March 25th, 2010
07:42 PM ET
8 years ago

Rahm doesn't get a thank you, but he does get a high five

(CNN) - He may have not have received a public thank you from President Barack Obama after the health care bill was signed into law earlier this week, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN he earned his own private high-five from the president.

In his first interview since Obama enacted the health care bill into law, Obama's top-aide told CNN's Wolf Blitzer he wasn't bothered his boss didn't include his name among the many who were thanked for the passage of the legislation during the high-profile signing ceremony Monday.

"I didn't do this so I would get thanked at the signing or anything else. Let me say this, if that's the question," Emanuel said. "You should know the night that it passed, or the day it passed, he and I - he came by, gave me a high five.

Emanuel, a former member of the House Democratic leadership, is among those widely credited with corralling key votes ahead of the bill's narrow passage Sunday night.

"I have no doubt of my role in this and I feel quite good about that sense of it," he also said.

In the wide ranging interview set to air on The Situation Room Thursday, Emanuel also wouldn't give a timetable on how much longer he would remain the White House Chief of Staff - historically among the most stressful jobs in Washington.

"I am going to make this decision - the president and I will make it," he said. "He can make it anytime. My intention is to continue to work and serve here."

Emanuel is seemingly unfazed by Republican threats to repeal the health care reform legislation.

"I think that we've had a long debate in this country about health care - this year alone, over a year," he said. "But it's been a big debate, not just this year - about how best to reform health care. I think that is important now to implement this correctly and make sure that the benefits get to the American people."

Hoping to move past health care, Emanuel said the administration will continue to focus on a number of priorities, including job creation and education.

"If you go back to the president's speech at Georgetown, he laid out four things that were part of the new foundation - health care reform; access to college education, the funding for that, which is part of this legislation as well," he said.

Emanuel also singled out the recent Supreme Court decision easing campaign finance restrictions as a subject the president plans to address.

"There's legislation moving both in the House and Senate to make sure that we deal with a lot of the loopholes that were left in that decision by the Supreme Court which allow corporate money to run rampant over our campaign," he said.

Story updated with additional quotes at 6:20 p.m. ET

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. hal

    I hope he makes the decision soon- the jerk!

    March 25, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. The Unsub

    Obama is great!!!!! A big difference than George Bush could ever imagine to be!

    March 25, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. jojomcgee

    CNN and Cafferty are pushing the "republicans are violent" card when Mr. Obama's most trusted advisors actually set a bomb off in the U.S. capitol. Mr. Obama's associations are treasonous.

    Can we all say "Bill Ayers" ?

    March 25, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. No Incumbents 2010

    Democraps who lose their seats due to their HRC vote can thank Rahm as well with a big high-five. Unfortunately for the country we have lost 16 months talking about HCR instead of reducing the deficit and improving the economy.

    March 25, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Solo76

    a high five? Is this a joke? a high four and 3/4 will be better.

    He should have resigned after calling retards to people who support public option.

    Obama does not need this kind of people around him. Bring Michael Moore to replace him.

    March 25, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. jojomcgee

    Mr. Obama has befriended many Weather Underground beasts and refuses to stop associating with them. Weather Underground is violent and a threat to America. Yet Mr. Obama befriends them and CNN says nothing. No wonder many Americans are royally pissed,. Betrayed by their president, betrayed by much of the press.

    March 25, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. jojomcgee

    Rahm will eventually spend some time in Federal prison.

    March 25, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Ridgeway

    Scum Bag. There's your recognition King Rahmeses the Jerk.

    March 25, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Emilie

    Really? This is the kind of stuff you want to report? OK, then. How about this? Susie dissed Cathy during Math class, OMG. If you want, I can get you the notes they passed during class. Come on. There's bigger fish to fry.

    March 25, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. jojomcgee

    Where is your story about the butcher of Havana, Castro, endorsing Obamacare ?

    March 25, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Randy C.

    Your question to Mr. Emanuel with respect to his not recieving a "shout out" as you put it, has got to be one of the sleezest questions you've ever asked. What was the purpose of the question? You hoping to stir up some dirty gossip about discourse in the White House? Come on Mr Blitzer, you can do better than Fox News style reporting!
    Oh, by the way, how about allowing your quests to actually answer your question before asking another, or your constant interupions.
    You sliding down the sleez hill Mr. Blitzer, and I just don't believe youo need to stoop to that.

    March 25, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Clint, Wa.

    When you have done your job, and done it right, and you yourself know that you have done a good job, a thank you, or pat on the back or whatever is not needed. The satisfaction of knowing you did it is more then enough.

    March 25, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Thank you Rahm! You get a thank you from me. We need healthcare reform. The repulbicans had 12 years to handle their business regarding this issue and did absolutely nothing about it. They're mad because you guys came in and changed what they thought was impossible. Great job guys. We love you!

    March 25, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. LoveThyNeighbor

    Hey America...Wake up!
    I don't see what the big deal is.
    Some are stating that this "healthcare reform"
    is being rammed down throats when actually,
    it has been around AT LEAST 13 years!
    It all started with President Clintons' agenda...(???)
    Why do [some] people feel as if this is a "new" idea?
    It's just fermenting...

    March 25, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Jim

    Yes. let's deal with the election loopholes from the Supreme Court or our country will be ruined.

    March 25, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Enjoy it while you can, ya tax cheat! Come November, you're going to be whistling a different tune.

    March 25, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. Jesse

    Shouldn't that be a "high four"?

    March 25, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Deb n Texas

    You people at CNN need to stop. Rahm and Axelrod know they are loved and appreciated by Obama.

    March 25, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Chris

    Blitzer's interview was insipid...asking if Emanuel was sad he didn't get a pen, and suggesting that 13 months was a long time for such a major bill to get passed. I think Blitzer should retire. Let the network get viewers comfortable with a replacement before the next presidential election.

    March 25, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Helen

    What a stupid question for Wolf Blitzer to ask! Dumming dow the news that is what CNN has become today. That is so sad.

    March 25, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Brian

    High four and a half is more like it.

    March 25, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Pel

    The press keep trying to create a rift between the president and Rahm and there is none. Keep up the good work Rahm.

    March 25, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. jeff

    Not that the pro Obama news agency will post this but You dont publicly thank the muscle who brow beats people into voting what is not wanted now do you.

    March 25, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. Cheryl

    I say Thank You Mr. Emanuel.

    March 25, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. JerseyGuy

    Well, good for Rahm. Especially when soo many people were after blood with him to leave his position at the White House. And of course the GOP would love to throw Rahm under the bus like everything else attached to Obama. As far as soo many people are concerned, nothing at this point in time has anything to do with the good of america, just the good for your political party affiliation.

    America should really be ashamed right now that the only thing on soo many people's agenda is what can you do to find dirt on Obama or on republicans. You can't even try to help america now with anything in DC, because there will always be some nut case that will declare that you're trying to turn america in to a dictatorship. Fear has seemed to work very well in the gullable minds of soo many.

    Quite sad. Now america is concerned about a win for the GOP or the DNC instead of for the people.

    March 25, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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