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. Independant Thinker

    It is not only Daschle it is a pattern.

    Daschle-–Tax evasion--crook
    Geithber-–Tax evasion--crook
    Killefner-–Tax evasion--crook

    Typical Chicago politics, CHANGE we can believe in.

    Rev Wright - Father Plueglar - Bill Aires

    When will it STOP ??

    Corruption is running rampant and it has only been 2 weeks.

    February 3, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Rob Stumpf

    Obama can't screw up. That's impossible. Didn't all his supporters tell us that he would show the most magnificent leadership skills ever? I even have a t-shirt of him with his picture and the word "Dope" underneath it.

    February 3, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. sweden

    WOW..a president that admits when someting is wrong is a president of the people for the peopel by the people..i admire this..honest politics has been missing for some time...until now!!!!! GOBAMA..sweden loves u!!

    February 3, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Free Al Capone

    I guess Al Capone just made a few honest mistakes.

    February 3, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Gary

    Obama does something in his first 100 days bush/cheney couldn't do in 8, admit when he makes a mistake

    February 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. chris@stl

    Appreciate your openness and humility, Mr. President. It takes a lot to admit "screw ups" ..... This kind of governance is "new" in American politics.

    God speed and good luck!

    February 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. CONJOH

    Don't blame Pres. Obama. Daschle has been long in this business to know that he'll be exposed sooner than later. He should have saw it coming.

    February 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Todd

    Umm, So he says he's sorry for the 2nd screw up on picking an appointee and we're just supposed to say 'sure, it's ok'? Are you kidding. Again, making Bush look better every day there Barrack!!!

    February 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. shannon

    you think, are you going to ask Geitner to step down now. We don't need tax cheats in the government.

    February 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. Golfduck

    I hope President Obama continues to nominate the old gaurd. As it goes now he could balance the budget once all the unpaid taxes are uncovered. I know most are just honest errors, like most of the tax payers. The difference here is they make millions and still make honest errors, guess they use TurboTax instead of people.

    February 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. serah

    Obama you did not screw up, you did what was right, you nominated an American intelligent and shrewd to handle a very complex department but because American want "clean people" it was hard for him to make it through. I respect Daschle and i hope we have people with the kind of expertise he has out there and are "clean" to fill his place. He did the right thing to pull out so New York Times can look for something else to write about. It is hard to find perfect individuals anyway. Even Jesus was faced with such a situation where he backed A WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY and he asked, "IF ANY ONE OF YOU IS WITHOUT SIN LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER" If you know the story you recall all the accusers left one by one. well from the top to the bottom people have once in a while done something "unlawful" regarding taxes. whether it is evading or claiming more than you ought to and the like, the difference is they are never caught because they never seek high office and get into the lime light. People should stop behaving like this is some breaking news in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Joseph

    At least he corrected the problem and admitted it was a mistake, thats part of transparency, we didnt elect him to be perfect despite the constant taunting of republicans by calling him the "messiah", we that voted for him no hes not perfect but he will admit fault and will work to make sure it doesn't happen again. keep up the good work president even if u cant please all 300 million people in this country

    February 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Oh, come now.... do you truly think you made a mistake or are you caving to the Republican MINORITY?

    I'm sorry.....
    don't let them dictate your agenda.... what about us... we, the people!

    February 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. cba1999

    Daschle is a complete moron. My hope is that he never shows his face in public life again.

    February 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. Andy

    I don't see how someone could make several "honest" mistakes. Obama has no problem going after bank CEO's but he can't even watch his own house. Government can not control everything like democrats want. Just look at Social Security and Medicare and all the fraud involved in that. Now there propsing a 700 Billion dollar spending bill. God help us. The sad thing is are own country caused this recession, just so people could own houses they couldn't afford. Great government program let me tell ya.

    February 3, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  16. Nick in WA

    A President taking responsibility for his mistakes? I never saw this in the previous administration. Good for Obama, and I hope he finds someone as capable as Daschle who didn't fail to pay their taxes.

    February 3, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. Vetting All Over Again

    Now let's talk about that Clinton appointment and her "vetting" process over Bill's business interests. We KNOW it is a complete and total conflict of interest...Daschle just didn't have as big of a stick.

    February 3, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. larry

    so what, nobodies perfect. even president obama said he'd make some mistakes. now move on already

    February 3, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Logan

    This is the kind of leadership we need in Washington; i.e admitting the mistakes. Mr. Obama is the roll model for all the leaders.

    February 3, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    Now this is a President!!! Any man who can admit a mistake in his position must be respected. Now we must rally behind him and the nation and press with pride!!!

    February 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. shannon

    good, glad you admitted it, when is Geitner stepping down!

    February 3, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  22. Pat Green (CA)

    I think this is REFRESHING! When was the last time we heard a President admit he made a mistake and genuinely meant it and has learned from it. I think if the world expects Obama to be perfect then something is wrong with the world.

    February 3, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  23. John from Florida

    ...and now Mr. President, ask Secretary Gaither to resign.

    February 3, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. Jan Illinois

    If G. Bush were even half, make that a percent , of what this man is we would still have all of our fallen soldiers. You have to be able to admit when your wrong.

    February 3, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Bill in Albuquerque

    BUSH CO AND NEOCONS WOULD HAVE SAID SCREW YOU AND PUCH NOMINATION FORWARD

    February 3, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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