Barbara Walters interviewed President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama for a Barbara Walters Special to air Wednesday night at 10pm. The interview covered, among other things, a potential bailout of the auto industry, bonuses for bank executives, and Obama's negotiations to retain his BlackBerry.
Watch a preview from "Good Morning America" below. Barbara Walters shares her thoughts on the Obamas — "They're very...I don't know how to put it, I don't want to gush. They're very cute, and they're very funny in this interview together" — with Robin Roberts as well:
When asked what was his "biggest fear," Obama said "there are a lot of things that keep me up at night."
"One of the concerns I have is that the economy is so weakened that the next 60 days are going to be difficult because we've got a president who, even though he may mean well, is now sort of in lame-duck status [and] Congress isn't in [session]."
"And I don't have the reins of power," Obama added.
Read excerpts from the interview below.
BARBARA WALTERS: How did you feel when you read about the three heads of the auto companies taking private planes to Washington?
BARACK OBAMA: Well, I thought maybe they're a little tone deaf to what's happening in America right now. And this has been a chronic problem, not just for the auto industry, I mean, we're sort of focused on them. But I think it's been a problem for the captains of industry generally. When people are pulling down hundred million dollar bonuses on Wall Street, and taking enormous risks with other people's money, that indicates a sense that you don't have any perspective on what's happening to ordinary Americans. When the auto makers are getting paid far more than their counterparts at Toyota, or at Honda, and yet they're losing money a lot faster than Japanese auto makers are, that tell me that they're not seeing what's going on out there, and one of the things I hope my presidency helps to usher in is a, a return to an ethic of responsibility. That if you're placed in a position of power, then you've got responsibilities to your workers. You've got a responsibility to your community. Your share holders. That if -- there's got to be a point where you say, 'You know what, I have enough, and now I'm in this position of responsibility, let me make sure that I'm doing right by people, and, and acting in a way that is responsible.' And that's true, by the way, for members of congress, that's true for the president, that's true for cabinet members, that's true for parents. I want all of us to start thinking a little bit more, not just about what's good for me, but let's start thinking about what's good for our children, what's good for our country. The more we do that, the better off we're going to be.
WALTERS: Should bank executives -- it's almost Christmas time -- forgo their bonuses?
OBAMA: I think they should. That's an example of taking responsibility. I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars, and you are having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, I'm willing to make some sacrifice as well, because I recognize that there are people who are a lot less well off, who are going through some pretty tough times.
WALTERS: How are you going to get along without your Blackberry?
OBAMA: (Laughs). This is a problem. I, you know, one of the things that I'm going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation ... the bubble that exists around the president. And I'm in the process of negotiating with the Secret Service, with lawyers, with White House staff ...
WALTERS: You might have a Blackberry?
OBAMA: Well, I'm, I'm negotiating to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House. Because, one of the worst things I think that could happen to a president is losing touch with what people are going through day to day.
Read more about the interview here.