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. Dave

    I didn't support the president during the last election. I respect his willingness to admit mistakes, something I wish his predecessor could have done.

    February 3, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Joe Paleface

    Barry is changing our govt alright........making it even more corrupt. He is an invention and creation of the liberal media. You fools were so caught up in having a brother as President, you forgot that his main experience was being a "Community Organizer" ? You stupid liberals (redundant) elected him in order to make yourselves feel better about yourselves. Fools! He is going to be worse than Jimah!

    February 3, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Sally

    Yes .. he did screw up. And so did Daschle. I hope this will be an early and important object lesson for the President who pledge to govern with integrity and transparency.

    February 3, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Debby

    We cannot afford to have a President so inexperienced. He doesn't have enough work experience not alone government experience. We are in a crisis and Mr. Obama does not have the capacity to lead at this time. It scares me to hear him say he screwed up. Not a thing a leader should say. This makes us look weak to terrorists and anti american nations. I did not vote for him because I thought John McCain had the experience, dignity, honor and maturity to be president. And I am life long democrat who never before voted republican.

    February 3, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. Joe Paleface

    Liberalism is a mental disorder! How else do can you explain this madness?

    February 3, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. Paul H

    I thought it was arrogant and hypocritical when Obama picked Daschle. But I respect him for admitting his mistake. This goes with his statement on new level of accountability in America. It should start at the top.

    February 3, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. TjayeInLA

    So let me make sure I understand this. HE is the President and something went wrong...and HE takes the full blame for it? I'm so not used to this.

    February 3, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Marie

    Kudos for Obama for admitting his mistake in addpoiting Daschle. He certainly did "screw up" but gets a lot of credit in my book for admitting it.

    February 3, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. Gene

    How refreshing to have a President that admits his mistakes. Obviously, it was Daschle's fault for not paying his taxes but thanks Mr. President for being a real leader.

    February 3, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Jeffer65

    I respect leaders that have the decency to admit when they make a mistake. It shouldn't have happened in the the 1st place though.
    Now lets move on and start fixing the economy.

    February 3, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  11. Flo

    I agree, Daschel would of drown your message on healthcare if he was appointed. It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong, and for that I'm proud of you Mr. President.

    By the way I'm available to fill the position if you need me. I hold a Master's degree in health administration; worked in the healthcare industry for 20 years and paid my taxes as I should.

    February 3, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. leon pa

    SO what !!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Bob

    Well - he ADMITTED that he screwed up - so GOD'S IN HIS HEAVEN AND ALL'S WELL WITH THE WORLD!

    February 3, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. sham

    hope you fix it first by also pulling the treasury sec.

    February 3, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. Michelle O

    Its okay, Boo.

    February 3, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. Go Obama!

    Unlike GOPs, President Obama admits when he's made a mistake. When did we ever hear words like this from either Bush, or from Reagan? Or, to be fair, from Hillary Clinton?

    Thank you Mr. President.

    Experience is all well and good but there is something to be said for new blood. It is too bad about Daschle – he is well qualified for this job – but it sounds like he became too caught up in the trappings of money and power. Hopefully he can still serve in some advisory capacity.

    February 3, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Steve

    No President Obama, YOU didn't screw up......WE did......for ELECTING YOU!

    February 3, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. John

    A leader who can admit mistakes and adjust course?

    That's hasn't been seen in....oh...eight years or so.

    February 3, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. Cathy Vermont

    So do what you should have done in the first place and appoint Dr. Howard Dean to the HHS post!

    February 3, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Ridgeway

    Yeah, well at least he got his Treasury guy thru even though he was just as bad. There's a reason Daschle couldn't win re-election in his own state. Same old crap.

    February 3, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. catmom

    Imagine that we have a President who is not afraid to admit he screwed up. Gotta love it

    February 3, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. RH

    Hell yes, you made a mistake! But, what about the Timothy Gietner mistake? What about that, Obama?????????? You let one off the hook and sack the other. What in the hell is up with that? They both should be OUT on the street.

    February 3, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. Carl from MI

    How refreshing to have a President who admits he made a mistake.

    Dubya could never bring himself to utter the words... how pathetic!!

    Obama might even hold himself accountable for what happens on his watch as POTUS... also refreshing.

    How nice to be a Republican and go thru your political life not having to be accountable for your actions...

    February 3, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    The Daschle situation sends no message that the powerful are treated differently. He didn't get the job. However, Treasury Secretary Geithner's nomination and confirmation sends exactly that message. He didn't pay his taxes until caught, just like Senator Daschle, and got confirmed. For Pete's sake, he's in charge of the IRS!!!

    I can see how someone could mistakenly neglect to pay taxes in Senator Daschle's situation. Who knew he had to pay taxes on a car and driver (there may be more, I don't know)? The Geithner fiasco is entirely different. He signed an agreement to pay the taxes, applied for and collected reimbursement for paying them, and then didn't pay them. He paid 2 years worth of them when an audit caught up with him, but only paid the rest when nominated for Treasury Secretary. It's okay though. When asked about it, Senate Majority Leader Reid informed everyone that our tax system is voluntary. Who knew?

    February 3, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. No Incumbents 2010

    Yes We Can!... Evade our taxes.

    February 3, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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