Obama Explains His Choice, Reacts To Palin

Tells 60 Minutes Biden "Can Step In And Become President," Calls McCain's VP Pick An "Up-And-Coming Public Servant"

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"She's a life-long member of the NRA. She's a hunter. Her husband's a member of the United Steel Worker Union. Blue collar guy. Got a son on the way to Iraq. It seems like just the kind of person who would appeal to voters in states that you absolutely have to win," Kroft remarked. "And they have to win."

"Well, look, I am happy if this ends up being a referendum on what's going to be good for blue collar workers," Obama said. "I'll put my guy, Joe Biden, up against anybody when it comes to fighting on behalf of those families, because he's been there. He comes out of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He's been fightin' for those folks ever since he got into the Senate. And he hasn't stopped. And he hasn't forgotten where he's come from."

"You know, I think we really underestimate people in the neighborhood. In the neighborhoods I came from, you came from. I really think we underestimate them," Biden remarked. "People get it. I think they're looking for more than whether or not Joe Biden's from Scranton and she hunts. I think that's you know, 'What ya gonna do about it?'"

"But you tried really hard to reach these people. You went and sipped beer, which I know you don't particularly like - I mean you even…," Kroft remarked.

"Steve, I had a beer last night. I mean, where do these stories come from, man?" Obama asked.

"I'm the one… [that] doesn't drink," Biden pointed out.

"Where does the story come from that…I don't like beer? …C'mon, man," Obama said.

"You even tried bowling," Kroft remarked.

"Time out there," Obama said.

"I've got to defend my bowling honor here," Obama said, laughing. "It is true that my bowling score left something to be desired. The reason I bowled though, wasn't to try to get votes. If I had been tryin' to get votes, I promise you I would have been avoiding a bowling alley. The reason I was there was to campaign. And we had great fun. But here's the bottom line: I wouldn't have been elected to the United States Senate out of Illinois, which is 12 percent African American if I didn't have some broad appeal. So, the mythology that's developed that somehow I can't get those votes is refuted by the very fact that I'm sittin' in this chair."

"Is that one of the reasons you picked Senator Biden?" Kroft asked.

"What reason is that, Steve?" Obama asked.

"You said you've got Joe Biden working for you in Pennsylvania. …States like Pennsylvania," Kroft explained.

"Let me tell you the reason I picked Joe Biden. Number one, he can step in and become president. And I don't think anybody has any doubt about that," Obama said.

"Number two is that if I'm in the room making the kinds of tough decisions that the next president's gonna have to make, both on domestic policy and on international policy, then I want the counsel and advice of somebody who's not gonna agree with me a 100 percent of [the] time. In fact, somebody who's independent enough that can push back and give me different perspectives and make sure that I'm catching any blind spots that I have. And Joe Biden doesn't bite his tongue," he continued.

"You've had some differences over pretty substantial issues. Iraq for one," Kroft pointed out.

"Actually, we haven't," Biden said. "Look, Barack was right. He not only got it right about bein' against the war, I got it wrong about underestimating the incompetence of this administration when we gave the president the power we gave him at the time. He knew accurately that even, not even being outside. Maybe it gave you a better perspective. That that meant he was going to war. Bush told me he wasn't going to war. I thought they meant it. You're standing outside. You knew they didn't mean it."