And …
TOM JOYNER: Oh, yeah, before we get down to the business, I need, I need some information.
BARACK OBAMA: Yeah, go ahead.
TOM JOYNER: Uh, where’s the party on November 6th?
BARACK OBAMA: It’s in Chicago. It’s in Chicago. The only thing we’re going to do is we’re going to make sure, this year we’re going to do it inside because I think we were just too lucky.
It was like 65 degrees in Grant Park. It’s not going to happen again this year. We’ll probably get freezing rain or something. But the party’s going to be there.
TOM JOYNER: Okay, I’m just trying to plan, I’m just trying to plan my party.
BARACK OBAMA: Okay.
TOM JOYNER: Okay. Okay, so since we last talked to you, the last two debates you weren’t so polite. In fact on the last debate they said, Fox said you were rude.
BARACK OBAMA: Well, you know.
TOM JOYNER: (Laugh) Yeah, I know.
BARACK OBAMA: I’m not going to worry too much about what Fox said. What I did was I just pointed out the difference between me and Mr. Romney when it comes to how we deal with jobs, how we deal with foreign policy, how we deal with the deficit and how we deal with education. And, you know, most of the time all I was doing was just throwing Mr. Romney’s own words back at him because, you know, he has taken some very extreme positions on a whole range of issues, and then, you know, he thinks that when they get him into trouble he can walk away from them. And what we want to do is just make the American people clear he’s got this agenda for going back to the economic policies of George Bush and the foreign policies of Dick Cheney, a top/down economics that has not worked for America? We’re making real progress digging our way out of the mess that they left and I intend to continue to do that for the next four years.
TOM JOYNER: How can you get the economy straight without the cooperation of the republicans? Or will this, or when you win, this time will it be another four more years of them just saying, no, no, no to everything you try to do?
BARACK OBAMA: You know it will be interesting to see how they respond. Obviously our first job is to win.
SYBIL WILKES: Right.
BARACK OBAMA: And if we win, when we win, I think what you’ll see is that initially there may be some resistance, but you know, they’ve been obsessed over the last four years with defeating me. After the election I will have won my last race. And hopefully they’ll recognize that the kind of obstruction that they’ve engaged in is not good for them politically and it’s certainly not good for the country. Now the good news is that, you know, there’s some things that we can do on our own. I will end the war in Afghanistan, regardless of Congress. That means that there will be some savings. We want to see if we can work with Congress and put people back to work doing, the retaining of workers and putting them on construction sites all across America. And helping neighborhoods in places like Cleveland where there are a whole bunch of foreclosed homes, we could be putting people back to work right now renovating those homes, creating rental housing, creating value, improving property values in those communities. And we can create jobs in manufacturing the same way we’ve done with the auto industry given tax incentives to companies that are investing in the United States. We can make sure that we’re continuing to train our kids and improving our school system giving them access to college. We’re developing energy. Here in the United States, not just oil and gas, but also, you know, there are good jobs to be had in clean energy; solar, wind. A whole bunch of stuff that is really going to be the key to our future. So we’ve got the tools we need to succeed. And what I’m going to do is invite the republicans to work with me, but where they’re not working with me I’ll work around them.
SYBIL WILKES: What about getting Congress and the House of Representatives and Senate in place? How does that look as far as our electing people to help you in that?
BARACK OBAMA: Well, I think the Senate, the democrats, have a very good chance of retaining control of the Senate, although as you know, the problem with the Senate these days, yeah, they have all kinds of crazy rules that require 60 votes to get anything done, which means the republicans say no to things. The House of Representatives is going to be tougher, but so much of this is going to depend on people voting.
TOM JOYNER: Yeah.
BARACK OBAMA: So I’m going to be, if you guys get sick of me, I don’t care. I’m going to be badgering you guys, and everybody else who has a broad list of base, to make sure that people understand that they have to vote. This is going to be a close election in every single state. And for folks to stay home when so much is at stake. When Governor Romney would roll back Obamacare and suddenly millions of people once again are not going to have health insurance. He would turn Medicare into a voucher and suddenly we’ve got our moms and grandparents in a position where they may not be able to count on the benefits that they need to just make ends meet and have healthcare. So you’ve got young people who are depending on Pell grants and historically black universities that have received help. And suddenly that help could wither away. So the stakes could not be higher, and we’ve got to make sure people vote. And one thing, Tom, I’m going to say that I heard that you did not trust early voting. I got to tell you …
SYBIL WILKES: It’s not the early voting, sir.
TOM JOYNER: It’s the absentee.
BARACK OBAMA: Well, the absentee obviously is always a concern. And we’re going to have lawyers deployed in every state all over the country. And we’ve got just an amazing army of attorneys that are going to make sure people’s votes are counted. But this early voting, let’s take an example like Ohio. You know, we’ve already banked over a million votes here in Ohio, in places like Iowa, and Colorado, and Nevada. Florida. Folks have the opportunity to go and vote early. They can do it in person if they don’t trust doing it by mail. But the point is that you can get your vote in right now. And the nice thing is then you don’t have to worry about missing work, or trying to figure out how am I going to drop off the kids before I vote? Or pick them up, because I’m voting after work. And the weather’s bad on Election Day and suddenly, you know, it just becomes too tough. So we are really pushing and encouraging people to vote early. And if you need any information about voting early then you can go to barakobama.com or gottovote.com. That’s G-O-T-T-A-vote dot com. And it’ll tell you exactly how you can vote in your state. We have to pump up the vote.
TOM JOYNER: Yeah.
BARACK OBAMA: And, you know, if I hear that our folks aren’t voting I’m going to sick Michelle on them.
SYBIL WILKES: (Laugh) Oh, no!
BARACK OBAMA: You don’t want to be talking to the First Lady.
SYBIL WILKES: No, sir. Not with those guns.
BARACK OBAMA: I always tell people, I say; listen, even if you’re not enthusiastic about voting for me, then vote to make sure that the First Lady stays the First Lady.
SYBIL WILKES: There you go.
TOM JOYNER: Yeah. Yeah. Alright, Mr. President.
SYBIL WILKES: That’s probably the best anniversary gift you’ve probably could’ve given her having to have to work that night.
BARACK OBAMA: Absolutely. So. Well, I appreciate you guys and I’m sure I’ll talk to you again before Election Day.
SYBIL WILKES: We hope so.
TOM JOYNER: Alright.
BARACK OBAMA: Alright, now.
SYBIL WILKES: Thank you, sir.
TOM JOYNER: Four more for 44.
BARACK OBAMA: That’s right.
SYBIL WILKES: Stay strong.
TOM JOYNER: Alright, the Big Chief, the President of the United States …
BARACK OBAMA: Oh, and by the way, Tom?
TOM JOYNER: Yeah?
BARACK OBAMA: I just want to point out, the last time we talked, right after the first debate, remember I told you it was a seven game series?
BARACK OBAMA: Okay? I just want to make sure you remember that? We don’t lose two games in a row.