Matt O'Donnell: "Could you tell me if you are going to balance the federal budget in your first term as President?"
Barack Obama: "It is doubtful that anybody could balance the federal budget that is now half a trillion dollars a year, in the midst of what is likely to be an economic slowdown for at least the next several months. When John McCain or anybody says they can balance the federal budget by 2013, they're just not telling the truth.
Economy in crisis
Matt O'Donnell: "You have been in the U.S. Senate for nearly four years, your party has been in control of Congress for nearly two. Why didn't we see you, or your party leaders, stand up and raise the red flag and say 'There is an economic calamity just around the corner' before it happened?"
Barack Obama: "For one thing, I did. Two years ago I wrote Chairman Bernanke of the Fed and Secretary of the Treasury Paulson warning that, in fact, we had a crisis with the sub-prime lending market, and they needed to bring the stakeholders together and do something about it."
Matt O'Donnell: "Senator, why couldn't you get anyone to listen to you then?"
Barack Obama: "Well, because we have a President who's supposed to be the leader of this country and who has promoted over the last eight years the failed economic policies that have resulted in this mess."
War in Iraq
Matt O'Donnell: "Is claiming victory in Iraq something that is important to you as President?"
Barack Obama: "I'm less interested in the headlines. I'm more interested in the practical results. From my perspective, the practical result we need is a stable Iraq. One that is able to secure itself from terrorist infiltration, and that is an ally of the United States. We can accomplish that."
Matt O'Donnell: "Some think more restrictive gun laws would prevent more violence or, at least, ease it. Others say the gun laws on the books aren't being enforced enough. Where do you stand on this issue?"
Barack Obama: "I'm a believer in the second amendment, I think that lawful gun owners are protected by our Constitution. But, I do think we can put in some common sense gun safety laws that will make a big difference."
See more of Matt O'Donnell's interview with Barack Obama on Actions News Friday morning starting at 5:00 a.m.