Jim Gardner's 'Conversation with the President'

March 20, 2011 4:57:26 PM PDT
A half hour after Obama's speech to the country on Friday, I had the chance to sit down with the President in the map room of the White House.

I tried to ask him about what I saw as an inconsistency in the Libya situation. The United Nations resolution spelled out what Gadhafi had to do to avoid military intervention, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday, "If you don't get him out, if he stays in power, there's no telling what he'll do."

"So is the goal to get Moammar Gadhafi to stop killing Libyans, or in the words of your Secretary of State, to get him out?" I asked.

The President refused to address that, and said his speech would have to stand on its own.

I asked him about potential military intervention in Bahrain and Yemen.

We talked about the Japanese nuclear crisis, its potential impact on the American economic recovery, the future of nuclear power in the U.S., Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's budget plan that cuts $1 billion from education, and even his NCAA bracket.

We'll have much of that on Sunday night at 11.

And we discussed his departure for South and Central America.

"Your trips to Chile and Brazil and El Salvador, what kind of positive impact would it have on the economies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey?"

"It's a wonderful story to tell when you look at a state like Pennsylvania or New Jersey," said the President. "Pennsylvania is one of the top 15 exporters to Brazil. Brazil is now the 7th largest economy in the world, the United States is one of the top exporters to Brazil. Every billion dollars that we export, we create 5,000 jobs here in the United States. Trips like this, what they allow me to do is link small businesses and large businesses alike to business opportunities in these other countries, and the support we give them in promoting trade will end up creating opportunities both in manufacturing and service jobs in Pennsylvania and around the country."

In case you didn't know, you have to be a master juggler to be President of the United States.

You can watch the entire exclusive interview with President Obama Sunday on Action News at 11:00pm.