March 22nd, 2009
08:58 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama says Geithner's job is safe

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama has expressed confidence in Timothy Geithner's role as Treasury secretary."]
(CNN) - President Obama says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s job is safe, according to excerpts of Mr. Obama’s interview this week with CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

If the embattled Secretary were to submit his resignation, Obama said he’d tell him, “Sorry, Buddy, you’ve still got the job,” according to the excerpts.

Obama told CBS that neither he nor Geithner has discussed a possible resignation from the Treasury Department.

Geithner has faced increasing criticism since it was revealed that ailing insurance giant AIG doled out massive bonuses to executives after accepting more than $170 billion from the federal government.

In response to the criticism, Geithner told CNN’s Ali Velshi, Geithner defended his actions, but said he should have known about the scale of the problems sooner.

The president told CBS that criticism is natural, especially given the scope of the financial crisis his administration is facing.

Obama also shot back at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticism of some of his administration’s policies.

"How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment," Obama told CBS.

Since taking office in January, Obama has announced plans to close the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to halt the military trials of suspected terrorists there, and to make CIA officers follow the Army Field Manual's rules on interrogations. Cheney said the administration appears to be returning to the pre-2001 model of treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue, rather than a military threat.

Cheney last week told CNN’s John King that Obama is making some choices that he thinks “will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack."

CBS’ interview with Obama was taped Friday and will air Sunday.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Tim Geithner
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Pat F

    The "AIG Bonus Scandal" is proof positive of the stupidity of the American people.

    Firstly, with trillions being flushed down the toilet by Pelosi and Reid, Americans are concerned about one-millionth of that amount.

    Secondly, the AIG bonuses were perfectly legal and contracted payments.

    Thirdly, the Stimulus Bill expressly permitted them!

    This is what happens when private companies are nationalized – every private decision becomes public fodder. Socialists, take note!

    Also, a special dishonorable mention goes to Eliot Spitzer, who hounded AIG founder Hank Greenberg from office with rumors of wrongdoing (never materialized) to replace him with clowns who didn't know the meaning of the term "risk control".

    March 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Shannon

    Geithner allowed those bonuses because contracts are LEGALLY BINDING that means something. When did it become acceptable to break contracts? Taxpayer money looks and is the same as my money, so does that mean I can break contracts too or is it only the government that can? Just because you don't like it , doesn't mean its wrong.

    As for those who think that these bonuses were unnecessary, how would you know? If I own 80% of your business, does that mean I know how to run your business too? What about your income from work? If your company pays all of your bills (in essence owns YOU), do THEY know best how it should be spent? Or is it just government who does? Geithner allowed those bonuses to go through because the CEO of AIG said it was NECESSARY and not you or the government can run this company.

    You want to change the "cultrue on Wall Street" great but, you CAN'T enact legislation that goes back in time. You take a hit like everyone else and make corrections going forward. You also CAN'T blame someone for doing his job because he didn't do what you want. His job is to fix the economy not, appease you and I. Stop living in a dream world and face reality.

    You don't like these bonuses, I don't like these bonuses but, stop blaming Geithner because you don't like what he did. Geithner did what was necessary at the time to stabilize the economy, not what the public opinion polls said.

    March 22, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Texas Teacher

    "I ask everyone to forget democrat/republican and just look at it as an american and make your own decisions without some talking head doing it for you." Thank you, Scott, for being a voice of reason in this seemingly witch hunt days!

    Patience is the name of the game! Allow the President and Administration.... what the senate has allowed to be put in place... to do something about this economy without having to fight the rumors every step of the way! 🙂

    March 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. John

    Here is some money for the Treasury:

    Raise Taxes!

    Raise taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Firearms!

    March 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Denver Mom

    Honestly, I'd prefer to pay these bonuses rather than fund the study to examine why pigs smell so badly. The problem is the entire bill, not this one little item. If Dems were really worried about this, the easy solution would be to allow them to go into bankruptcy where contracts can be LEGALLY re-written.

    March 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. independent in CO

    For those saying just give him time to see what he does. Anyone with a basic understanding of economics knows that Obama is going to destroy this country. You don't need to touch a hot stove to know that it will burn you.

    March 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Denver Mom

    Oh, and maybe if you really are worried about the ecomony till the other 17 out of 18 positions in the treasury.

    March 22, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Texas Teacher

    texas teacher, there is absolutely NO comparison between Rumsfield and Geithner! Rumsfield was by far the Devil in Sheep's Clothing right along with the whole Bush administration. Let's allow that Geithner may be growing into the job instead of proving exactly how corrupt he was over and over and over again as did Rumsfield! -Texas Teacher

    March 22, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Larry

    If you honestly believe what you posted about Gitmo, you are no better than the terrorists. We have values in this country. If we violate them out of hate/anger for those whom our government CLAIM are responsible for 9/11, are we anymore noble than them? Our laws of legal proceedings are designed too favor the accused for a reason....our constitution demands true process of law. That means you are presumed to be NOT GUILTY until/if you are proven guilty too the satisfaction of a jury or tribunal. Even the President of this does not have the right (nor should they) too circumvent that process.

    March 22, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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