January 7th, 2010
02:52 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama to lay out 'warts' and say 'I'm responsible'

President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration makes when he releases a new report on the December 25 terror incident.
President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration makes when he releases a new report on the December 25 terror incident.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration mistakes when he releases a new report on the December 25 terror incident, according to a senior administration official familiar with the president's remarks.

But he is not planning to fire anyone for the foul-up, the official said.

"He will say, 'Here are the warts; I'm responsible,' " said the senior administration official, who requested anonymity because aides were not authorized to discuss the remarks before they're delivered by the president.

The official said the president believes that previous administrations would "play hide the ball" and not come clean with the American people when things go wrong, so he wants to be direct about what needs to be fixed, but the official said the president does not want this process to devolve into finger-pointing.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Enigma1964

    Once again, the man stands up and accepts responsibility. It is certainly refreshing to see. This is not the first time he has done so, and I give him kudos for standing up and admitting errors.

    However.....

    When he does take the blame, he ALWAYS finds a way to blame the previous administration. This time he pluralized it, so I wonder if he is counting the Clinton Admin, who elected to treat terrorism as a "Law Enforcement:" issue rather than a military one.

    Pointing fingers at the "other side" is not CHANGE. it is business as usual. And I think we can all agree THAT doesn't work...

    January 7, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. MikeNJ

    Is there anything he hasn't messed up????...787 Billion dollar bailout didn't create jobs..... Tranparency on Healthcare, yeah right him and twiddle dee and twiddle dum are behind closed doors....The Healthcare bill in general adding trillions of dollars of debt for our children and grandchildren....The Christmas day bomber...Niro played golf while Rome burned.....Uninvited guests at the White House... His Afgan policy, which took 3 months to make while our GIs died.... Gitmo, giving TERRORISTS the rights of US citizens.... Everything he touches turns to crap....

    January 7, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Jill, California

    Finally, a President who's willing to take responsibility. I'm sure Dick "The Troll" Cheney will have something to say about this..... Hey Dick, maybe you should try taking part of the blame for the shape of this country; or don't you see while you're pointing your finger at Obama, where the other three fingers are pointed.

    January 7, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Dr. Robotnik

    Most transparent administration ever.

    Oh Wait...

    January 7, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Roy Rogers

    President Obama has been in office for A YEAR! He won the Nobel Peace Prize!

    WHY is this still happening???

    January 7, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. getreal

    After years of getting Wild West slogans and lies, I'm so relieved we now have an adult in the White House.

    January 7, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Vance

    Yeah, Wow, a real "Buck stops here" moment. Woo hoo, he's FINALLY taking responsibility for something... if thats the case why the dig at the "previous administration".

    I have never heard a president a year into office take responsibility for Nothing before. I would be a lot more impressed if 1) he said it before announcing he was going to say it and 2) didn't feel compelled to bring up the prior administration when aying it.

    He's a weak empty suit.

    January 7, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Maria

    Wow, finally he is not blaming Bush. What an idiot...

    January 7, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. kman

    Talk is cheap. Especially with this administration.

    January 7, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Brent in MI

    Im glad he is accepting blame. A good leader also keeps us safe. Its been a year and there have been two close calls and one attack that was carried out. On his watch. Im glad he is manning up here. Lets hope it doesnt happen again or his reellection hopes are over with. By the way, I thought the muslims were supposed to love and accept us now that Obama was in office. Funny how thats not working out so much... Anyway.

    January 7, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. dg

    hes not going to blame bush for this one?

    January 7, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. NVa Native

    So a system created by the Bush/Cheney regime fails (again) and our President takes responsibility. We all know the Repubs & tea-baggers will say it's a weakness and spread lies and deceptions, then Faux Views and hate radio will spread more lies.

    Over 60% of the American people want the health care bill passed with the public option. But the lies will continue.

    Call your representative ~ because the tea-baggers are terrorizing them and any one who will listen.

    January 7, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. JD

    Whenever the liberals say "I'm responsible," that's just newspeak for "We're done talking about this. Shut up."

    If 0bama really wants to take responsibility, he should fire Napolitano and any "czars" associated with this debacle.

    January 7, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Liz

    He is absolutely right! Bush STILL won't take responsibility for 9/11 and tried to stop there from being any investigation. Thank You Obama for being a real leader.

    January 7, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. RCR

    Fascinating. I wonder if he will take responsibility the same way he didn't want to point fingers at anyone over this debacle but then pointed fingers at anyone and everyone but himself and his administration. This is the administration that was in denial about the Ft. Hood suicide attacker and also initially claimed that the Detroit bomber was an 'isolated extremist.' Reality isn't a strong suite for this administration nor is the truth. The most interesting story that came out of this 'potential man caused disaster' in this 'overseas contingency operation' is that the Obama administration's first response was to try and dig up anything that would put that blame at Bush's feet and take the spotlight off of the O administration failures. Yes, that leadership for you...

    January 7, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Bob in Kansas City

    60% of Americans but 26% of the American populace will agree to anything propagated by the conservative rightwing so in reality less than 50% of Americans are against health care reform!

    January 7, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Michigan Patriot

    He doesn't know what taking resposibility is all about...... He has people is his administration that have no idea what they are doing... Of course all he has put there are "his friends." Janet does't have a clue what she is doing. She should be out. He is treating terrorists as citizens, with all the rights they don't deserve. All these people want is to destroy America, and Obama is being a "big help." God help us !!! 2010/2012 is coming quickly.... I cann't wait....

    January 7, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Bladerunner

    1/3 of all terrorist attacks, since 9/11, have occured since Jan. 20 2009, it IS his responsibility. BTW, a Clinton appointee (that has a job in the current administration) set up the idiotic firewalls that do not allow our FBI, CIA, etc. to directly communicate. I'm just sayin'.

    January 7, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    The major failure was that we had his name and a president who selected a person to head homeland security that has zero experience with security, law enforcement, and intelligence.

    January 7, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. RWM

    Right. So a couple of "mea culpas" and three "Hail Mary"s and we should be all set. Obama can't afford to fire anyone – that might unravel the carefully assembled gang of leftist zealots he needs to bring the country to its knees by redistributing the wealth and weakening security.

    January 7, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. garrett

    just can't get over that Bush did it; all Bush's problems thing, huh?

    January 7, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Roy

    The man is a Chicago pol; cold and calculating. He's screwed up so many things that he's now in a position where there's more upside to taking responsibility than to do his normal dance of blaming Bush.

    January 7, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. David in Seattle

    But unfortunately President Obama has not learned the lessons from Carter and from Reagan while Bush II did. Never admit an error. When things go wrong, have someone else tell the American people about it. When things go right, you be the one. This is why Carter was not re-elected and Reagan and Bush were. As much as we thing it is admirable to admit errors, the American public doesn't like to hear it.

    January 7, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Brian in Chi-town

    In response to "Future expat" who incredulously says GOP and Tea Baggers never accept responsibility I can't help but retort, Responsibility for what? By Tea Baggers I assume he/she means those individuals who came together over the summer to send the message that less government is preferable to more government and less taxes are the answer rather than more. It would seem to me that a libertarian is more likely to take responsibility for their own actions than most other political parties. The basic premise is you are responsible for yourself, the government doesn't need to fix your problems. If you succeed or fail it is a consequence of your own actions not someone elses fault. Not making enough money to spend? Get another job. Not educated enough to work white collar or in a trade? Get yourself a degree.Unhappy with your parent(s)? Knock yourself out to make your life different than theirs. No money for health care find a clinic or ER that will take you. Can't afford a mortgage? Rent. Stop blaming others for your lot in life. More government is not the answer.

    January 7, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Sean

    Some republicans will blame Obama for releasing some Yemenis from Gitmo back to Yemen being a bad idea.... however, the latest suicide bomber is a Nigerian, and fresh to Al Qaeda. It's a psychological warfare, no longer a conventional warfare. The GOPers totally missed it.

    January 7, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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