But, you know, I don't want to go down that route. What I want to really focus on is this issue of national...
But, you know, I don't want to go down that route. What I want to really focus on is this issue of national security, because I think you've repeated this a number of times. You are the person best prepared on national security issues on day one, and so if you're running against John McCain, that you can go toe-to-toe.
Keywords: SC, South Carolina, Democratic Debate, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, National Security, Foreign Policy
I fundamentally disagree with that. And I want to tell you why, because I believe that the way we are going to take on somebody like a John McCain on national security is not that we're sort of -- we've been sort of like John McCain, but not completely, you know, we voted for the war, but we had reservations.
I think it's going to be somebody who can serve a strong contrast and say, "We've got to overcome the politics of fear in this country." As commander-in-chief...
As commander-in-chief, all of us would have a responsibility to keep the American people safe. That's our first responsibility. And I would not hesitate to strike against anybody who would do Americans or American interests' harm.
But what I do believe...
BLITZER: All right.
OBAMA: Wait, Wolf, let me finish. I was listening to these folks quite some time.
What I do believe is that we have to describe a new foreign policy that says, for example, I will meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies, because I remember what John F. Kennedy said, that we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate.
Having that kind of posture is the way I think we effectively debate the Republicans on this issue. Because if we just play into the same fear-mongering that they have been engaged in since 9/11, then we are playing on their battlefield, but, more importantly, we are not doing what's right in order to rebuild our alliances, repair our relationships around the world, and actually make us more safe in the long term.