The White House – The YouTube Interview With President Obama

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[The White House – The YouTube Interview With President Obama]

[Hank Green:] Mister —
[Bethany Mota:] Obama —
[Glozell Green:] You know, the President of the United States.
[Bethany Mota:] — my subscribers want to know about education —
[Hank Green:] — the lack of jobs for college graduates —
[Bethany Mota:] — the economy —
[Glozell Green:] — racial profiling — that’s a good one
[Hank Green:] — net neutrality
[Bethany Mota:] — unemployment —
[Glozell Green:] — peanut butter or jelly —
[Hank Green:] (laughs)
[Glozell Green:] Finally, Mr. President —
[Bethany Mota:] Who’s your favorite YouTube creator?

(music playing)

[Steve Grove:] Hello, everyone.
My name is Steve Grove, and I’m the Director of the News Lab at Google. And it is my pleasure to welcome you to a YouTube interview with the President of the United States. Mr. President, thanks for having us here today.

[Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961)] Source:
Great to see you, Steve. Thanks.

[Steve Grove:]
We’re really excited for this interview today. I should tell our viewers just what a YouTube interview is.

[Barack Obama]

[Steve Grove:] We’ve invited three top YouTube creators here to the White House today. We’re in the East Room. And they have set up their own YouTube sets right here in the White House for a very special YouTube video with a very special guest, the President of the United States.
Now, they’ve been asking their millions of subscribers on YouTube what they should ask you in today’s interview. None of those questions has the President seen before. And we’ve also been taking a look on Google at what Americans were searching for during your State of the Union Address. So Mr. President, this is data that we’ve collected anonymously across all of Google searches in America. Top questions that people asked during your
State of the Union speech included:

“What is middle-class income?”
“Why are gas prices dropping?”

People also want to know stuff like:

“How much does the President make?”

[Barack Obama] (laughs)

[Steve Grove:]
“When does his term end?” “What does the Speaker of the House do?” So these things were on people’s mind as they watched your speech. Next, we sort of backed up and looked at the issues.

[Barack Obama] Yeah.

[Steve Grove:] So of all the issues you addressed during the speech, which issues were Googled most during your State of the Union?
[Barack Obama] Interesting.
[Steve Grove:] College, number one, far and away, followed by taxes, housing, employment, education. Finally, Mr. President, you might be curious, what was the most asked question on Google during the first 10 minutes or so of your State of the Union?
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Steve Grove:] It was, “How old is Obama?”
[Barack Obama] (laughs)
[Steve Grove:] You can see this huge spike as you begin your speech, and then, you know, throughout, people, you know, very curious about how old you are.
[Barack Obama] (laughs)
[Steve Grove:] Go figure. Well, let’s get straight to the interview. We’ll show you more Google trends throughout the conversation today, but let’s get right to the questions.
[Barack Obama] Good.
[Steve Grove:] I want to introduce you first to Hank Green of the VlogBrothers.
[Barack Obama] Hey, great to see you, Hank.
[Hank Green:] President Obama.
[Barack Obama] Thank you so much for having me.
[Hank Green:] Thanks a lot for doing this.
[Barack Obama] It’s cool.
[Hank Green:] I don’t really feel like I’m having you. This is your house.
[Barack Obama] You know, well, it’s the people’s house. This is — I’m actually leasing, and my lease runs out in two years.
[Hank Green:] Oh, my.
[Barack Obama] Yeah. I hope to get my security deposit back.
[Hank Green:] (laughs) I think you’ve — I think you’ve treated it fairly well.
[Barack Obama] It looks okay.
[Hank Green:] I’m only going to get one shot at this. I don’t think I’m going to get a lot of chances to interview the President,
so I’m going to jump right in —
[Barack Obama] Let’s do it.
[Hank Green:] — start grilling you. I watched the State of the Union.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Hank Green:] A lot of really interesting ideas there. I’m not the only person who’s said this: a little worried that none of them are at all politically feasible. Am I wrong?

[Barack Obama] Well, first of all, there are some areas where I think we can get some Republican cooperation — on infrastructure,
for example. Historically, that hasn’t been a partisan issue –roads; bridges; now that we’re in the 21st Century, broadband lines in communities that don’t have good access; making sure we’ve got first class power grids so that we’re not leaking a lot of energy and we can produce more energy without causing more carbon pollution. So there are some areas where, I think, right away we can get some cooperation. There are some areas where it’s important for us to frame the debate and get the American people behind us because, even if something doesn’t happen immediately here in Washington, it starts having an impact around the country. A great example of that’s the minimum wage. I called for a rise in the minimum wage last year, and Congress still hasn’t passed it yet, but in the meantime, you’ve got 17 states and you’ve got cities and others that are raising the minimum wage. And so, it creates movements that ultimately, you know, change things in Washington as well.

[Hank Green:]
So you used the phrase “middle-class economics” in the speech, which I think is an idea that we needed a phrase for.

[Barack Obama]

[Hank Green:]
But when I first told people I was going to be able to come talk to you, a lot of them expressed that they felt like the government was never going to have their interests at heart, because the government existed to protect the interests of corporations and business. And, the thing that they use as, like, the prime example of this is taking former leaders of industry and putting them in positions where they’re regulating the industries
they used to be in charge of.

[Barack Obama]

[Hank Green:]
Is that a legitimate concern? And do you understand where the people are coming from?

[Barack Obama]
You know, look, I understand people’s skepticism and cynicism. On the other hand, think about a bunch of stuff that government does do. I mean, since I’ve been in office, we’ve been able to take away money that was being syphoned off by banks in the student loan program, and billions of dollars are now suddenly going directly to students to make it easier for them to finance their student loans. You know, simple stuff that we often take for granted, like Social Security or Medicare for, in the case of many of your viewers, your — their grandparents. You know, that’s a government program that helps a lot of people. And so, what is true is that too often lobbyists and special interests are able to block efforts to make the system fair — and to make it work better. But our history shows that when people get involved, when they get engaged, when they vote that,
in fact, change happens. It doesn’t always happen 100 percent and it doesn’t always happen immediately, but it happens.

[Hank Green:]
So we’re going to jump around a lot here because I have a lot of topics.

[Barack Obama]
I understand.

[Hank Green:]
It’s — I don’t — it’s just crazy that I have to do this so quickly.

[Barack Obama]
I’m going to keep my answers as short as possible.

[Hank Green:]
I appreciate you doing that.

[Barack Obama]
All right, I’ll try to zip through it.

[Hank Green:]
So I feel like whenever a new weapons technology is developed, we spend five or 10 years sort of coming to understand the full implications of that new technology. And sometimes we look back at those initial years of its use as like we maybe misused or overused that technology.

[Barack Obama]

[Hank Green:]
Are you at all worried that your administration is going to be seen as a time when drone strikes were a technology like we see as over or misused?

[Barack Obama] Source:
Well, you know, basically, drone technology came into its own right when I first came into office. We have tried to put a series of constraints on how it’s used, but understand that our goal has always been, how do we target very specific terrorists who are, you know, proven to be trying to kill us or, more frequently, kill innocent Muslims in their home countries, and how do we do that with as little damage to the surrounding communities and innocent people as possible? You know, part of what is really tough for me, as Commander in Chief, is the fact that any kind of war is damaging. Any kind of war results in casualties. And in fact, the sort of damage that may have taken place with a drone strike is always significantly less than if I ordered a raid into a village where a high-value terrorist target was. So you take the Bin Laden operation in Pakistan,
for example — probably as successful and effective operation as we could have imagined. Well, you know, there were some people killed in that operation. And the truth of the matter is that any time we’re going after terrorists who are imbedded in communities, they are dangerous there. But I think it’s entirely legitimate to say that as new technologies develop, we have to make sure we step back and say, do we have a legal framework and a set of controls on it? Because I think what people worry about is that it’s a little more antiseptic than when we send troops in, that it may seem as if there’s no cost to it. And we’ve tried to do that. And I think there have been some lessons learned. And occasionally, there have been mistakes that have been made. And you know, nobody grieves over that more than I do. But it’s something that we take very seriously. And I would argue that today’s technologies can enable us to defend ourselves, causing less damage to those communities than in the past.

[Hank Green:]
Sort of along those lines, there’s a lot of bad things happening in the world, but I feel like none more so than the kind of generations-long oppression and even genocide that’s been happening in North Korea. We recently, you know, implemented new sanctions against North Korea because of a cyberattack against us, and that was obviously a problematic cyberattack, but no one was physically hurt.

[Barack Obama]

[Hank Green:] Source:
I was surprised to find that there were any sanctions that we could sanction that hadn’t been sanctioned yet. Like, how is there anything left? I feel like, as the strongest nation in the world, like, it feels wrong that such injustice could exist in the world in which —

[Barack Obama]
Yeah. No, look, North Korea is the most isolated, the most sanctioned, the most cut-off nation on earth. And the kind of authoritarianism that exists there, you almost can’t duplicate anywhere else. It’s brutal and it’s oppressive, and as a consequence, the country can’t really even feed its own people. There aren’t that many sanctions left. I mean, we keep on trying to ratchet it up a little bit higher. Over time, you will see a regime like this collapse. Our capacity to affect change in North Korea is somewhat limited because you’ve got a million-person army, and they have nuclear technologies and missiles. That’s all they spend their money on, essentially, is on their war machine. And we’ve got an ally of ours, South Korea, right next door that, if there were a war, would be severely affected. So the answer is not going to be a military solution. We will keep ratcheting the pressure, but part of what’s happening is the environment that we’re speaking in today, the Internet, over time, is going to be penetrating that country, and it is very hard to sustain that kind of brutal authoritarian regime in this modern world. Information ends up seeping in over time and bringing about change, and that’s something that we are constantly looking for ways to accelerate.

[Hank Green:]
So I — sometimes people think I do, but I don’t smoke pot. And I — just is not for me. I think that it’s bad for my brain. I’m not into it. But people think I do smoke pot because I’m in favor of legalizing marijuana.

[Barack Obama] Right.
[Hank Green:] And we’re in a really weird place —
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Hank Green:] — with marijuana right now.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Hank Green:]
Like, it’s illegal in some places but — it’s illegal everywhere, but in some places, it’s kind of okay and — but
if the state thinks it’s not okay, then let’s throw those people in jail. I feel like it know, it leads to excessive incarceration especially among minorities. And in places where it’s been legalized, everything’s doing okay.

[Barack Obama]

[Hank Green:]
How do we move forward out of this legal-gray-area weirdness?

[Barack Obama]
Well, what you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington, through state referendum, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana. The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as a — as a illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made on the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re going to see other states start looking at this. What I am doing at the federal level is asking my Department of Justice just to examine, generally, how we are treating nonviolent drug offenders. Because I think you’re right; what we have done is, instead of focusing on treatment — the same way we focused, say, with tobacco or drunk driving or other problems where we treat it as a public health problem — we’ve treated this exclusively as a criminal problem. And I think that it’s been counterproductive, and it’s been devastating in a lot of minority communities. It presents the possibility, at least, of unequal application of the law. And that has to be changed. Now, the good news is that we’re starting to get some interest among Republicans as well as Democrats in reforming the criminal justice system. We’ve been able to initiate some changes administratively, and last year you had the first time in 40 years where the crime rate and the incarceration rate went down at the same time. I hope we can continue with those trends because they’re just a smarter way of dealing with these issues.

[Hank Green:] Well, we’re almost out of time here but I have brought a little — a little something for you —
[Barack Obama] What have you got?
[Hank Green:] — I’d like you to sign. So this is a picture of me holding a receipt from my pharmacy. I have a chronic condition.
[Barack Obama] That’s a very fetching picture.
[Hank Green:] Well, thank you. And it’s expensive to manage. But before I had insurance, I could not take this medication. It’s about $1,100, a month. And that is a receipt showing it being $5 a month. So Obamacare has worked for me.
[Barack Obama] Obama care has worked.
[Hank Green:] So thanks for that.
[Barack Obama] And that makes me feel good. Hank, you know, your story is the story of so many people around the country. You’ve been managing a chronic disease, so you, I think, are probably more attuned to the dangers of not having health insurance.
[Hank Green:] Yeah.
[Barack Obama] A lot of young people who are your viewers, they don’t have a chronic disease, so they think, “Why do I need it?”
until —
[Hank Green:] Yeah.
[Barack Obama] — something happens. And I hope that, you know, people have started to become aware, now that we’ve got a year under our belt, overwhelming majorities of these people are satisfied when they get coverage through Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. It typically costs less than your cellphone bill or your cable bill. It gives you peace of mind. And you know, I want to encourage everybody who hasn’t at least looked at it to go to You know, as you know, we had some bad hiccups initially in terms of the website. But now the website works well.
[Hank Green:] It does.
[Barack Obama] And it’s really fast, and there’s no wait. So everybody who’s watching —
[Hank Green:] (laughs)
[Barack Obama] — you know, make sure that you try it out.
[Hank Green:] Keep watching the live stream, though. But then, afterward, maybe go look at it.
[Barack Obama] (laughs) All right, thanks, Hank.
[Hank Green:] Yeah, thank you very much.
[Barack Obama] I’m really proud of what you’re doing. And thanks to everybody who watches all the great stuff that you’re putting on the — on the — on the web.
[Hank Green:] Thank you very much.
[Barack Obama] All right, appreciate you. Thanks. All right.
[Steve Grove:] Mr. President, the next topic that we’re going to cover is another angle on cybersecurity.
[Steve Grove:] We thought you’d be interested to know that searches on Google for cybersecurity have really risen over the past couple of years to the point where now more people are searching for cybersecurity and national security overall, so clearly a topic on a lot of people’s minds.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Steve Grove:] To tackle this topic and a lot of others, I want to introduce you to our next YouTube star, Glozell Green.
[Barack Obama] Hey, Glozell.
[Glozell Green:] Hello.
[Barack Obama] How are you?
[Glozell Green:] Can I have a hug?
[Barack Obama] Good to see you.
[Barack Obama] How are you doing?
[Glozell Green:] Excellent.
[Barack Obama] That’s a nice painting.
[Glozell Green:] Thank you.
[Barack Obama] Did you do that yourself?
[Glozell Green:] My husband did.
[Barack Obama] Your husband did it?
[Glozell Green:] Yes.
[Barack Obama] See there.
He loves you; I can tell.
[Glozell Green:] (laughs) Thank you.
[Barack Obama] That’s great. He’s quite an artist.
[Glozell Green:] Yes. Thank you very much. All right, let’s get started. My social media reaches over 5 million fans.
[Barack Obama] That’s a lot of people.
[Glozell Green:] Yeah.
[Barack Obama] Yeah, you’re a big star (laughs).
[Glozell Green:] Thank you — especially now. But I feel like — I thought I was able to say whatever I wanted to say whenever I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it because it was mine. But then the Sony hacking thing happened.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Glozell Green:] And it’s like, why didn’t the government help Sony feel protected and safe enough to release the film on time? Because something like that, the fallout affects me.

[Barack Obama]
Well, look, cybersecurity is a huge issue. We’ve been working on it since I came into office. And in fairness, the administration before me probably was starting to work on it; although, the changes in the media have happened so fast, and so much stuff is going online today that it becomes that much more important. The challenge we’ve got is that most of the Internet and the infrastructure that allows you to be posting on —

[Glozell Green:]

[Barack Obama]
— YouTube and people accessing your stuff, most of that stuff’s in private hands. It’s not in public hands. And so, what we have to do is to work with private companies —

[Glozell Green:]
I see.

[Barack Obama]
— telling them: Here’s what we’re seeing. Here’s how you can protect yourself. Here’s how you should share information with other companies who start seeing hackers getting into their stuff, so that everybody can pull the information and we can all protect each other together. And, you know, it moves very fast because, you know, these hackers are — you don’t have to have a lot of equipment in order to be able to do this hacking. In fact, the hacking against Sony, which we believe was done by North Korea, it wasn’t even that sophisticated, but it just goes to show how vulnerable we are. So we continue to do more with private industry to share with them best practices so how they can protect themselves. It’s sort of like with your own ATM machine –ATM card or your passcode, your passwords, your personal privacy. There’s certain things you can do to make yourself more protected. So we’re sharing that information with them. But what we’re also asking Congress to do is pass a law that would give us more tools to fight against this in the future, and I’m confident that this is something that we can actually get some good bipartisan support for. So you’re going to be all right. People are going to still be able to watch your show. I promise.

[Glozell Green:] (laughs) Okay.
[Barack Obama] Okay.
[Glozell Green:] I have three family members who are in the law enforcement and my husband, who painted that.
[Barack Obama] Who painted that.
[Glozell Green:] Yes. He’s retired from the Air Force.
[Barack Obama] Well, we’re grateful for his service. You tell him “thank you.”
[Glozell Green:] I will do that.
[Barack Obama] Okay.
[Glozell Green:] However, he’s mad at me right now because I cut all the hoods off his hoodies.
[Barack Obama] (laughs)
[Glozell Green:] I did. I did that for real —
[Barack Obama] I understand.
[Glozell Green:] — to protect him.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Glozell Green:] Because I’m afraid when he goes outside —
[Barack Obama] Right.

[Glozell Green:]
— that somebody might shoot and kill him. And it’s not, like, regular folks; it’s the po-po. I hope that this changes. How can we bridge the gap between black African-American males and white cops?

[Barack Obama] Source:
Well, first of all, you know, we always have to just remind ourselves that
the overwhelming majority of police officers,
they are doing a really tough job and they’re doing
it well and they’re doing it professionally.
What we also know is that there are still biases
in our society that in split-second situations
where people are having to make quick decisions that,
you know, studies have shown African-American
males are seen as more threatening,
which puts them in more vulnerable positions.

[Glozell Green:]

[Barack Obama]
Young African-American
males are typically seen as older than they are.
And so, a lot of the way to solve this
is to improve training so people can be aware —

[Glozell Green:]

[Barack Obama]
— of their biases ahead of time.
And when I was in the state legislature back
in Illinois, for example, I passed
a racial profiling bill.
It essentially said, “How are we going
to tackle this problem?
Let’s make sure we’re keeping track of the race
of everybody that was being stopped.
” And just by the small facts of keeping track,
suddenly each cop, when they were about to make
a traffic stop, they had to think, “Okay,
am I stopping this person because I should
be stopping them, or is some bias at work?”
And just that kind of mindfulness about it ended
up resulting in better data, better policing,
more trust by the communities that
are affected.
And we can do some of that same — that same stuff
and use those same tools.
I’ve put together a taskforce with police
and community activists —

[Glozell Green:]

[Barack Obama]
— including some of the
young people who were actively involved in the
Ferguson protests — to make sure that we come
up with what are the best training practices,
what are the best tools, more body cameras on police
officers so that they know they’re being watched —

[Glozell Green:]

[Barack Obama]
— in how they’re operating.
And we’re going to take some of those
recommendations and we’re going to put the federal
muscle behind them to see if we can make sure that
communities all across the country are
implementing them.

[Glozell Green:]
Thank you.

[Barack Obama] Source:
There you go. Well, you know, the — it’s something that I think everybody — not just African-Americans or Latinos, but everybody should be concerned about because —

[Glozell Green:]

[Barack Obama]
— you get better policing when communities have confidence that the police are protecting and serving all people and not — and not in any way showing bias. And that’s something that we should all have an interest in.

[Glozell Green:] Amen to that.
[Barack Obama] There you go.
[Glozell Green:] Okay.
[Barack Obama] Okay.
[Glozell Green:] I grew up in Florida.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Glozell Green:] And I have a lot of friends, close friends, who are Cuban-Americans.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Glozell Green:] And I’ve heard the stories of their families escaping.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Glozell Green:] And some of them didn’t even make it — to come to the United States a better life —
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Glozell Green:] — to get away from the Castros.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Glozell Green:] Okay. I mean, the guy puts “dic” in dictatorship. So I am trying to understand —
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Glozell Green:] — how do you justify dealing with the Castros?
[Barack Obama] Well, here’s what’s happened: we’ve had the same policy since I was born, which was we were going to have an embargo; we were going to cut off all contact, all communication. And nothing changed. And you know, I’ve said this before: when you do something over and over again for 50 years and it doesn’t work —
[Glozell Green:] Okay.

[Barack Obama]
— it’s time to try something new. And we started off, initially, by allowing more travel to Cuba by Cuban-Americans to visit their family, sending more money back to their family members to help them back in Cuba. We’ve been doing that for the last four or so years. And it turns out it’s been helpful to the people in Cuba. They have more contact with their family. It gives them more hope. Now what were saying is that by normalizing relations, we’re going to be able to still put pressure on the Cuban government, but also what happens now is you’ve got more visitors to Cuba, you start getting telecommunications into Cuba. You start getting the internet into Cuba. People’s minds begin to change. There’s more transparency about what’s going on. And over time, what you’re going to see, gradually, is a shift because not everybody — not everybody in Cuba is able to escape to the United States. And the goal, ultimately, is to make sure that there is freedom in Cuba, not just for the folks, you know, who have left.

[Glozell Green:] This is dependent on the Supreme Court ruling —
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Glozell Green:] — but do you think that same-sex marriage will be legalized in all of the United States during the time that you’re in office, and what can you do to push that along?
[Barack Obama] Well, we’ve done a lot to, obviously, push it along. You know, I announced my belief that same-sex marriage should be legal —
[Glozell Green:] Yes.

[Barack Obama]
— that people should be treated the same. We argued against — as an administration before
the Supreme Court, we argued against the
Defense of Marriage Act that was treating married couples
and same-sex couples differently in terms
of federal benefits.
The Supreme Court now is going to be taking
on a case.
My hope is that they go ahead and recognize what,
I think, the majority of people in America
now recognize, which is two people who love
each other —
[Glozell Green:] Yes.
[Barack Obama] — and are treating each other with
respect and aren’t bothering anybody else,
why would the law treat them differently?
[Glozell Green:] Why?
[Barack Obama] Why?
[Glozell Green:] I mean, why?
[Barack Obama] There’s no good reason for it.
[Glozell Green:] No.
[Barack Obama] And so, as a consequence, I think
that I’m hopeful the Supreme Court comes to the
right decision, but I will tell you, people’s hearts
have opened up on this issue.
I think people know that treating folks unfairly,
even if you disagree with their lifestyle choice —
[Glozell Green:] Exactly.
[Barack Obama] — the fact of the
matter is they’re not bothering you.
Let them live their lives, and under the law,
they should be treated equally.
[Glozell Green:] Yes.
[Barack Obama] — as far as me personally,
you know, just to see all the loving gay and lesbian
couples that I know who are great parents —
[Glozell Green:] Yes.
[Barack Obama] — and great partners, you know,
the idea that we would not treat them like the
brothers and sisters that they are, that doesn’t
make any sense to me.
[Glozell Green:] Yes.
Thank you.
[Barack Obama] You’re welcome.
[Glozell Green:] Okay.
You’re almost done with me and —
— your time as President.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Glozell Green:] With the time left, what would you
hope your legacy is?
[Barack Obama] Well, you know, we saved an economy
that was on the brink of depression.
We’ve created 11 million new jobs.
We’ve doubled clean energy.
We’ve, you know, reduced pollution.
We’ve made sure that more young people
can go to college.
We have given now, so far, 10 million people
health insurance that didn’t have it before,
and that’s going to grow over time.
You know, we have ended two wars
in a responsible way.
But we still have challenges.
Every day, I wake up and I ask myself, in particular,
how can I make sure that folks who are working
hard can not just survive, but how can they thrive?
How can they get ahead?
And so in the State of the Union that I just gave,
we talked about: How can we provide more help for
young families with child care?
Huge burden on a lot of people.
How can we make sure that college
is more affordable?
And what I want to do is make sure that the
first two years of community colleges are free
so that young people can, you know, have confidence
that if they go and try to get more skills that
they’re not going to be paying through the nose
in terms of a lifetime of debt.
You know, I want to make sure that we’re doing
more to raise the minimum wage and providing
paid sick leave.
So there’s a lot of basic stuff
that we can do that would ensure that the economy goes
strong, but more importantly, that
everybody benefits from a strong economy.
And that’s going to be my focus over
the next two years.
And, you know, once I’m done, then I’ll look back
and I’ll see what the legacy is, but hopefully,
it’ll be one in which I’m making sure that everybody
in this country can succeed.
[Glozell Green:] Okay.
And my momma said whenever you go to somebody’s
house, you have to give them something.
[Barack Obama] Oh, okay.
[Glozell Green:] Don’t come empty-handed.
[Barack Obama] All right.
[Glozell Green:] So I have green lipsticks, one for —
[Barack Obama] Yes?
[Glozell Green:] — your first wife.
[Barack Obama] My first wife?
[Glozell Green:] I mean (laughs) —
[Barack Obama] Do you know something I don’t?
[Glozell Green:] — oh, oh, for the First Lady —
[Barack Obama] One for the First Lady —
[Glozell Green:] — and the First Children.
I’m sorry.
[Barack Obama] — and the First — oh, I’m teasing.
[Glozell Green:] Okay.
All right.
I’m just going to put these and keep these here.
[Barack Obama] Okay.
I’m — let me just take a look at these, though.
They are very —
[Glozell Green:] It’s green.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
I mean, it is impressive stuff.
[Glozell Green:] I’m so sorry.
[Barack Obama] I’m going to — I’m going to see how
it looks — I’m going to ask Michelle to try
it on maybe tonight.
[Glozell Green:] (laughs) Oh, okay.
All right, thank you.
[Barack Obama] Thank you so much.
[Glozell Green:] Yes.
Oh, thank you.
[Barack Obama] You didn’t get some
green lipstick on my — on my coat, though?
[Glozell Green:] Well, I’m not touching that.
Well, no.
[Barack Obama] All right.
[Glozell Green:] Thank you.
[Steve Grove:] All right, Mr. President.
So the next issue we’re going tackle
is education — something you talked a lot about
in your State of the Union.
You may be interested to know that traditionally
when people were searching on Google for stuff around
college, the number one question they asked was,
“What should I bring with me to college?”
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Steve Grove:] But in the last couple of years,
the number one question has become how
to pay for college.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Steve Grove:] So clearly a topic that a lot of people
want to know more about.
And to tackle that question and many others,
we have a very popular YouTube creator next,
Ms. Bethany Mota.
[Barack Obama] All right.
Hey, Bethany.
[Bethany Mota:] Hello, Mr. President.
[Barack Obama] How are you?
[Bethany Mota:] Good, how are you?
[Barack Obama] Good to see you.
[Bethany Mota:] Great to meet you.
Welcome to my little setup.
[Barack Obama] I know, it’s very attractive.
[Bethany Mota:] I hope you like it.
I decorated for you.
[Barack Obama] Yeah, it’s beautiful.
[Bethany Mota:] Thank you.
[Barack Obama] Beautiful.
Now, who’s the baby over there?
[Bethany Mota:] That is my niece.
These are all my nieces.
[Barack Obama] What’s her name?
[Bethany Mota:] Her name is Marin.
[Barack Obama] Well, tell Marin I said “hey.”
[Bethany Mota:] I will.
All right, so I’m very excited
to hear your answers, so I’m just going to dive
into the questions.
[Barack Obama] Let’s go.
[Bethany Mota:] So my first question for you
is regarding education.
[Bethany Mota:] I’m 19 years old.
A lot of my friends are the same age as me,
as well as my online audience.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Bethany Mota:] And a lot of them are now going
to college or are already in college.
So my question for you is, how can — what do you
think is the best long-term plan
for making education, as a whole, more
affordable for students?
[Barack Obama] Well, a couple of things.
First of all, college remains the
best investment you can make.
You know, if you want to do anything right now
in this st-century economy, you’re going
to be measured by how much knowledge you have
and how adaptable you are to changing circumstances.
And college, it’s not just that it gives you
a particular skill, but it also teaches you how
to learn, you know, for your whole life.
[Bethany Mota:] Right.
[Barack Obama] And you know, so it’s the key
to the future.
One of the things that we’ve done is to make
sure that more young people have access
to Pell grants, more people have access to student loans
that are lower interest rate.
Now I’ve proposed to make community colleges free
for the first two years, and that’s a good option
for a lot of young people.
You know, there are four-year colleges,
but a lot of times you can go to a community college for
your first two years and then transfer your credits
and go to a four-year college, but you’ve
already gotten your first two years free.
And we know that it’s already working
in places like Tennessee.
We want to take that all across the country.
And then what we’ve done is we’ve also said,
once you get out, if you’ve got some debt, then we want
to be able to cap how much you pay back to 10 percent
of your income so that if you decide to become
a teacher, or a social worker or some helping
profession that doesn’t pay a lot, you don’t feel
like, well, I can’t do that job because,
you know, my debt burden is going to be too high.
But the single most important thing for your
viewers is, number one, you’ll be able to
figure out a way to pay for college, but you’ve got
to be a smart shopper.
You’ve got to know a head of time how much does
this school cost.
[Bethany Mota:] Right.
[Barack Obama] If they tell you, “Well,
we’ll help you finance it; don’t worry,” you’ve got
to understand you’re going to be taking on some debt.
And what is it going to look like
once you’re finished?
[Bethany Mota:] Right.
[Barack Obama] You should have, you know,
some sense of whether you can get in-state
tuition versus going to a school out of state,
because there may be a big difference in terms of cost.
And one of things we’re also doing is seeing
if we can get more high schools to work with their
local colleges so that while you’re at high school,
you can start getting some college credits.
That may make it quicker for you to get your
college degree, and you know, the quicker
you get your degree, the cheaper it’s going to be.
[Bethany Mota:] That’s awesome.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] Thank you.
My next question, I actually relate to on
a very personal level because when I was
younger, I was cyberbullied,
which affected me in a very big way, so I went online
and I basically spoke about my story —
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Bethany Mota:] — which then a lot of my viewers
online came to me, leaving comments and asking
for tips and advice on, you know, how I dealt with it.
And obviously, you know, I can give them tips based
off of my experience, but sometimes I feel like I
reach a point where I just can’t help them as much
as I would truly love to.
So my question for you is, how can we just prevent
that, prevent bullying in schools and online?
Because it’s something that happens
on a daily basis.
[Barack Obama] Source:
I’ve got to say this is one area where
I think your voice is more powerful than the
President of the United States.
You know, because peers are going to have more
influence than anybody.
And when they see young people like you
who are willing to speak out and say “that’s not right”
and protect other people from, you know,
this kind of bullying, cyberbullying, or any kind
of bullying, that’s what changes people’s minds.
That’s what has an impact on them.
Suddenly it’s like, oh, I guess it’s not so cool
for me to do that, because know, somebody
I respect or somebody who’s like
me is telling me, you know, to act differently.
So we had a big conference here at the White House in
order to prevent bullying.
And you know, we had a whole bunch
of organizations who came together, and they were
in workshops and looking an various ways of dealing
with the issue, but the really most powerful
testimonies came from students and young people
like you who had organized themselves —
[Bethany Mota:] Right.
[Barack Obama] — and were going from campus
to campus, school to school, going online and just
explaining why, you know, that’s — you know, that
kind of bullying tactic is something that we can
guard against if everybody kind of speaks out against
it and uses positive peer pressure to say that’s
just not acceptable.
So you’re already doing it.
[Bethany Mota:] Thank you.
[Barack Obama] I think you — I think you have
— you have better advice than just about anybody about
it because you experienced it and you felt it.
[Bethany Mota:] Thank you so much.
[Barack Obama] You bet.
[Bethany Mota:] So last April, Boko Haram
kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls.
And just last month this actually happened again,
and a lot of them are still missing.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] So what do you think we can
do to raise awareness about this issue and also
just prevent it from happening again?
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
Well, as people may know or may not know,
Boko Haram is a radical, violent, terrible,
extremist organization in Nigeria, and they’d
kidnapped 200 young women and are — they’re,
in many cases, still being held.
What we’ve tried to do is to help the
Nigerian government to deal with the problem.
The Nigerian government has not been as effective
as it needs to be in not only finding the girls
but also in stopping this extremist organization
from operating inside their territory.
And what we’re trying to do is mobilize other
countries to try to give the Nigerian government
more resources, not just military equipment but
better intelligence, allow them to track where these
folks are and to try to stop them.
And you know, it’s hard, but I tell you, the more
young people are engaged in issues like this and
speak out and let their elected officials know
that they care about it, the more attention that
is paid to it, and ultimately, you know,
that’s how you solve these problems.
And there — look, there are a lot of really
heartbreaking situations all around the world.
There are a lot of countries that
are still struggling.
You know, during your lifetime, more people have
come out of poverty and more people have been
able to feel more secure around the world than probably
any time in human history, but there’s still
a lot of, you know, bad stuff going on out there.
And that’s why it’s so important for young people
like you to educated yourselves about the
issues and to speak out and get involved.
And over time, you know, we’re not going to solve
every problem overnight, but we can have some
positive impact.
[Bethany Mota:] Yeah.
I completely agree.
My next question for you — so I was
actually just in China.
I travel a lot.
And I connected to the Internet, and I couldn’t
help but notice I couldn’t access the apps and the
websites that I do back home, and I just
felt kind of isolated —
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] — from, like,
the online global community.
[Barack Obama] Right.
[Bethany Mota:] So how can we make
them a part of that?
[Barack Obama] Well, you know, China and Russia
and some other counties around the world that don’t
have a democratic government and don’t have the same
traditions of free speech and an open Internet,
they have recognized, I think, that the Internet’s
so powerful that if people start being able
to communicate, then they maybe start criticizing
the government.
And then they may be able to mobilize opposition,
and things that are unfair or people who are being
mistreated suddenly have a voice.
So they’re trying to keep a lid on things.
And you know, we consistently, you know,
wherever we go insist that issues like free speech
and a free and open Internet, well, we think
that that is part of who we are as a people.
We think that that has value not just
in America but everywhere.
You know, we obviously can’t make laws in China,
but what we can do is let them know and shine
a spotlight on some of those practices and indicate
to them that any government that is afraid of its own
people and people just peacefully trying to speak
out and voice their own opinions is, over the long
term, not going to be as effective and as long
lasting as a government that trusts its people
to be able to communicate freely.
[Bethany Mota:] Got it.
Thank you so much.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] So I’m going to be honest with you.
[Barack Obama] Yes.
[Bethany Mota:] Before I came here
to do this interview for YouTube, I never really
followed politics that much.
And —
[Barack Obama] You’re not — you’re not the only one.
[Bethany Mota:] — (laughs) a lot of my online
audience and just the younger generation
don’t seem as interested in it, and I personally think
that we should be.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] So my question for you is,
why should the younger generation be interested
in politics, and why should it matter to them?
[Barack Obama] Well, basically, politics
is just, how do we organize ourselves as a society?
You know, how do we make decisions about how
we’re going to live together?
So young people care about how college is paid for?
Well, the truth of the matter is that the reason
we even have colleges is that at some point,
there were politicians who said, “You know what?
We should start colleges.”
And — you know, dating back to Abraham Lincoln,
who started something called the land-grant
colleges, and he understood that
the government should invest in people being able
to get an education and have the tools to succeed.
Well, you know, you guys are the ones who are going
to be using these colleges and universities,
and if they are not getting enough funding from
government and your tuition goes up and
you’ve got more debt, you’re the ones affected.
So you better have a voice and know what’s going
on and who’s making decisions about that.
[Bethany Mota:] You’re right.
[Barack Obama] You know, if you care about an issue
like, you know, making sure that gays and
lesbians and transgendered persons are treated
fairly, well, laws on the books can make sure that
they’re not discriminated against, but those laws
only pass if politics, you know, allows those
laws to pass.
You know, the environment.
I’m a lot older than you.
You’re going to be around longer than I am.
And if the climate keeps on getting warmer and
we have more droughts and more floods, and you know,
the oceans start dying off, you know, it’s going
to be you and your children who are,
you know, dealing with that.
We can stop it, but we can only stop
it if we get together and we start using energy differently.
And so there’s no decision in our lives, basically,
that isn’t touched in some way by the laws
that we have.
And you know, we’re really lucky that we live
in a democracy where our voice matters.
But if we don’t participate, it’s sort
of — you know, look, I’ll bet you’re —
a bunch of your friends — here’s — it’s as simple
as this: You decided you guys want to go see
a movie, and you’ve got a group of friends, and you know,
somehow you’ve got to figure out which movie
you’re going to go see because not everybody’s
going to agree all the time.
You’re going to have to have a debate, and you’re
going to have to make an argument, and then,
eventually, so you’re going to have
to compromise.
[Bethany Mota:] Right.
[Barack Obama] And you know, otherwise,
you guys aren’t going to be hanging out together too much.
Well, you know, the same is true for a country.
You know, we’ve got to make decisions about which
direction we’re going to go in, what we’re going
to be doing, how we’re going to spend our money,
how we’re going to treat each other.
And you don’t want to be the person who just says,
“Okay, whatever you guys want to do, I’ll just
do that.”
You want to express your voice and your
values and what you care about.
And that’s what politics is.
It’s not really that complicated, you know.
It’s just — it’s something that people
do all the time with their friends and with their
family and — you know, they negotiate,
they compromise, they try to figure out how
do we live together.
And this is just done at a national level.
And some of the issues get pretty complicated,
but usually the values are the — are the same ones that
you talk about all the time — you know,
how do you — how do we treat each other with kindness?
How do we look after one another?
How are we fair to each other, you know?
And you know, I think that young people usually have
good instincts, but sometimes they just get
turned off by all the noise and yelling on TV,
and that’s not how politics has to be.
[Bethany Mota:] Thank you so much.
[Barack Obama] All right.
[Bethany Mota:] So my audience have a lot of fun
questions for you, so we’re going to do
a quick lightning round.
[Barack Obama] Okay, lightning round.
I’m going to move really quick.
[Bethany Mota:] Okay, so I know you have a lot to do, obviously.
[Barack Obama] Yes, I do.
[Bethany Mota:] But if you have any free time,
what TV show or movies do you watch?
[Barack Obama] You know, I’m really big on sports,
so the truth of the matter is that I’m mostly
watching SportsCenter —
[Bethany Mota:] All right, all right.
[Barack Obama] — whenever I’m working
out at the gym.
If there’s a basketball game or a football game
on, I’m usually tuned in there.
[Bethany Mota:] Nice.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] Okay.
What did you want to be growing up?
[Barack Obama] I wanted to be
a bunch of different things.
I wanted to be an architect for a long time.
[Bethany Mota:] Wow, nice.
[Barack Obama] And you know, I suppose
in the back of my mind, at some point, I thought playing
in the NBA would be great, being a basketball player.
That ended, I think, around the age of ,
when I realized I wasn’t talented enough.
[Bethany Mota:] Oh.
[Barack Obama] It’s okay.
Things worked out pretty good.
[Bethany Mota:] I would say so.
[Barack Obama] Yeah.
[Bethany Mota:] I would definitely say so.
[Barack Obama] Exactly.
[Bethany Mota:] (laughs) And the last one is,
if you had any super power, what would it be?
[Barack Obama] Any super power?
You know, I guess, like, the flying thing seems
pretty cool, right, you know,
sort of zipping around?
[Bethany Mota:] I would love it.
[Barack Obama] You know, as long as you could —
[Bethany Mota:] I would like to
be invisible sometimes.
[Barack Obama] as long as — as long
as you could stay warm.
The invisibility thing seems, like, a little
sneaky to me, you know?
It’s like, what are — what are you going to —
what are you going to be doing with that?
You’re going to be listening
in on people’s conversations.
[Bethany Mota:] (laughs)
[Barack Obama] You know, I —
so the — I guess the flying thing.
One time somebody asked me this, and I gave a —
I gave an answer that my wife Michelle teased me.
She thought this was really nerdy.
But it’s okay; I’ll go ahead and tell you anyway.
And I don’t know if this is a super power:
I’d love to be able to speak any language.
I would love, like —
[Bethany Mota:] That’s actually amazing.
[Barack Obama] — anybody I met anywhere
in the world, I could just talk in their language.
That — to me, that would be really cool.
[Bethany Mota:] I’d love that.
[Barack Obama] Isn’t that cool?
[Bethany Mota:] I would love that, too.
[Barack Obama] Yeah, but I don’t think it
would make a really good movie, you know.
It’s not that exciting.
[Bethany Mota:] It’s a really good one, though.
I’ve never heard that one before.
[Barack Obama] See?
All right, there you go.
[Bethany Mota:] Actually, one more question for you.
[Barack Obama] Yes?
[Bethany Mota:] Can you take a selfie with me?
[Barack Obama] Let’s do it.
[Bethany Mota:] All right.
Glozell, Hank, get in here.
[Barack Obama] You guys going to get in here?
All right.
[Bethany Mota:] Group selfie.
[Barack Obama] All right, come on.
[Bethany Mota:] Okay, ready?
[Barack Obama] Everybody ready?
All right.
Oh, wait, wait, wait.
[Hank Green:] (laughs)
[Bethany Mota:] Wait, Hank,
I can’t really see you.
[Hank Green:] I’m in there.
[Bethany Mota:] Got it.
[Barack Obama] Okay, my knees are a little —
I’m teasing you.
[Steve Grove:] All right, Mr. President.
Thank you so much for being here.
[Barack Obama] Steve, that was great.
[Steve Grove:] We’ve had a lot of fun with it today.
[Barack Obama] No, no, thank you so much.
And I’m so proud of what you guys are
doing because —

[Bethany Mota:] Source:
Thank you.

[Barack Obama]
— this is the power of, know, what the Internet’s all about. You know, you can create content, and there’s not all these barriers to entry and suddenly you know, you get millions of people who are listening to you and in a conversation with you. And it’s a great treat for me because, you know, more and more, there are audiences that get turned off by the traditional, you know, news shows or the traditional debates, and so for me to be able to reach your audiences and just hopefully give them a sense of that what we do here in Washington, what government does, actually matters and makes a difference in their lives. I hope it’s been useful. All right? So good luck.

[Barack Obama]
We’re very proud of you.

[Bethany Mota:]
Thank you.

[Steve Grove:]
Just tell our viewers: if you missed the first part of the interview or you want to watch it again, just go to Thanks, everybody. Goodbye.

[Barack Obama] Source:
Okay, thanks, Steve.

[Steve Grove:]
Thanks, Mr. President. That was a lot of fun.

[Barack Obama]
Yeah, no, it was a lot of fun. Yeah, you guys are doing great.

The White House – The YouTube Interview With President Obama. And that is a receipt showing it being $5 a month. So Obamacare has worked for me. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.