Amid questions about Sen. Barack Obama's readiness for the presidency, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin of the Clinton administration sheds insight on Obama's capabilities and the likelihood that Americans will coalesce around his domestic and international economic agenda. Judy Woodruff and Rubin discuss.
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… facing the next president, around the world, the economy are not the same as those that faced President Clinton. What has changed? What will the next — whoever he is, what has changed?
ROBERT RUBIN, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary:
I actually think, in many respects, they're not so dissimilar. We had a middle-class squeeze in the '80s. We've had stagnant median real wages during this decade.
President Clinton inherited serious deficits. We've had deficits during this decade when we should have had surpluses.
We have an energy problem. We have health care to address. I actually think, in many respects, the issues are similar. Obviously, the circumstances, in some regards, are different.
The Republicans say that Barack Obama, whatever the problems, is not equipped to handle the presidency, that he's not experienced enough. You've been advising him on economic issues. What do you say to that?