ABC has the full transcript of the interview with President Carebear from This Week with a Greek Dwarf. The part on Syria is actually pretty fascinating and slaughters the claim that Putin saved his ass:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you’re- and President Putin has become your unlikely partner-
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Yeah.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: -in this. And, you know, even in this op-ed, which has stirred up a lot of controversy here in United States, he said, “There’s every reason to believe that the rebels are the ones who used the chemical weapons.” So does that tell you he’s willing to lie to protect Assad?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, nobody around the world takes seriously the idea that the rebels- were the perpetrators of this—
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: He wrote it in The New York Times.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, I understand. What I said is nobody around the world takes seriously the idea that the rebels perpetrated this attack. Now what is true is that there are radical elements in the opposition- including folks who are affiliated with al-Qaeda, who, if they got their hands on chemical weapons, would have no compunction using them in Syria or outside of Syria.
And part of the reason why we’ve been so concerned about this chemical weapons- issue is because we don’t want- those folks gettin’ chemical weapons, anymore than we want Assad to have chemical weapons. And so the best solution is for us to get them out of there.
But- with respect to Mr. Putin- I have said consistently that where the interest of the United States and Russia converge, we need to work together. And I had talked to Mr. Putin a year ago- saying to him- the United States and Russia should work together to deal with these chemical weapons stockpiles, and to work to try to bring about a political transition-
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you trust-
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: -inside of Syria.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: -he has the same goal? Do you really trust that?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Oh, I don’t think that- Mr. Putin has the same- values that we do. And I think- obviously, by- protecting Mr. Assad- he has a different attitude about- the Assad regime. But what I’ve also said to him directly- is that we both have an interest in preventing chaos, we both have an interest in preventing terrorism, the situation in Syria right now is untenable, as long as Mr. Assad’s in power, there is gonna be some sort of conflict there, and that we should work together to try to find a way in which the interests of all the parties inside of Syria, the Alawites, the Sunnis, the Christians, that everybody is represented and that there is a way of bringing the temperature down so that- that horrible things that are happening inside the country-
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you-
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: -are continuing to happen.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And I think there’s a way for- Mr. Putin, despite- me and him having a whole lot of differences, to play an important role in that. And so I welcome him being involved. I welcome him saying, “I will take responsibility for pushing my client, the Assad regime- to deal with these chemical weapons.”
Because- I think that if, in fact- not only Russia gets involved, but if- potentially Iran gets involved- as well in recognizing that what’s happening there is a train wreck that hurts not just Syrians but destabilizing the entire region-
So… a year ago he was trying to get Putin to do something about Assad’s chemical weapons, he got the Russians to promise compliance with the destruction of their client-state’s stockpile, and maybe more importantly he got the Russians to admit that Syria has a stockpile and acknowledge that the Syrians used them. He got them to admit that they have been lying about Syria. Not bad for a guy whom the Wingnuts claim is out of his depth.
I would call that a pretty big success, and especially if we don’t end up bombing that country back into the stone age. Oh, and Grandpa Walnuts can suck eggs.