GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How about beyond the deficit? You were, you know, reelected a little more than a year ago, 332 electoral votes. 51% of the vote. First president since Eisenhower to do it twice. You put gun control at the top of the agenda, immigration reform, climate change. All of it stalled or reversing. How do you answer the argument thatâ€“ beyond the deficit, this has been a lost year? And how do you save it?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well on immigration reform for example we got a terrific bipartisan vote out of the Senateâ€“ that showed that there is a recognition from all quarters, from business, from labor, fromâ€“ the clergy, from farm interests, thatâ€“ a sensible immigration policy will grow our economy, make us stronger. So you had Democrats and Republicans in the Senate come together, come up with a bill that wasnâ€™t perfect, it wasnâ€™t my bill, but got the job done. Itâ€™s now sitting there in the House.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going anywhere.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Wellâ€“ but what I will say is this: If Speaker Boehner put that bill on the floor of the House of Representatives right now, it would pass. It would pass. So the question then is not whether or notâ€“ the ideas that weâ€™ve put forward can garner a majority of support certainly in the country. I mean gun control, we had 80-90% of the country thatâ€“ that agreed with it.
The problem we have is we have aâ€“ faction of the Republican Partyâ€“ in the House of Representatives in particular, that view â€ścompromiseâ€ť as a dirty word, and anything thatâ€“ is even remotely associated with me, they feel obliged to oppose. And my argument to them is real simple. Thatâ€™s not why the people sent you here.