Obama on Boehner Lawsuit: 'The Suit Is a Stunt'

The president sits down with George Stephanopoulos to talk about everything from crises overseas to his stalemate with Congress.
5:31 | 06/27/14

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Transcript for Obama on Boehner Lawsuit: 'The Suit Is a Stunt'
We're going to turn to my exclusive interview with president Obama. Comes at a tough moment in his presidency, with crises at our border and overseas. We talked about that as he traveled to Minnesota for the first of what he's calling day in the life visits across America. Hello, Minneapolis. Reporter: The president's trip is one more move to break out of the white house bubble and convince the country he's working for people like Rebecca Eller, who he came to see after she wrote the president about her family's struggles. She's asking if I'm working really hard, can I find affordable child care? If I'm going back to school, why am I not eligible for tax credits to offset the tuition? And it breaks my heart sometimes to think that we can't get our act together enough to do that? For us not to try, makes a mockery of our democracy. Reporter: But will trips like this make a difference? Obama blames republicans for not passing his proposals. Now the public is blaming him. More than half of the Americans have lost confidence in your ability to lead the country and get the job done. That must have been stunning to you. Disappointing? I've been dealing with this since 2009. Reporter: How do you turn it around? There's been a number of times when the punditry said, how do you turn it around? And what we do is stay focused on what matters. And chip away at it and try to make progress. People have health care. The economy has gotten a lot better. What I do worry about is that right now, we got a republican party that seems to only care about saying no to me. Reporter: So, he's gone around congress, using the president's executive power and setting up a new high-stakes battle with republicans. You have speaker Boehner talking about suing you for executive actions he says has crossed the line. We elected a president. We didn't elect a monarch or king. He didn't specifically say what exactly he was objecting to. I'm not going to apologize for trying to do something while they're doing nothing. Reporter: Even if you get sued? You know, the suit is a stunt. But what I've told speaker Boehner directly is, if you're really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don't you try getting something done through congress? The majority of American people want to see immigration reform done. We had a bipartisan bill through the senate. And you're going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority, while you are not doing anything? You mentioned immigration. There's a humanitarian crisis on the border. Some of your critics say you need to speak out directly to the people of central America and say, don't come. If you come, you will be deported. We've done that. The problem is, under current law, once the kids come across the border, there's a system in which we're supposed to process them, take care of them, until we can send them back. Reporter: Is your message don't come? Our message is absolutely don't send your children, unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. That's our direct message to families in central America. Don't send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it. Reporter: Let's talk about Iraq. How serious is the I.S.I.S. Threat to people in Minnesota and around the country? I was struck by an article by Ryan crocker, who served as Eric ambassador under you. He said, this is global jihad. It's coming our way. They have 2,000 fighters with western passports. Don't need a Visa to get in. Are we under serious threat right now from I.S.I.S.? We've been under serious threat my entire presidency. And we were under serious threat predating 9/11, from those who embrace this ideology. Reporter: But they're gaining strength, aren't they? They're gaining strength in some places. But we've also got a lot better at protecting ourselves. Reporter: Let me ask you a final question on foreign policy. It comes from "Audacity of hope." And you said, without a well-articulated strategy, the public support and the world understands America will lack legitimacy and the power it needs to make the world safer that on it is today. Americans don't support your path on foreign policy. Are you failing by your own standard? You know, I know we go back to the polls. But throughout the first half of my presidency, the polls showed strong support for my policy. Reporter: But the public has to support it, doesn't it? Not at every minute. Not every week. There's times when the world is messy. One thing you realize during the course of five years is, if the problems were easy, somebody else would have solved them already. One of the great challenges of this job and one of the great privileges of this job is you're tackling stuff that is really tough. And I'm glad that after five years, I'm still here, able to do it. And later on, we're going to talk about getting the president's analysis of team usa. And how Sasha and Malia is growing and changing the white house.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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