February 3rd, 2009
07:54 PM ET
9 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. dr.mimi de la cruz

    GOOD LORD !!!!




    February 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. Bipartisanship

    Good for Obama for admitting his mistakes. He is a breath of fresh air after BUSH, BLAGO, DASCHEL and other members of BOTH PARTIES who are crooks.

    Partisans don't give us your lines of B.S. Thre are just as many crooks in both parties. If the Dems screw up we'll kick them out just like we did the Repubs.

    America rules over party B.S.

    February 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. Jan Illinois

    Glad to see he's able to admit a mistake but I don't understand how on earth this kind of thing keeps happening, do any of these people do anything right, let alone paying taxes. The first question during the vetting should be , what are you hiding, lets go from that point from now on.

    February 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. tiffany in ohio

    all you haters lets hear Bush come out an say he screwed up. the best part about this is Obama did nothing wrong, he didn't get thousands of people killed in a dumb war for oil, he himself didn't cheat on his taxes, he didn't torture, an better yet he didn't run the US into the ground. So haters hate on I love my POTUS

    February 3, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. Missy

    To all the posters who say this is making Bush look better all the time, just one word: Really??

    February 3, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  6. ROnan

    Up here in Canada we would just love one ounce of your President's candid in your face honesty. Have faith America this man is for real.

    February 3, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Proud American

    Republicans are such Idiots, they and their president made a mistakes for the past 8 years that cost Americans trillions. Move on

    February 3, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. Rob Stumpf

    Please. Every time Obama opens his mouth and talks about something other than his political career, he says something stupid.

    1) He's all for public education, but of course his kids go to private schools.

    2) He said he was for change, and presents to us a bill filled with nothing but traditional pork.

    3) He said we were going to change the way Washington operates, and he broke his own lobbying rules almost immediately.

    4) He supposedly for higher ethics, but so many of his appointment choices have tax problems.

    5) A few days after his Presidency started, he insulted Washingtonians by telling them they were wimps for closing schools during a storm.

    6) He made the hare-brained proposal that we should have a national college playoff! We need HIM to figure that one out?

    7) He built up Rush Limbaugh, while meaning to tear him down.

    8) His arrogant "I WON" nonsense in part caused every single House Republican to vote against the stimulus.

    9) His administration's response to the storms in Kentucky was appreciated only by Democrats in Kentucky who can say nothing else. It stunk.

    10) Caring about himself only, he keeps saying how bad things are, which makes investors even more nervous than they need to be. That might be good politics for him, not so great for anyone else. FDR would be rolling in his grave.

    Can't wait until he's gone. Seriously. It's only going to go downhill from here.

    February 3, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. Obama 2.0

    President Obama is a quick study and is man enough to own up to his mistakes in a clear concise way, unlike most egotistical type A's that have walked the halls of congress and the White House. It does my heart good to see real leadership at the helm. The Dems & Gop in congress should take notes and quit playing politic games with the stimulus pkg.
    Clean it up, take the junk out and find more real infrastructure projects and find tax cuts that produce jobs. not all projects are created equal and not all tax cuts are created equal as we can see from the last eight years.

    We, the people need to help our president knock some heads in congress. We need to e-mail our congress people, blog talk about it with friend, etc

    I want Dems to take out stuff that is not going to save or produce jobs and take care of our childrens education. The other programs can be addressed at a later date.

    I want Republicans to work with Dems and insist on good positive changes that give the bill a better ballance/diversity of ideas that will produce jobs. I will not accept Republicans blocking and voting no, get in there and insist on good changes and accept some compromise. But simply voting no is weak and will be rejected by the American people.

    A clue: Everyday in America people all over the country go to work and get the job done, we don't go to work and vote no and go home with a paycheck. WE MAKE A WAY WHERE THER IS NO WAY. Congress MUST do what we do. Congress MUST MAKE A WAY WHERE THER IS NO WAY. That is the job description and if you cannot handle it then get out of the way before you are moved out of the way. we don't care about partys. In the work place there is one party, America. we are Americans first an all in the same party, so git-er-done!!!

    February 3, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Ken P.

    If anyone reads this and doesn't remember the Jimmy Carter presidency, this is kind of how it started. Republicans were run out of town, the economy was horrible, and the Democracts were in control of everything. Four years later, Ronald Reagan became the first actor-president and the rest is history.

    February 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  11. DEMwits

    I find it humorous seeing all the comments from the pinko libs who are now underwriting the known inexperience and naievete of their rock star Obama...

    having a complete and thorough vetting process is elementary level staff work and should be expected for any high level political appointee...how did this fall through the crack not once, but four times now???

    like the old addage goes...you get what you voted for

    February 3, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. Bob

    "I screwed up", "you know", "uh uh", "like"

    Is this a 16 year old girl speaking? Guess that free ride through Havard didn't improve his speaking abilities.

    February 3, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Chris in Va.

    @ Chris....Wouldn't you be more comfortable over at Faux Noise anyway? You should feel right at home pissing and maoning with that bunch of losers.

    February 3, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. What's happening?!

    A pig just flew past my window and there are icicles in Hell:


    Thank goodness for a President who strives for perfection instead of believing he's already there.

    February 3, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Sacha

    Tax issues aside, clearly President Obama saw something in this man to really want him for the job. Fault Daschle for not paying his taxes, not the man who tried to hire him!

    February 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Bill P

    If President Obama is just now figuring out that politically powerful people are treated differently than the average person, he is more naive than I thought! I hope we as a nation haven't screwed up, too!

    February 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Democrat Dave

    So That's why the democrats love to raise taxes! 'Cause they don't pay them! It is all becoming clearer now...

    February 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Chris

    Admitting the second mistake gets easier ....... and easier ...... and easier ....... now spill your guts Mr. President.

    February 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. just saying...

    Just have to point out about former Sen. Daschle: Stupid, stupid mistake, and he should have seen it coming, but he has done a world of good for so many everyday people throughout his career.

    And as for Obama's mistake, at least no Americans have bled and died as a result.

    February 3, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    Mr. Obama, I am glad you are man enough to own your mistakes. The previous president just denied everything and lived in a state of denial. In this case, I respect you for your ability to say you've made a mistake, and as a human you are entitled to make them! Of course, we've seen your quality and know you are a man that learns from his mistakes. Keep going Sir! We are praying for your success, because your success means we are successful as a nation as well.

    February 3, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  21. Liz in Texas

    Obama is a hypocrite!

    February 3, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  22. legal in nc

    Hey he took a note out of President Bush's playbook,,, admitting he was wrong one the "mission accomplished" sign and now President Obama admitting he was wrong on hiring tax evaders.

    Good job Mr. President!!

    February 3, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. Meka

    FINALLY, America get's a President–whom accepts responsibility . . . whether he's at fault or not!

    February 3, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. John Brown


    Bush did nothing to help the American people in 8 years of being President. What did we get under Bush? A war, $4.50 gas, a crumbling infrastructure, unemployment and a failing economy....wait, we got terror alert red or is it blue now? no it's orange. Give me a break...We have a new President who’s been in office for 2 weeks and you want to lay all the blame on him. When has a vetting process gone smooth? with no one being questioned for something they’ve done? It’s going to happen, get over it. At least he’s man enough to say it’s my fault and we will do better, he's taken ownership BECAUSE HE IS THE PRESIDENT...YOURS AND MINE. And we all better get behind him Step up or shut up!

    February 3, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. Marc

    Chris – February 3rd, 2009 9:17 pm ET
    Actually you are just a little right with that remark of yours. There are three things that are predictable in every post dealing with President Barak Obama:
    – People who will praise him for whatever he does or says
    – People who will bash, smear and diminish him no matter what
    – Conservatives that will introduce themselves as 'Independents', 'former Democrats', 'Democrats that voted Republican last year' or 'Ashamed Obama Voters'.
    Yes some blogs are 'dominated' by 'pro-Obama' posters but some are by 'Anti-Obama' posters as well.
    As for the fact concerning this blog; it was great that he admitted a mistake, but a PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA saying 'screwed' in public? There were other words...

    CNN don't 'moderate' this post please...

    February 3, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
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