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. Chief Embezzlement Officer

    President Obama is exactly what this country needs right now. He is the leader for whom we have looked. He is the best President in recent history, and I have no doubt that he'll be one of the best, if not the best, President we've ever had. He stands head and shoulder above the previous occupant of the office in intellect and humility. President Obama, the Commander in Chief, will achieve great things. I feel that I can say these things because he has inspired our hope, and that is what makes him a truly great leader. He will make mistakes, and his humanity will be painfully obvious at times, but he will guide us through these difficult times to a new day and a new age. He'll do it, because his leadership will inspire us to get behind him and take action. Even if some decide not to go along, we cannot be deterred. We shall overcome.

    February 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. stag

    BHO is in way over his head. This guy has no business being the president. The cabinet is easy, what wil he do when times are tough?

    Sure hope the 3AM phone call doesn't happen to Chicken Little (aka, BHO).

    February 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. keeth in california

    More honesty and humility in 1 day from Obama than from Bush in 8 years.

    February 3, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  4. Simmy

    Julie, Bravo!

    You nailed it on the head!
    You have only to look at whose talking to the media everyday, to find the problem "children" (McConnell, Boehner, Cantor-now McCain) How quickly they forget that Bush was surrounded by a slew of crooks, who did far worst than not pay taxes on time (the three being persecuted have already paid the taxes in question). Take "Scooter" Libbey, who lied under oath – perjury. He was Chief of Staff to the VP. Tom Delay was accused of money laudering. Claude Allen, a WH advisor, was caught shoplifting. The biggest crime being the fraudulent thesis for war, drafted by Bush and Cheney. And Republicans have the gall to be up in arms about "taxes."

    I agree with everyone who believes that we should all pay our taxes, and the rich are not excluded. But to start a raindance on these individuals, when some in their party have done so much worst is absurd. Here they go again; Sen. "The fundamentals of the economy are fundamentally sound" McCain, along with his sidekick Palin, have hired people to do their research and writing, so that they come out sounding intelligent and "in the loop." But only those in their base are gullibly impressed. Everyone else realizes that they're perpetrating a fraud. I pray God's intervention on the deceitful antics of the opposition party.


    February 3, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. Layoffthekoolaid

    Only 10 days in office and already making mistakes. All of you who say it's a breath of fresh air to see a President admit he made a mistake are as weak as the president. That isn't on the job training. And don't say he's being honest with us by admitting the mistake. How about the lobbyist that he said would not work in the White House. I guess he's just stretching the truth there.

    February 3, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    How about his other screwed up picks? Boy it's going to be a long four years with him running things.

    February 3, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. ron levine

    While i am glad to see Mr. Obama admit his mistake, i am concerned about his recent lack of judgement in his admistration vetting process. Those words of Mrs. Clinton during the primary keep resonating, "Rhetoric is one thing, reality and experience is quite another" I hope for all our sakes she isn't right.

    February 3, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. Paul from Kissimmee

    To everybody who says it's great that he admitted making a mistake. Doen't anybody realize that he was defending the tax cheat until the public spoke out? He's not a leader. He just watches the polls to make decisions. If only he could've voted present.

    February 3, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. ME IN FL

    Thank you Pres Obama for publicly apologizing and admitting your mistake. You were honest enough to let the American people know and that says a lot about you!

    We , the American people, are still waiting for Bush to apologize and to recognize the many mistakes he made!!!

    Yes, we can see the Change!!!

    February 3, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. geraldine

    what a hero to us all – and just when I thought he could get no more impressive. what a gift from god we have to cherish.

    February 3, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. Leslie Somerville

    A President that actually said he "screwed up." Am I in heaven–YES!!

    February 3, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. Mike Dallas

    Somebody wake me, I must be dreaming!

    A President that admits he may have made a mistake!! What a CHANGE! One I can believe in.

    At least no one died unlike the Shrub's mistakes...

    February 3, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Oregon

    Daschle screwed up – he's outta here – and we move on.

    and Joe Paleface – if the Libs are so "stupid"then ditch your social security – let your kids pay their own way thru school instead of taking financial aid

    Screwing up is relying on faulty "intelligence" to wage war on Iraq. Screwing up is letting people suffer and die in Katrina. Screwing up is ignoring alerts that terrorists were in the US and learning how to fly – not land – planes ...

    February 3, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. geraldine

    perhaps this is just a test, to see who really believes in his ability to save the world? For those that believe will have their mortgage paid and gas tank filled.

    February 3, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. GWC

    Bush and Cheney never made any mistakes right? All of their policies are working just fine aren't they. Bush and Cheney managed to uphold our moral standing in the world right? All the wealth transferred to the top tier is really making America better right? They're using all that money to create 1000s of jobs every week right? NO Mistakes there... I haven't heard any ownership of the decisions that have us in this predicament.

    February 3, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Penn Voter

    Yes, you screwed up. But we knew that already, why did it take you so long to figure it out? A cabinet of tax evaders? If you are saying that these were the best picks, then the rest of your party must be a bunch of crooks.

    February 3, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Spartacus

    Finally an elected official that can admit he screwed up. And to that fool for a President that just left office... this is something he was too arrogant and stubborn to ever do. A coward with no guts GWB was!

    February 3, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    So, another opportunity for all the "Bush Bashers" to come out and howl about Bush, becuase Obama "lied" when he said he wouldn't appoint Lobbyist and Tax Cheats. CNN Comments are sooo boring! It is just another Democrat Propaganda Rag. 911 was the result of plans made under Democrat Clinton, since nothing was done while it was planned during 1999 and 2000 to protect America from Terrorist, and now we can sit back and let Obama do nothing about it now. CNN and all the blind Bush critics can write their smut all they want to. Who cares?

    February 3, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama, the screw-up. Is that what he's going to say if we have another terrorist attack, if the stimulus package just stimulates pork, if the economy sinks deeper into recession. Maybe he should stop giving interviews to Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper so he is constantly in the public eye and start leading. The "screw-up" has to do with rewarding the admirers, not the people who should be chosen regardless of their adulation for Obama.

    February 3, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. Geitner Is Also a Tax Cheat and Should Resign

    Hey....if you'll admit it regarding Daschle, why won't you get rid of Geitner? The Sec of the Treasury himself also admitted to cheating on his taxes.

    Don't be a hypocrite on Geitner. Daschle rightfully withdrew. It's time for Geitner to also look for the door.

    February 3, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  21. Hammer

    All the Dems can say is he is as good as the Repubs.
    He said he was going to be different. He is not . He said he would bring CHANGE, but he is the same, a politician that will tell you what ever you want to hear and still play the same old game. It is time you were honest with yourself and admit that he is the same old politican as all the others and he has a self serving agenda.

    February 3, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Stunned

    Let me say first I voted for Barack Obama. I believed him. He appealed to mine and other people's dreams of justice and true democracy. He told them to hope again, to stop being cynical. If it turns out he is Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown then he will in my opinion have become as despicable or more so than George Bush. If this is calculated, then the man is a bigger monster than Cheney. You at least knew where Cheney was coming from. And Bush was too stupid to know any better.

    It's time to stop patting our President on the back because he's good at admitting mistakes. We cannot afford to continue thinking things like "he's not half as bad as Bush," or smile and say it's "refreshing" because he admits to failing to even check somebody's tax returns before nominating him. Worse than that are Daschle's connections to the medical industry itself. I can see having some experienced Washington people around to pilot the waters. But where are the outsiders? The free thinkers? We might as well have elected Hilary Clinton.

    February 3, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. erin

    very disturbing WAKE UP PEOPLE.

    February 3, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  24. ObamaGirl08

    I love to see Republicans throw temper-tantrums! This will be a very enjoyable 8 years. Apparently it's better to make mistakes and then lie about it then to admit. This wasn't even that big a deal....compared to Bush's mistakes! No one died here....

    February 3, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. See Thru.

    I'm already over it.

    Screw up on something major, then I might hold a grudge.

    February 3, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
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