September 2nd, 2008
08:00 AM ET

Exclusive interview: Sen. Obama on AC360°

Take a look at this exclusive AC360° interview.
Sen. Barack Obama talks to Anderson Cooper about the response to Gustav and the issue of experience.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Hurricane Gustav • Hurricanes • Raw Politics
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Mark

    @ Cindy all I have in response to your return statement is..... and I quote "All Obama has to do is open his mouth to lie."

    What a methodical return. That is the uneducated dialogue I speak of. Thank you for proving my point.

    Your response to the lies remark is all the confirmation I need. You sit home and watch "professionals" speak about each canidate, without having your own train of thought you just jump on board.

    By the way I am not a liberal. I am an Independant and would vote for a Republican if I believed in their policies. So far there hasn't been one that I agree with.

    September 3, 2008 at 1:40 am |
  2. Lisa Hollands

    reading some of the comments, it seems there are a lot of Republican supporters leaving aforementioned comments.

    i have one thing to say, OBAMA & BIDEN must win & take back the White House & turn the country around from where it has not been since BC !!

    September 2, 2008 at 8:37 pm |
  3. nikki

    Obama is the truth and everyone knows it . And him not being in New Orleans at the time of Gustav was a good move . It shows he is not all about a publicity stunt and politics. I mean what could he have done anyway. Came down and let the media see him shaking a few hands , what good is that going to do for a city that is lost already. Its time for a serious change an Obama is just that !!! The republicans have been in office 8 years strong and all the only changes I have seen being made are for the worst not to better the economy. Just my opinion!!! Vote Obama for president or Die !!!!


    September 2, 2008 at 8:14 pm |
  4. Paula, Colorado

    Hi! It's great you were able to interview Barack Obama on a day Hurricane Gustav made landfall-and dominated the morning news coverage. I'm very glad you made it through the long wait and the storm itself.
    Your interview was excellent. For Obama, I'd hope Palin's choice as the Republican VP candidate doesn't take the focus away from more substantial issues, however.

    September 2, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  5. karen in MS

    Anderson, why no follow up to the experience question to point out that Palin's a sitting governor overlooking billions in revenue and expenses, trading with foreign countries, tens of thousands of employees, and major site of our most important industry? did YOU forget?

    other than that, great interview. it really spotlighted what a dangerous choice Obama is.

    September 2, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  6. martha

    Wow great comments.... yes Anderson do a comparison year by year for Obama and Palin.... Palin started in the public eye before he did....

    Why do you act like Obama does speak the Gospel? Do you get extra pay when you take him on and ask tough questions?

    The New Orleans speaks quickly, factually, and I can follow him.... He will a President in the future.

    Obama just speaks and nothing makes since... in his speach at the convention he said in 10 years we would longer use foreign oil.... he never answered HOW????

    Come on Anderson Cooper... I loved you on "The Mole" get tough ask some questions.... don't just sit there like ABC, NBC, CBS.... you should try to compete with Fox News....

    September 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  7. Amy K.

    I laughed out loud after seeing the interview last night. I thought I couldn't be the only one thinking Obama's experience comparison of having run a campaign to Palin's mayorship (why don't the Dems want to acknowledge that she is a GOVERNOR of a state?) was plain silly. I see from the messages here that I am not.

    After my giggle, I wished that you had asked him to explain that one. Obama and friends shouldn't get away that easily with being dismissive of Palin's accomplishments. Would they do it if she were a man? One more time and my vote goes off the bump to McCain.

    September 2, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  8. Brittany

    I am tired of people always talking about how unexperienced Obama is – why don't you take a look at Palin, the woman has only been out of the country once in her life time! I thought it was a great interview – he could have tackled some of the questions a little better but all in all it was good. Cant wait for the debates. Thanks Anderson – great as always!

    September 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  9. Susan

    Addition to my previous post-------–

    I am surprised that Anderson did not bust out laughing, but that would have been rude.


    September 2, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  10. Susan

    Senator Obama sat on his duff in Washington DC and passed some legislation that others carried out in New Orleans,LA .He also stated that he has executive experience running his campaign I thought that David Axelrod and his 299 other advisors did that

    Governor Palin on the other hand runs the state of AK. A state rich in natural resources that have to be managed. A state that accounts for 20% of our domestic energy supply. A state that borders two foreign countries: Canada and Russia.

    Governor Palin is also CIC of the Alaska National Guard, which includes the 49 th Missle Defense Battalion, the only guard unit in the country on permanent active duty. They serve as the first line of defense in the US missle interceptor system. The
    Alaska State Defense Force ( ASDF ) a federally recognized militia also reports to the Governor. It has been incorporated into the
    Department of Homeland Security and also deals with counterterrorism issues.

    I will take her executive experience over a great speech any day.


    September 2, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  11. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Hi Anderson
    Great interview with Obama . Thanks for asking him about his policies concerning New Orleans. This keeps them all honest .

    Michelle D.

    September 2, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  12. tammy

    Well it looks like the republican stratergist have taken over this blog.You can thank McCain for all this damaged control.Funny thing is no matter how hard you try to manipulate the truth the damage is done. Hang in there Mark,I fell the same as you do. Luckily time flies, we only have 4 more months, then our great nation will start the healing process as President Obama leads us out of our misery

    September 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  13. bea

    Great Job Anderson, I really enjoyed the interview with Sen. Obama. It was positive and just what so many people with families in Louisiana needed. I just wish the rest of the bloggers could see past all the politics for a change and see the good that's being done by Sen. Obama and his supporters in supporting families like ours. We need all the help we can get! Thanks again!

    September 2, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  14. Cindy

    @ Mark...It's easy to know when Obama is lying. All he has to do is open his mouth!!

    I know he is lying because I myself looked up the facts! Unlike you who just takes everything that Obama says as the gospel!

    Palin is a Governor and she did balance Alaska's budget! She even took on the oil companies raised their taxes and now has $6 billion a year coming in to the Alaskan treasury from that! There is a lot more that she has done. What has Obama done in his campaign that equals that!? So tell me Mark. What part do I not understand Mr. know it all.


    September 2, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  15. Suzette

    I really used to like you Anderson but GEEEZ! No follow up on the experience issue when Obama compares his campaign experience to Palin's work as a small town mayor while ignoring the fact she's a state Governor? Really? That just invalidates your journalistic integrity in my opinion. I, and apparently many others, saw it immediately and I'm no journalist and certainly no Republican. How laughable it has become to the average American to hear that the media is balanced or fair. It shouldn't matter who you interview, they should all get the hard questions.

    And just to be clear, I found it hysterical when Obama claimed that running a campaign for president gives him more executive experience than being a U.S. state governor. You could have really made him work to explain that one, I would have. Apparently just running somehow qualifies you. Makes you wonder how we let those other governors slide by into the white house and why Ralph Nader hasn't since he's got a whole bunch more time invested in "executive campaign experience".

    I won't bother watching if you interview Palin, or McCain, well, or anyone else, since I expect all candidates to be able to explain themselves and be called to the carpet when they try some lame end run around logic. Wonder who's still out there in the media that REALLY cares if americans get the full story on all candidates. Guess I'll have to start looking.

    September 2, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  16. syl

    Obama should join the straight talk express. His convention speech did not measure up to what the factrs were. His claim that he has more experience than Palin is factually wrong. When Obama was a community organizer, Palin was already serving in elected office. Obama is now the maligned Washington insider in comparison to Palin. Palin has done more on the energy file as well in her visionary approach to the natural gas pipeline from Alaska. Two things: first Obama should start telling the truth and give real accomplishments than half truths and misrepresenting his opponents.

    September 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Stephen G

    It seems as though Obama just mentioned her work as as mayor, not governor. I would like to see an honest, objective comparison of the two candidates side by side so that we can easily compare experience.

    Both Senator Obama and Governor Palin can claim twelve years of elected office experience since 1992, so years of experience is similar.

    Anderson, I recommend that you do a piece on the comparison of their accomplishments during this time. I would desperately like to see someone of your journalistic caliber and dedication to "keeping them honest" analyze the two candidates side by side–
    1. Years of experience
    2. Accomplishments (including "reaching across the aisle" with opposing parties to accomplish something.)

    I look forward to it Anderson! Please "Keep Them Honest!"


    September 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  18. JC- Los Angeles

    As a still undecided Independent, I find it hilarious for Obama and the Democrats to continually argue about change and inexperience when they themselves refuse to enact change while also possessing little experience.

    Obama has had ample time to change the corrupt, Chicago Democratic machine; rather than doing so, he chose to flourish in it's cesspool; with yet another opportunity for change, he selected Biden.

    Although it's too early to judge Palin, unlike Obama, she decided to take on her state's corrupt political machine and actually succeeded by becoming Governor; the Republicans barely mention change but actually act upon it.

    I thought the first ten minutes of Obama's speech showed that he was both frustrated and angry; after four years of stumping, it seems everyone is still not convinced that he can do more than wax poetic.

    The debates should provide a clear indication of who is all talk and who is not.

    September 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  19. Tessie

    This is a great interview ... very revealing of the usual audacity of obama......He actually said that he WAS a senator and AS president....did he quit the senate?...did he win the presidency?...and how foolish did he look comparing his campaign run for president as experience against a mayor's job and he did not even mention her governorship... insulting this women...yet another women...this guy gets more free passes on ridiculous statements than anyone out there...i can't wait to see him in a debate! I only wish he would debate Sarah Palin!..

    September 2, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  20. JT

    Obviously Obama does not have any experience. He is now counting his campaign as an experience. This sound like a joke or maybe he is just joking.

    Community organizer and a campaign manager are in the same line. At this point, Obama prove that he can be a good campaign manager but not for president.

    Mayor,Governor and President are in the Gustav but he was on TV and saying that all the good work are from his ideas. Big JOKE.

    September 2, 2008 at 12:49 pm |
  21. tammy

    Great interview Anderson. Obama Rocks! I love how he always expresses his views in a calm and intelligent manner. He is able to stick to the questioning-give his point of view with out making the republicans look like complete fools.To me that says alot about his character,values,competency and morals.At a time when it would be so easy to through the book at Ms. Palin and her poor judgement regarding her own family issues,he asks the public to leave her family alone. That is a man of great wisdom.

    September 2, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  22. Mark

    This statement is to Cindy in Georgia. First off, even if Obama is liing, you wouldn't know. Have you worked side by side with him? Do you have dialogue with him? No, all you know is what is said by other Republican Strategist. So I think that first statement shows how uneducated and ignorant you can be. Next, he was talking about her state because she ran that as a Mayor for longer than she has been a Govenor. She has been a Govenor for about 20 months. Which means she has probably only worked on a handful of budget conversations with Alaska. Then you go on to say that Obama has no clue about his budget because he has a staff. Do you think a CEO of a company has no idea about his budget, spending, ROI, and net profit because he hires accountants and CPA's? Of course not. I am a very frustrated American at this point.

    September 2, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  23. Jill

    The funny thing is that this answer was researched and formulated in response to the inevitable executive experience question. Well done, Anderson Cooper – I was applauding your ability to keep a straight face.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  24. Nisha P

    Agree with EJ–two of my favorite people in one segment. Excellent 😀

    Great interview Anderson!

    September 2, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  25. Grant

    I watched this video interview yesterday and have to say it is such a pathetic excuse for hard news! When Sen. Obama diverted the question, comparing his campaign funding and staff to Gov. Palin's budget as Mayor of a small town with a budget of $12 mil and a staff of 50, I was appalled (but not surprised,) that A. Cooper never challenged the Senator about Palin being a SITTING, popular Gov managing a state budget of more than $9 billion and 8,500 state and municipal employees!

    September 2, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  26. Danny Noonan

    The State of Alaska has 25,000 employees and an annual budget of $12 billion dollars.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  27. Ben W. - Tomball

    I did not see the interview but my guess is that Barack Hussein Obama did not mention his experience as a community organizer. As a community organizer he was able to increase voter registration in his area by 150,000 and then later he ran for state senator. Did I mention that for his first campaign, he had his lawyer file paperwork to have his opponents taken off the ballot on a technicality so Obama could run unopposed? As for the State of Alaska, the budget is approximately $2.9 billion/year not to mention Palin has the energy and fiscal responsiblity background that this nation lacks.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:12 am |
  28. John

    "great work", "favorite people" ??? Wow, talk about low standards. Another softball interview for Obama to pretend he has real experience. Running a campaign and having experience to run America have about as much in common as never have created a job or improved the lives of the people in your district then saying you will rebuild America and create five million new jobs. Umm, would be nice if something in your past performance showed you knew how Mr Obama.

    I guess as long as the Anderson Coopers throw softballs and people keep calling it a homerun Obama has a great chance of conning his way into office... again.

    I feel sorry for the people of Obama's district. Like Rev Wright, the only other people we know about whose lives have improved are Obama and Michelle.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:09 am |
  29. Irene

    Great interview, Anderson !

    The WISDOM and INSIGHT of Barack Obama are part of his appeal to voters. If only we had had this man in office during Katrina........things would have been handled so differently.

    Out Country is in such a MESS, it will take Obama, Biden and a Cabinet filled with like-minded, intelligent people to turn things around.

    I LOVE how Barack Obama would choose NOT to visit Louisiana at this time........if he were to go for the "photo-op" the security needed for his visit would take away those resources needed by the people down there. McCain went for the photo-op. (GW loves those photo-ops, too!)

    September 2, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  30. maureen o. cali

    Wait to see! Is that all he's going to tell you. He should of yes, when ever it is safe for me to go down there I will. I will do anything I can do whenever I can do it. And then iayout a plan what he was going to do, or atleast tell you he had one. Obama seemed unprepared to answer the question about NOLA that you asked him. Good job, Cooper!

    September 2, 2008 at 9:45 am |
  31. julian

    Mr. Anderson Cooper, in questioning Senator Barrack obama about the experience issue in relation to natural disaster. In his answer he seems to suggest that Governor Palin was still the mayor of Wasila when she's in fact the current Governor of Alaska; operates a $9 billion budget and manages $13 billion in revenue. Furthermore, she runs a government that employs 25,000 people. You did not pose a follow-up question to the junior Senator from Illinois. I congratulate you on this "objective" interview as this further solidifies your position in the list of journalists who feel a "thrill going up my leg" when Barrack speaks. Shame.

    September 2, 2008 at 9:17 am |
  32. Gail Ellis Duncan

    Finally found it and watched. Anderson, loved your questions!!! I was a bit let down on Obama's response to the people in the 9th district who still have not gotten back on their feet since Katrina. The issue of the poor most be addressed and acted upon NOW. Yet I had to agree about him not being there as I do not see much he could have done but be in the way. Yes, it would have been just a photo op. Anderson, thanks for being there and for your support! Continue to keep us posted and please stay safe.

    September 2, 2008 at 9:15 am |
  33. Jill

    So, before running for president 18 months ago, his only experience preparing him to handle a national disaster was passing some post-Katrina laws?

    September 2, 2008 at 8:54 am |
  34. Jill

    It's the MOST damning thing he has said yet. Having a large presidential campaign and passing some laws after a catastrophe qualifies him more to handle a national disaster as President of U.S. than a governor who understand the workings at the state level?

    Comparing the size of his campaign to civil govt. of "Wa-silly" (his words) showed how utterly unqualified he is in his own mind.

    September 2, 2008 at 8:39 am |
  35. Glenn


    I watched your interview with Barack lastnight. One little detail, that apparently both yourself and Barack are having a hard time coming to grips with. Sarah Palin, is known as Governor Palin in the state of Alaska. The state budget is 2.9B. I just did not want the facts, getting in the way.

    September 2, 2008 at 8:39 am |
  36. Cindy

    As I watched this interview last night I could only laugh. Once again Barack tells more lies. He said that his campaign has a bigger budget than Sarah Palin's small town...well Obama what about her state!? She is the Governor.

    Oh and Obama does not do the budgeting or anything else in his campaign as he tried to say last night. He hired people to do that. To say that he runs his own campaign, keeps up with every employee, balances the budget and everything else is ridiculously laughable. Nice try...but it's a lie!


    September 2, 2008 at 8:24 am |
  37. smickey

    Hey Anderson,great work not a bad.

    September 2, 2008 at 8:08 am |
  38. EJ (USA)

    2 of my favorite people – Anderson and Barack Obama

    September 2, 2008 at 8:08 am |