March 22nd, 2009
08:58 AM ET
12 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. Lori

    Good job Mr. President. Don't let the Republicans bully you into anything. They ruined this country with their people and now want to tell you how to do your job and with which people. We need to let Geithner try and get this country back on track before we can tell him to resign (yes, even as Geithner does things that may unpopular).

    Keep up the good work Mr. President. We support you.

    March 22, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  2. I can see Canada from my house!

    Let's see. Obama has been in office 2 months, and Darth Cheney has seen fit to declare we are less safe now than when he and President Shrub drove us into the ground over eight years. Geithner is not perfect, but he at least deserves more than a couple of months to offset the willful ignorance and stupidity that drove us into the ditch.


    March 22, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. Steve

    Of course Geitner's job is safe.

    We are dealing with someone who has no experience in hiring or firing, so why does anyone expect that he would make a good selection or get rid of a bad selection?

    March 22, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. ib

    The above is typical liberal spin if something bad comes up on Obama or any of his cabinet you always bring up Bush & Cheney to cover. It's time Obama started to answer for Obama not Bush. Bush is history and it's time for liberals to accept that.

    March 22, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. Aviate

    The dreaded "vote of confidence." Uh-oh, Timmy, better start dusting off your resumé. With the bang up job you've been doing, I'm sure AIG or Bank of America would be thrilled to have you.

    You've been doing a great job in difficult circumstances Mr. President, but no one is perfect, & Geithner & Summers have been a huge mistake. Time to get Volcker in there–he knows how to clean up a mess.

    March 22, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. The black Spider

    People in this country act like they've never made a mistake in their life before. The anappologique republicans after screwing the country for 8 years with the dumbest president in the american history are not even ready to admit they've made a mistake in Irak.
    A man with so much to do on his own and get this with no team in place yet because of a stupid congress, made a mistake and recognize the mistake and even promise to fix it by getting the money back and they want his resignation. The first person that never made a mistake can trow the first stone.
    Why didn't you ask for cheney's resignation or Bush impeachment or trial?
    You should be outrage about the money trown at the window in Irak as well.

    March 22, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Pat

    Well done Mr. President! Thank you for standing behind your man! It inspires us to do the same!

    March 22, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. EDR

    The audacity of arrogance. This administration lives by the mantra "Do as I say not as I do." The conceit, lies and double-standards will eventually become the undoing of this administration, and the collective American voice of reason will loudly proclaim “Enough is enough!”

    March 22, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. PJF

    This is nothing more that the GOP's agenda of negativity unleashed on the Country and the President. These people have nothing positive to offer other than negative things. No solutions (they certainly tried to destroy the country). Just tear down not attempt to correct their mistakes (and there were plenty). The only survival to that party at this point is to come clean beg he people's forgiveness and fall right behind all efforts to turn the country around. Nothing less than that will insure their survival. All present GOP people are on their dying beds. New blood is needed now. They need to stop all this hatred and think and put the people well being and the country first. As it stands, maybe in 15-20 years they might come back into power.

    March 22, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. max

    How many terrorists brought to justice? Thousands. Im not president but I can count.

    This wasnt a mistake by Geithner. The bonuses were specifically allowed. The Obama administration made a decision. They should have the intestinal fortitude to stand by it.

    March 22, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. Zion

    ib and Steve, again, I am asking for intelligent discourse on a subject. Was the media liberal when it got Bush re-elected? Was the liberal media spin a problem when Bush railroaded our Constitution? So, lets drop the yellowed speech of how the "liberal media" is creating this superhero known as President Obama. Frankly, I feel that the media scrutinizes him more than Bush received in 8 years. Yes, many things happened on the Bush time watch. Get over it–it did. Because of Bush/Cheney, we will be digging ourselves out of a ditch that they claimed was not there in 2006, even though economists told them that the ditch was there. For a group of people who claim personal responsibility, Republicans have a hard time taking it.

    March 22, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  12. Elizabeth

    Yes, the Bush administration did drive us into the ground over the last 8 years. Now , in a few short weeks, the Obama administration has done more damage than it took Bush a Cheney 8 years to do. God help us all because we need it.

    March 22, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  13. Resident in SC

    It's one thing to stand up for your man, but you have to reevaluate...
    perhaps he's NOT the best man for the job. His inexperience is showing.

    March 22, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Lisa

    Do ya'll remember "Brownie" and FEMA's response to Katrina under his guidance? I don't recall you all giving him much leeway or even a couple of weeks to figure out how to respond to the largest natural/federal disaster in this country's history.

    March 22, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Jason

    I am a Democrat and sadden by the horrible job Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress is doing . . . they are making the deficit Bush created look like child's play and seem to being making bad decisions at ever corner and then blaming it on the past administration. That only shows a president and administration that doesnt have the fortitude to lead and that has no real experience or direction. I am afraid people are starting to regret their choice in Obama . . . I know many people where I work who already wish they could change their vote.

    And really, just because someone disagrees with the policies of Obama doesnt automatically make them "Republican". People who continue to use that kind of reasoning are ignorant themselves. Many people have the intelligence to think for themselves and not follow political rhetoric and call things the way they are.

    March 22, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Larry Schlueter

    Proof again that BO is not a leader. Things are bad and he has no intelligent response on why he would keep the tax evader in power. I guess he would have trouble getting a person with skill to handle the situation. So, it has started and it continues . . . no leadership . . . lack of intelligence (unless the words are pre-written on a teleprompter), and a fun loving guy unable to do real work.

    March 22, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. lynn in NM

    Of course Geithner has his job. He takes the heat away from Obama.

    March 22, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  18. Karin

    Mr. President you are doing a good job trying to bring this country back on its feet. There are and will be many obstacles along the way and they call them Republicans. I believe the party of NO has put us on this path. With your and Mr. Geithner's direction our country will get out of this mess and the American people have realize this major problem has no quick fix. GO OBAMA/GEITHNER!

    March 22, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  19. Willy Brown

    Fire Geithner then resign yourself

    March 22, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. jjsummers

    Oh please Mr President. How about actually doing your job instead of just flapping your lips. Geithner lies. (But then again, so do you. So it's understandable that you think lying is OK). I sincerely hope you are getting the message that promises and tall tales do not provide real solutions to economic and business problems.
    We have an enormous trust issue going on here. Millions of citizens (and foreign businesses) have a profound lack of trust in the way this administration is handling the economic crunch iand the current administrations plans for the future. What is needed is leadership that we can trust. We have seen on a number of issues that Geithner does not tell the truth. People will no longer trust him. Therefore, he needs to go.

    March 22, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Rick

    Obama is just one crook protecting another crook. They both have MISMANAGED OUR TAX DOLLARS and one should be IMPEACHED and the other FIRED. These people will cause RUNS on the BANKS and the TOTAL CORRUPTION OF THE AMERICAN WAY.


    March 22, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. JonDie

    Bush and Cheney and the GOP leadership in Congress LIED about the reasons for invading Iraq, they then transferred a trillion dollars to their corporate friends (stolen from the taxpayers and NOT counted as deficit) while our soldiers were being killed for lack of body armor and vehicle armor, and thanks to the invasion of Iraq (which did NOT attack us on 9-11), the people who did attack us, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are defeating us in Afghanistan. Bush and Cheney should literally we tried, convicted and imprisoned for life.

    Yet since Day One these "patriotic" Americans have been attacking our president and tearing down our country and promoting a Great Depression...for their own financial and political gain.

    March 22, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. LLL

    Anyone who thinks the economy was ruined by decisions made in just the last eight years is foolish. It's the result of decisions that have been made for decades and over several administrations. As for the last eight years, both parties share the blame as do we the public. And if we are short-sighted enough to not learn the lessons history should teach us we will do it again. I feel sorry for anyone who is blindly loyal to either party. As for wanting to dismiss Geithner after 2 months that seems silly and reactionary. An unpopular decision is not necessarily a wrong decision.

    March 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. Tony G.

    Geithner has brought nothing but problems to this Administration and if the President doesn't see that then he's not the man for the highest job in the land. He evaded taxes and now has clearly lied about his involvement in the AIG debacle we're facing. It's one thing after another that's going to make this President a one-term President. I supported Barack Obama and am now convinced that it was a mistake.

    March 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. scott

    Obama is better qualifed to be president of the special olympics..
    er.. uh.. oops... I immediately apologise for that remark...

    Can we get some CNN opinion writers to clean this up and turn my apology the postive focus of that blunder?

    March 22, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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