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. Betr Ded thn Red

    Wow, a screw up that is admitted and fixable? And not incredibly devastating like sending my brother to Iraq to chase WMDs in 03 that weren't there? Or like hiring a horse judge as head of FEMA? Or lying and paving the way for war profiting?
    Sheesh, everybody Bush ever appointed was a frikking crook, and republicans think they've got something to hold over Obama with THIS?!?!


    Whatever, CNN won't post this anyway.

    February 3, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. theresa

    Obama didn't "screw up", he got caught. His agenda, his choice. The leader of the free world making this many
    mistakes this soon is remarkable. Mr Obama has every resource at his fingertips to do his job and do it well. This is just plain old ignorance on his part. He had all the answers a very short time ago – now what ...pull another rabbit out of the bag

    February 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Lost in Texas Forever

    I thought President Obama was supposed to be the DECIDER!!!!...

    OOPS my bad that was the other guy. It just seems stange to have a president actually admit he made a mistake while he's IN office and not when he's about to leave. And I'm sure the far right will be happy to hear he's gonna make more mistakes before he's done since they are waiting with baited breath for him to do so.

    February 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. G.R.

    The disgruntled can continue to rant. Who cares? An admission of a mistake will hopefully be followed by avoidance of this type of mistake in the future. for the past eight years, there was no honesty or admission of guilt. Bush went out claiming he did a good job during Katrina. Soooooooo griping conservatives, President Obama has eight more years of possible mistakes before the Bush years are even equaled. He is man enough to admit a screw-up, which is why I voted for him!

    February 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. indiana voter

    For those of you who are happy to hear a President say he screwed up, you might want to get used to hearing it a lot from this President. We are only in the first couple of weeks and he is already looking weak to the rest of the world, not to mention here at home. This has been a horrible week for the Obama administration, and it is only Tuesday. He is trying "diplomacy" with Iran. Iran calls him weak as a result and says this is a sign that Capitalism is a failure. Change we can believe in.

    February 3, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. BJ

    Everyone here that is 'proud' Obama admitted a mistake would laugh at a Republican admitting a mistake. Worse is, we all have known Daschle was a big mistake for weeks now. TAnd we 'praise' Obama for saying it. Please people!

    February 3, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |



    February 3, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. Joe in NJ

    And I guarantee that if Daschle hadn't withdrawn Obama would still be standing behind him.

    February 3, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. joy

    thank God we finally have a president who will admit when he is wrong. Bush screwed the whole country and never admit it, untill it was time for him to leave office. Thank you president Obama. good job. now that is change i can believe in.

    February 3, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. Jane

    Whatever. lets blame someone and start a new administartion with the same cast of lame Clinton loosers.

    February 3, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  11. Albo58

    "This isn't as bad as Bush...how refreshing he admitted his mistake...thank you Mr President for being honest...etc". Oh brother, how these sheep can still worship at the feet of their Messiah! When these folks finally wake up from their brain-washing, they'll realise that the new president is just another politician in Washington!

    February 3, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. Dan

    Do you think you are elected Mr President to screw up? How can you use such words. You are a disgrace to this greatest nation. You have to be smart enough to govern this nation. Just taking responsibility, it is not good enough. Yesterday you said Daschle should be confirmed 'ABOLUTELY' and today you realized that you have screwed up. Liberals will find you amazing in your acts. Grow up. I am not sure CNN will publish this one because they are also on the liberal side.

    February 3, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  13. m

    Big time.

    It's almost as if he has no experience at all.

    What did Hillary say about on the job training?

    Hope that Obama can change....quickly

    February 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. GuyInVA

    It's amazing how an article where President Obama does the right thing (Senator Daschle too) and takes ownership of this situation turns into a Bush bashing session. The tried and true liberal motto: "We're not happy until you're not happy."

    Sorry lefties, it's your turn. You control the White House and both houses of Congress. This one is yours.

    February 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. Ohio worker

    Just 2 weeks in office. In the next 24 months let's see how many many more times we hear "I screwed up." I understand our elected leaders WILL make mistakes and I accept that.

    It's just funny how now nobody on this blog is using the 4 letter word since the January 20. I R A Q

    Mr. President, your campaign promise was a 16 month evacuation. Around 500 days and counting down......

    Let's just "HOPE" we don't have to hear "I screwed up" on our troops.

    February 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Dexter Skagway

    Well, I don't know if Obama will achieve what he hopes, but he certainly is refreshingly candid.

    February 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. Larry Houston Texas

    THANK YOU DR. G for your comment....I Totally Agree !!

    February 3, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. Nevada dude


    February 3, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. Dave

    How long did it take Bush to admit a mistake? The right wing slime will climb all over this. I really hope that post partisanship will become a wave of the future. The Republicans have pointed out waste in the 'rescue plan'. much of it is correct. If I'm right, Obama will admit some of it is garbage and cancel the excess. THIS is bi-partisanship

    February 3, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  20. mark from BRooklyn

    my president is honest. last president was a crook

    February 3, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  21. luvangel330 - AZ

    What a naval idea a president who admits to his mistakes like he said he would and not cover them up....

    February 3, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. HC

    Every time Obama screws up, Democrats say "yeah but Bush...."

    As if that makes everything ok.

    "..saying Daschle's tax problems sent a message that the politically powerful are treated differently than average people."

    This is you. Own it Dems.

    February 3, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. yeti

    what you narrow minded, pin-heads fail to see is the larger implications of these revelations from Daschle, et al. It is not about admitting a mistake or not. These stories scare off qualified people from running for office knowing that their backgrounds will be ripped apart for the slightest infraction. And any nominee now that turns down an appointment or withdraws their name is immediately branded as being a tax-cheater. Remember, bad news and sensationalized news sell, so the incentive is there for the media to vilify anyone in the public eye. But really, how can you NOT know a car and driver are taxable income?! An honest mistake? Hardly. He got caught red handed while the rest of us honestly try to follow the tax laws and live in fear of the IRS.

    February 3, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  24. Death of America by Obama

    obama who are you trying to kid.
    You are such a joke and people can see right through your "it's my fault"...what you're really saying is now let's forget it.........until you get caught again.

    February 3, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |

    This idiot hasnt done anything right so far. The only cabinet nominees who will survive are the republicans he nominated. All the robots think if yoou say you made a mistake your excused, give me a break. Is this the new era of accountability and resposibility, admiting to a mistake only when your caught. Bush might have lied but porkbama has yet to tell the truth. So say it with me kiddies 'republican congress in 2 years and porkbama is a one term wonder. You libs actually have the nerve to say we should not criticize he golden boy after what you did the past eight years, i dont think so. Shut up and take your medicine.

    February 3, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
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