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 Warren Ballentine Interviews President Obama On Election Day



Secret Service:  Mr. Ballentine?

Warren Ballentine:  Yes, sir?

Secret Service:  The next voice you hear will be the President of the United States.

Warren Ballentine:  Yes, sir.

President Obama:  Warren!

Warren Ballentine:  Hey, Mr. President, how are you?

President Obama:  I’m doing great.  How’ve you been?

Warren Ballentine:  I’ve been good, always good to hear your voice.

President Obama:  Well, it’s great to hear yours.

Warren Ballentine:  You know, I’m going to tell you what, Mr. President, my listeners, my audience, they’re blowing me up.  People are standing in line six hours to vote.  And I’m telling them, look, let’s not just early vote after we vote on Tuesday, let’s go load up ten or fifteen other people and take them to the polls on Tuesday as well so we can make sure that our President is reelected.

President Obama:  That is the right message.  A lot of people have early voted.  And Saturday, November 3rd, is the last day of early vote if you live in North Carolina or Florida.  But if you live in Iowa or Ohio you can early vote all the way through Monday.  But, you know, to see everybody turning out in such high numbers is important.  You know, so much is at stake, as you know Warren, whether or not people have healthcare. Whether or not we protect Medicare.  Whether or not we protect Pell Grants and student loans for our students so that millions of young people can go to college.  Whether we continue to make progress when it comes to creating manufacturing jobs in this country.  We just got the latest jobs report, the most jobs added in eight months.  The economy is getting stronger.  But what we can’t do is go back to the same economic policies that got us into the mess four years ago and that we’ve been cleaning up ever since.  So I really need everybody to vote.  This is going to be a close election.  And what the other side is counting on is that their folks are more enthusiastic about getting me out of office than my folks are about keeping me in office.

Warren Ballentine:  Well, I’m going to tell you something.  Something is happening in this country that a lot of people don’t realize.  I was doing CNN, and I pointed out something to them that they just missed.  I said, look, once all this voter identification stuff came in and all this voter suppression stuff came in, what happened was this, people really started paying attention.  And it’s almost like because they were trying to deny them the right to vote.  People are voting in record numbers.  In Ohio, in Dayton, Ohio – I’ll give you a perfect example – right now in Dayton, Ohio they have early voting going on.  Ninety to ninety-five percent of the people who are first time voters are over 40 years old and they’ve been voting for you, Mr. President.

President Obama:  Well, I tell you what, you know, this is our most important right.  This is our birthright.  This is part of being a citizen.  And with the stakes as high as they are, the main thing I need everybody who is listening today to hear is you have to vote.  You know, we only won North Carolina by a few votes per precinct.

Warren Ballentine:  Five per precinct.

President Obama:  Five votes per precinct would’ve tipped the scales, but because those extra five folks votes in each precinct all around North Carolina, we won.  And that’s how close some of these margins are in some of these states.  So, you know, for those who are listening who are sporadic voters, occasional voters, they say to themselves, well, I prefer Obama but, you know, I’m busy.  This is not the time to sit and do nothing.  This is the time to make sure that your voices are heard so I can make sure that I’m fighting for you in Washington for the next four years.

Warren Ballentine:  Mr. President, let me ask you this, because my listeners, I’m on the air every day, and look, I’m just going to be honest with you.  I’ve done everything in my power to get you reelected.  I’ve broken down all your policies.  I’ve told everything that you’ve done to help Americans.  But one of the things that keeps coming up is my listeners are so concerned about you and all the lies that is coming out of Governor Romney’s mouth.  I did a fact check on the three debates, on some of the stump speeches.  This man has told over 250 lies since the very first debate.  And we’re worried that some of these undecided or uninformed voters may be fooled by all this nonsense.

President Obama:  Well, look, here’s the thing.  First of all, if they’re listening to you, they won’t be uninformed.

Warren Ballentine:  That’s right.  (Laugh)

President Obama:  But the other thing is, is that, we have enough voters to win.  It’s just a matter of whether they show up.  I mean obviously there are going to be some voters who at this late date may still be somewhat undecided.  And if they are, you know, I’m making the closing argument presenting to them why, you know, if they care about making sure that college is more accessible and workers can retrain at community colleges.  If they care about how we rebuilt the auto industry and how we have to do the same for manufacturing.  If they care about making sure that we end the war in Afghanistan responsibly and use the money we’re saving to put people back to work here.  If they care about making sure that Medicare doesn’t get turned into a voucher.  If they care about all those things then I believe they’ll vote for me, if they vote.  But the main thing I want everybody to understand is that the number of undecided voters at this point is much smaller than the number of voters who support me, but just aren’t voting.

Warren Ballentine:  That’s right.

President Obama:  So all I need to do, if all the people who support me vote, then we’ll be fine.

Warren Ballentine:  I agree with you.  And that’s what I’ve been saying.  Look, we need to go to the polls.  You need to vote.  If you can still early vote, go and early vote.  If you’re not registered to vote, in most states if you early vote you can do one stop.  You can register and vote at the same time.

President Obama:  Right.

Warren Ballentine:  So if you support this President like I do, you want to go and vote.  Mr. President, one other question that comes up all the time that I have to ask you about is once you’re reelected, one of the things I’ve been telling people is look, you got to understand history.  This is the same thing that happened in the Clinton years.  Those first four years the Republicans were all against him.  Once he was reelected, they came more to the center and a lot got accomplished.  Do you think that a lot will get, much more will get accomplished in the second term than in the first term, if you get a Republican Congress back?

President Obama:  Well, look, I mean, part of what we need to do is just consolidate some of the progress we’ve already made.  We’ve got to implement healthcare reform so that everybody has healthcare.  We’ve got to make sure that Wall Street reform gets reformed and we keep in place the consumer advocate so that people aren’t getting cheated when it comes to credit cards, mortgages or payday loans.  So Romney said he’s going to reverse a lot of progress we’ve already made.  We can’t do that.  That’s point number one.  Point number two, I do believe that winning this election will send a signal to the Republicans that they need to act more reasonably.  I can’t guarantee they’ll listen, but that’s the message that will have been sent by the American people.

Warren Ballentine:  Absolutely.  Last question, Mr. President, because I know you’re short on time.  But everybody in our home city of Chicago, and not just in Chicago, but the listeners all around the country that listens to this show every day.  You know, I tell them all the time, the President, I’ve had lunch with the President.  I’ve been to the White House.  I’ve talked to the President.  I know this President.  And you have this empathy.  And I think we’ve seen that when you went down to New Jersey and worked with Governor Chris Christie.  And I tell them all the time that not only do you know what’s going on in Chicago and around this country by you are paying attention to what’s going on.

President Obama:  Well, you know, look, I always try to remind people it was only eight, nine years ago when Michelle and I were still paying off student loans and thinking about how to manage babysitting for Malia and Sasha, and you know, filling up at the local service station and putting those little girls in the grocery …

Warren Ballentine:  Basket, pushing ‘em around.

President Obama:  … basket, and you know, going around and trying to figure out how to pay for all the groceries.  We’ve been through the experience of most working and middle class families around the country.  And that’s not something you forget.  You know, that’s who we are.  And my goal is to make sure that those voices are heard in every negotiation and every discussion in Washington.  Because, you know, the folks at the very top they’ve always had access and always will have access and influence in Washington.  And we understand that.  But making sure that when important decisions are being made that somebody is championing the middle class and families that are trying to get in on the middle class, hardworking folks who need opportunity.  That’s why I’m running.  That’s why I ran the first time and I hope that’s why I hope everybody turns out to vote.

Warren Ballentine:  Well, I want all my listeners that’s listening to this interview, look, take people to the polls on Tuesday.  Let’s make sure that we get our President reelected, as you just heard from his own mouth.  He understands what’s going on because he’s been here where we are right now.  Mr. President, thank you so much, so proud of you, and I hope to see you at the inauguration and Christmas party and everything else.

President Obama:  I appreciate you guys.  Thank you so much.  Make sure to get out there and vote!

Warren Ballentine:  Alright, Mr. President, I’ll talk to you.

President Obama:  Alright, bye-bye.

Warren Ballentine:  Alright, that was President Obama.  And we’ll be right back.