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President Obama Answers Questions From CBS4 Viewers

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President Barack Obama is interviewed by Shaun Boyd of KCNC, Denver, Colorado, in the Map Room of the White House, April 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama is interviewed by Shaun Boyd of KCNC, Denver, Colorado, in the Map Room of the White House, April 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS4)- President Obama sat down with CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd at the White House on Monday.

The exclusive one-on-one interview with the President lasted nearly 10 minutes. Mr. Obama said he is committed to Coloradans and admits that Colorado is a key state for his future and the 2012 election.

WATCH: CBS4′s complete interview with President Obama

“I’ve never had trouble connecting with Coloradans,” said Obama. “People in Colorado, they think about the environment, they’re keen on technology. I think there’s a strong independent streak in Colorado.”

During the interview Obama made his case for ending Bush-era tax breaks for wealthier Americans. When asked about farmers and small business owners in Colorado who might be worried that his budget will raise their taxes, the president said that won’t happen.

“The truth is, is that only about two percent of small business owners make more than $250,000 a year. What we’ve said is that there is a way of protecting middle class families, those farmers, those small business owners that are out there, but making sure those folks that are millionaires and billionaires pay a little bit more,” said Obama.

CBS4 viewers also had many questions about education and jobs. Missi Wiedel asked, “Where are the jobs?” on CBS4′s Facebook page.

“It’s uneven. We’ve actually seen the largest drop in unemployment over the last several months, since 1982. We’ve created close to 2 million jobs over the last year, year and a half,” said Obama.

The President said the single most important investment is education, which doesn’t necessarily mean more money, but more reforms like those led by Sen. Michael Bennet.

“An agenda that holds schools more accountable, that makes sure we are experimenting with things like charter schools that can hold the promise of better outcomes, that we’re doing a lot better job of training teachers,” said Obama.

When asked about immigration, the president says he would be willing to take on the issue before his term is up. He says he’s confident he has Republican backing to pass a bill that would give amnesty to illegal immigrants already here.

“We are looking at employers who are exploiting undocumented workers and we’ve also got to make sure we are having a comprehensive law that looks at the folks who are already here and figures out how do we get them on a path to citizenship. I think can be done in comprehensive way,” he said.

Rep. Cory Gardner from Colorado told CBS4 after the interview the president is reading the wrong tea leaves and that the GOP doesn’t support amnesty.

Obama also spoke during the interview about the fire danger. He said he supports more money to fight wildfires across the West.

Dominic Dezzutti’s Blog: Obama Interview: Right Questions, Guarded Answers

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