February 3rd, 2009
07:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: 'I screwed up' on Daschle appointment

President Barack Obama is interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama is interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday admitted he made a mistake in handling the nomination of Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services secretary, saying Daschle's tax problems sent a message that the politically powerful are treated differently than average people.

Watch: Pres. Obama one-on-one

Daschle, the former Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, withdrew earlier Tuesday as news that he failed to pay some taxes in the past continued to stir opposition on Capitol Hill.

"I think I screwed up," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. "And, I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again."

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Filed under: President Obama • Tom Daschle
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Xavier

    This is still not even half as bad as what Bush screwed up during his presidency, and he hasnt even admitted it yet. We are still paying for all of Bush's screw up, and paying dearly with our soldiers lives and monetary income.

    February 3, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. rr

    at least the president said he screwed up . i still believe in you mr president alot of people don't like admiting their mistakes. i give a A for that.

    February 3, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. Lisa Vilen

    Thank you, Mr. President, for taking responsibility. I do not remember any of your Republican contemporaries ever doing that for infringements far worse. For them, it was always deny, deny, deny. It takes a strong person, like yourself, to take responsibility for a member of your team.

    February 3, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. BB

    Pres. Obama can lower his ethics bar 50% and it will still be out of reach for the republican administration that just left - and for some of the ones in the Senate and House that will be eliminated in 2010.

    February 3, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. billy-bayou

    You screwed up with all your stupid nominations of liars and tax cheats. What do you plan on screwing up next other than the entire nation with your stupid "stimulus "plan?

    February 3, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Ana

    I would of preferred to hear "I screwed up on the GEITHNER appointment......

    NOW that is a screw up.....how can we appoint a man to be in charge of the IRS and US Treasury when he stole the money given to him to pay his IRS taxes and then avoided paying over $43,000 in taxes?

    I think that was worse than Daschel.

    February 3, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. big rob

    I like a man that owns up to his mistakes, even though I don't think he made one.

    February 3, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. kirah

    It was so refreshing to hear a President admitt he made a mistake. Oh my God, I can not tell how long ago I ever heard that!

    February 3, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. This is CHANGE

    Now that is change we can handle...Armchair/Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

    February 3, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. Gracie

    THANK YOU Mr. President for being honest and admitting you made mistakes. NO ONE IS PERFECT. Everyone "screws up", you are only human. Only GOD is perfect and makes NO mistake.

    I commend you for doing your best and staying focus on the work at hand. We support you 150% and will continue to WORK TOGETHER towards digging our country out of this hell hole.

    A lot of people do nothing but complain and attack, but they don't have a clue. We are in this boat TOGETHER, if you FAIL, we all FAIL.

    So the Republicans better get their heads out of their butts and stop the blame game and START working towards implementing positive, constructive ideas when it comes to the stimulus plan.

    For the Republicans just to stand on the sidelines doing nothing and yelling NO, NO, NO is NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!

    If you are not part of the solution, then get heck OUT OF THE WAY and let those willing to work together get the job done!!!

    February 3, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. T in NV

    I love that he can admit when he is wrong. It is so refreshing! It is so honest. All Obama haters need to respect the honesty because we never got an apology from Bush for any of his screw ups. We do not expect our POTUS to be infallible or super human, we expect them to be honest, humble, smart and to learn from their mistakes! I love our POTUS!

    February 3, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Mike

    First Obama stands behind him in spite fo the tax issue, now it was a mistake. It was a mistake to nominate a tax cheat to run the IRS too, but he did it anyway.

    February 3, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. A+ for Candor; F for language

    President Obama, you have earned my respect for acknowledging your failure in this regard, but you have saddened me that you, a man of high education, would stoop to such gutter language on the national stage. Perhaps you do not realize you represent the great America. A country that allows school children to participate in writing to you on websites like CNN. They don't need that kind of role model from the leader of the free world. Clean it up.

    February 3, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Obama '09

    at least he is humble enough to admit this, it takes a strong man to do this..lets see if Bush will admit to "Screwing" up our country.........

    February 3, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. Kevin

    President Obama did something in his 1st two weeks of office the President Bush didn't do his entire 8 years, admit he made a mistake. He's human and truly shows he is the commander in chief by taking responsibility for this mistake.

    February 3, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Slider

    No Obama, you didn't screw up. Democrat voters, young idealistic kids, and a media that throws its collective panties on whichever stage you happen to be speaking on are the ones who screwed up.

    You are a corrupt and inept politician from Chicago; and, that's all that you are.

    Unfortunately for all of us, your ambition, and the blind devotion of a media that was granted the power to watch over folks like you, basically conspired with your team to get you elected.

    We are all screwed, sir.

    February 3, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. ANGEL:CNN I HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS MY THOUGHTS TOO!!!

    ATLEAST MY NEW PRESIDENT IS ADMITTING TO A MISTAKE UNLIKE THE OTHER ONES IN THE PAST...

    February 3, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Marylander

    Finally a president who can admit a mistake.... that's refreshing. I like him even more now and didn't think that was possible.

    February 3, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. It's Dashle's Fault

    He'll do just fine. He's a good man.

    February 3, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. gl, Pittsburgh

    I hope you evil Repubicans are happy now that Obama made a mistake. As least he can admit it not like Bush who never admitted he made bad decision like the Irqau war.

    February 3, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Winston

    And this is why he's our man~

    February 3, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. R from C

    Finally. A president who actually admits when he screws up. About time, isn't it?

    February 3, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. I'm in Charge Here at the White House

    The person(s) that "screwed up" was who ever developed the questionaire for nominees to fill and and he forgot to press them about declarations of income from non-conventional sources. That's the root cause.

    Now, because the buck stops with him, Obama may feel responsibility for this mistake by his staff.

    A true Obama "screw up" WOULD BE if he doesn't set a clearly defined, and limited objective in the war in Afghanistan. A clear mission that we can win.

    We don't want to be like the Soviets and lose a broad war there. Hit the target and get out.

    February 3, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. BB

    Wooooo Hooooo

    Change is on the way for BOTH parties – Oh happy day !!!

    February 3, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Richard

    Eight years of screw-up after screw-up and NOT ONCE did you hear Bush say "I screwed up".

    Barack Obama has brought CHANGE.

    February 3, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
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