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Five questions: Charles Barkley in Denver

  • Story Highlights
  • Former NBA player Charles Barkley says he favors his friend Obama
  • America's public schools should be a priority, Barkley says
  • TNT sports analyst also says he's running for governor of Alabama
  • "I just want to do good things with my name," he says
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(CNN) -- Former NBA star and TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley attended the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday and answered five questions for CNN.com at the CNN Grill.

Former NBA star Charles Barkley says the next president must deal with poverty and the war in Iraq.

Former NBA star Charles Barkley says the next president must deal with poverty and the war in Iraq.

CNN.com: Why are you here in Denver?

Barkley: I just wanted to be here. I'm just so excited. I never thought in my lifetime we'd have a black man with a legitimate shot of being president.

CNN.com: Are you a Barack Obama supporter?

Barkley: Barack has been a friend of mine for a long time. I met him when I was writing my last book, and he was running for Senate, and I got to know him, and we stayed in contact. I consider him a friend. I think he'd make a fantastic president. I want to make it clear that if I didn't think he could do the job, I wouldn't vote for him. I think he'd make a fantastic president. And I'm not voting for him because he's black. I think he's a great person.

CNN.com: What do you think the Democrats need to do here to win the White House?

Barkley: I think they've got to just make sure to get those troops home from Iraq, that's a big deal. But No. 1, we've got to give poor people a chance. America is divided by economics, and we as Americans, we've got to do a better job of supporting poor people.

CNN.com: How?

Barkley: We've got to improve the public school system. If you're born in this country poor, whether you're white or black, you're going to be born in a bad neighborhood; you're going to go to a bad school. It's going to be very difficult for poor people to be successful. iReport.com: Are you at the DNC? Share sights, sounds

CNN.com: What are you doing in Denver for fun?

Barkley: I'm going to the Hill Harper party tonight. Last night we just went out and had a real nice meal and just took it easy because I knew today was going to be a long day. I just want to be here. Plain and simple.

CNN.com: Are you running for governor in Alabama?

Barkley: I'm planning on running for governor. I can't screw up Alabama. Politics, it's just so important, and I just want to do good things with my name, and I'm just going to keep continuing to do that.

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