Read the entire transcript. Some excerpts below:
TAPPER: You talked about the need to change the status quo in education today.
TAPPER: But one of the ways that proponents of school choice say that the best way to change the status quo is to give parents, inner-city parents a choice. Why not?
OBAMA: Well, the problem is, is that, you know, although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom. We don't have enough slots for every child to go into a parochial school or a private school. And what you would see is a huge drain of resources out of the public schools.
So what I've said is let's foster competition within the public school system. Let's make sure that charter schools are up and running. Let's make sure that kids who are in failing schools, in local school districts, have an option to go to schools that are doing well.
But what I don't want to do is to see a diminished commitment to the public schools to the point where all we have are the hardest-to-teach kids with the least involved parents with the most disabilities in the public schools. That's going to make things worse, and we're going to lose the commitment to public schools that I think have been so important to building this country.
TAPPER: So it would help some kids, but overall it would be bad for the system?
OBAMA: I think it would be overall bad for most kids.
On National security:
TAPPER: Speaking of the Supreme Court, you applauded the decision that the Supreme Court made last week. The Bush administration says, no matter what people think about other programs, other policies they've initiated, there has not been a terrorist attack within the U.S. since 9/11. And they say the reason that is, is because of the domestic programs, many of which you opposed, the NSA surveillance program, Guantanamo Bay, and other programs.
How do you know that they're wrong? It's not possible that they're right?
OBAMA: Well, keep in mind I haven't opposed, for example, the national security surveillance program, the NSA program. What I've said that we can do it within the constraints of our civil liberties and our Constitution.
Obama opposes same sex marriage. Which is a courageous stand to take within in the Democatic Party:
TAPPER: OK, last one, and that is same-sex marriage is now going on in California.
TAPPER: You oppose same-sex marriage.
TAPPER: Do you think that the fact that this is now going on in California, does that cause you to re-think your pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act?
OBAMA: No. I still think that these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I'm a strong supporter of civil unions. And I think that, you know, we're involved in a national conversation about this issue.
You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should be able to visit each other in hospitals, they should be able to transfer property, they should be able to get the same federal rights and benefits that are conferred onto married couples.
And so, you know, as president, my job is to make sure that the federal government is not discriminating and that we maintain the federal government's historic role in not meddling with what states are doing when it comes to marriage law. That's what I'll do as president.
TAPPER: Does it bother you, what California's doing?