FOX News Interview With Obama Follows A 'Lightning Round' Format (VIDEO)
Aside from taking a moment to wish the Obamas a "happy and joyous holiday season," FOX News's Major Garrett cut right to the chase in his interview with President Obama in Beijing.
Garrett made it clear from the get-go that the interview would have a "lightning round nature" to it. Covering everything from jobs to Guantanamo to Middle East relations, Garrett's questions focused largely on deadlines and were geared more toward "yes" or "no" answers.
When Garrett asked whether the proposed, 2010 jobs bill would raise the deficit, Obama meandered in his response, giving too layered an answer for Garrett, who had asked the President to "indulge yourself, if you will, in short answers."
Garrett quickly reeled him back in: "Does it raise the deficit or does it not?" Obama responded: "We haven't seen that, and that's part of a reason why I think we want to take a look at the summit."
Garrett grilled the President on his commitment to meeting deadlines, on everything from health care to the South Korea trade agreement. When asked about whether he was disappointed to miss his Guantanamo deadline, Obama acknowledged that, "as usual in Washington, things move slower than I anticipated."
On health care, Garrett focused on the Stupak language in the bill, which has to do with whether federal funds should cover abortions, and has been a source of recent debate. Garrett asked: "Will you sign legislation on Health Care that includes the Stupak language?"
OBAMA: You know, I think that there is a balance to be achieved that is consistent with the Hyde amendment -- what existed before we reformed Health Care.
Garrett insisted on a clearer answer: "Yes or no, does the Stupak language strike that balance?"
"Not yet," Obama replied.
Obama offered his most straightforward response when asked about Israel's intentions to put more settlements in Gilo:
"I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security, I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors, I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous, and it makes, makes it hard to relaunch any kind of serious talks about how you achieve s two state solution."
The interview comes after a verbal battle between the White House and FOX News, in which the White House called the network a "wing of the Republican Party." The war of words was not brought up in the interview, which remained civil throughout.
WATCH FOX News's interview with Obama: