January 14th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama 'confident' treasury pick will be confirmed

Barack Obama's team says Tim Geithner, left, quickly addressed the mistakes he made.

Barack Obama's team says Tim Geithner, left, quickly addressed the mistakes he made.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama defended his Treasury Secretary-designate Tim Geithner on Wednesday amid reports that Geithner failed to pay the correct amount on his taxes for a time and employed a housekeeper whose work authorization had expired.

Watch: Obama defends Geithner

Obama told reporters he did not think the controversy would jeopardize Geithner's confirmation. "Tim Geithner, when I nominated him, was rightly lauded by people from both sides of the aisle, from the market, from labor, as somebody who was uniquely qualified."

Obama said it was an embarrassment for Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but called it "an innocent mistake."

"It has been corrected. He's paid the penalties. ... So, my expectation is that Tim Geithner will be confirmed. And my expectation is that he is going to do an outstanding job on behalf of the American people," he added.

Geithner received immediate backing from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who met with Obama on Wednesday.

Geithner "has a great resume," Graham said. "I don't see any desire by the Republican Party to play 'gotcha' on something like this. We need a new secretary of the treasury who understands where this country is at financially and has a game plan to move forward. I think he's the right guy."

But other Senate Republicans are demanding more answers on the issue.

Full story

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Paul from Kissimmee

    I understand what some of you are saying in a way, but shouldn't our Treasury Secretary not make this kind of mistake? If he was appointed by a Republican, I can only imagine what this board would look like.

    January 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Rick

    YES WE CAN....cheat on our taxes.

    January 14, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. daniel cabrera

    Here is the thing, If this guy cannot have his own records straight logic dictates is not a legitimate person to handle the 'taxpayers check book',...don't you think?

    But then again this kind of people is the 'Obama -brand' , right?
    Don't say 'no' to the reality,...this administration is CORRUPTED ALL THE WAY TO THE CORE!...and does not have a clue what to do with absolutely anything....and will not work for the peolple, for they have self-interests ok?,...so DO NOT EXPECT DIFFERENT!

    Well,....you wantred Obama?,...EAT OBAMA NOW!

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    January 14, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. Jon in Denver

    it's only "an innocent mistake" when it's a democrat.

    January 14, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Irritated in Fl

    OMG! They won't let us comment on it but the presidential Limosine is a freaking PIMP Mobile! Our country has sunk to such a low, low....looooow.

    January 14, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    Would it matter to you if he paid an accountant to do his taxes for him and they screwed up and he didn't even know about it?

    January 14, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Larry

    I hope that the government will look as favorably at everybody who is involved in tax evasion,and employing illegal aliens.Finally ,I see the change you have been talking about.

    January 14, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. Bea

    Obama being blamed for someone else not paying their taxes...lol.

    January 14, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. just in time!

    I think Geithner was using the same logic Obama used, when he decided to pay his old Harvard Law parking tickets, right before he announced his presidential campaign!

    January 14, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    If he is a bad nominee, the republicans will not vote for him. If he is a good nominee the republicans will vote for him and then no one will be able to complain about it. Let the republicans on the committee decide. The democrats should abide by the decision of the republicans on the committee.

    My understanding is that the republicans support him. I wonder why?

    January 14, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Tracey

    And here begins another corrupt US President.

    January 14, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Robin

    Last year, I made a small honest mistake on my tax return. I paid it immediatly, ($600), but my penalties were not waived. Why not?

    January 14, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. howie

    Perhaps Obamas change meant "we may have to change some of my cabinet picks" Does not look good for him, even before he takes office!!!!!!

    January 14, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Jenny

    Don't you just love how Obama says, "It has been corrected. He has paid the penalties," as if that is all corrupt politicians have to do if they are working for him...but let them be a republican and he can't shout for change fast enough. What a hypocrite! The only way America will ever get honest and fair representation in the White House is to put a Christian Woman...go Palin!

    January 14, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Reid

    If this guy can't get his own income taxes correct, what business has he to be managing the U.S. Treasury? He is clearly unfit for office.

    January 14, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Paul Thompson

    Maybe he'll support the Fair Tax!

    January 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Give me a break!

    I say...but Suze Orman in charge. We'll be out of this mess by Easter!

    January 14, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Tracey @ 629

    And here begins another rushpublican idiot.

    January 14, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. libs be dopes

    Joe the Plumber fails to pay tax...........he gets nailed to the wall.

    Tim Geithner fails to pay tax.........promote him.

    Chicago style politics at its best!

    January 14, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. Larry

    Chicago style politics-–NOW PLAYING IN WASHINGTON, DC

    January 14, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. Brian

    This does not seem like an "innocent mistake." It was a SERIES of mistakes over seven years. What is appalling is that the IRS even audited the Secretary-designate and was unable to audit all the years he did this. Making it seem like he "voluntarily" amended his returns and paid the taxes implies some dispute over law. The law is clear and he broke it.

    IRS employees are fired if they don't file or don't pay their taxes. Too bad the Secretary of their department isn't held to that standard.

    Change I can belive in? This isn't what I signed up for - it's just more of the same.

    January 14, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  22. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Geithner is Obama's disciple, if he was a republican the media would have hounded him to withdrawl as they did Bush's proposed Labor Secretary in 2000. Also,the judiciary committee needs to ask Holder to define terrorism since his legal brief for Chaquita said that dealing with the FARC was not supporting terrorism.

    January 14, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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