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. RICK

    I knew obama didn;t know how to run a city muchless a the way ...Bush and cheney didn't run down the country the democrats did

    March 22, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. PJS

    "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!”"

    EDR, This is just what happen in our last election! You summed it up very well.

    March 22, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. Dick M`

    President Obama, you inexperience is showing. It's sad that it appears that your only agenda is to spend as much as you can as fast as you can before leaving office. Pretty soon you will be taxing at 90% everyone over $250,000. Not only did the arrogance of your party show on that move...but the stupidity as well.

    March 22, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Shayne in NH

    I wish Faux News had a "ticker" for then I would be invading their territory on an hourly basis under a multitude of different IP addresses and fake names. The CNN ticker is incessantly terrorized by illiterate GOP Kool-Aid drinkers who bow five times a day to Joe the Plumber. Woo-hoo! Aren't we smart! The GOP followers fall into three categories:

    1.) Religious zealots (those that think being a Democrat means you cannot be Christian...hint, your Bible....I read mine.....).

    2.) Ludicrously rich individuals who care more about their bank accounts than their country, complain about taxes, and blame Wall Street, even if it goes UP a 1000 points, on hypocrisy here....

    3.) Legions of Joe the Plumber lovers who are so incredibly stupid they do not even know they are being HELPED.

    So, for all of you liberal bashing folk, know this: we are NOT all LIBERAL. Because we are Democrats who have an EDUCATION does not mean we are LIBERAL. Look in the dictionary for liberal if you can find someone to read it for you (or you know anyone who HAS dictionary).

    Liking Obama doesn't mean one is a liberal any more than liking John McCain makes you a conservative. Why? For one, McCain is hardly a conservative, and two, Obama is not a true bleeding-heart liberal.

    March 22, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Truth Bomb Thrower


    "Sorry Tim. You're a corrupt tax cheat. You're my kind of guy. I just can't stand to let you go." (sniff)

    March 22, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Chooch

    In a nutshell Geithners policies nor performance did not put this country in the econonmic situation it is now facing. Bush and the Republican party did. It would truly be refreshing to see even one Bush "advisor" admit the shortfalls of that administration. We all know that will not happen. Has a Republican, even once, in history openly admitted that they were wrong or misguided? I don't think so. It's an ego thing with you Republicans. Most republican politicians are so wrapped up in advancing their own careers, they have forgotten about the people that they are supposed to represent. Just because a man has been elected president of any country, does not mean that people of that nation should follow them blindly without question. Unfortunately for America, that is exactly what happened during Bush's period of "destruction". Republican politicians are in my opinion spineless, self serviant, and only concerned with "party" policies and follow the leader like a bunch of cattle going over a cliff.

    March 22, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. annie - Palin 2012

    How safe is the tax cheats job when bo is impeached?

    Article II, Section 4
    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    March 22, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Al

    Has anyone noticed Obama changes at least one issue every single day? Whats new tomorow? Why doesnt he take off a few days and see whats really happening? 365 changes a year for four years? God hope not 8.

    March 22, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Ed

    The language got inserted to exempt the bonuses because "treasury had legal issues". I wonder if anyone has asked for the Attorney General's opinion which supported this position. This looks more like hush money to keep AIG executives from blowing the whistle on the Paulson/Bernnanke/Geithner bailout of Goldman Sachs via the ploy of an AIG bailout.

    March 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Lori

    @ Jason (The Republican in disguise):

    And I know people who wished they voted for Obama and regret voting Republican because they see ZERO leadership and solutions from the Republicans just obstruction. Do you really expect the President to inherit a trillion dollar deficit and then all a sudden have to cut back on health care, education and the economy. Of course he's going to have to spend in order to lead America forward.

    As for leadership: Do you really believe that the Republicans who got us into this mess had leadership skills? That Bush had leadership skills? And do you think Palin would have been a better leader? Or McCain who said the 'economy wasn't his strong point?' could lead us out of this. Give me a break. You must be Republican.

    March 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Jon

    Geithner and Bernanke both have to go. They both played roles leading to making the current ecnomic crisis worse as members of the Federal Reserve Board and quite frankly, Geithner looks like a deer caught in the headlights everytime he appears on TV. Of course, he has rarely appeared on tV lately because Obama is not a complete idiot and is keeping him under wraps as much as possible. Geithner's unveiling of the "recovery plan" later this week will reveal much. Personally, I expect that the market will tank once again. While Obama's loyalty towards his underlings is admirable, Geithner is costing Obama large amounts of credability that once is gone cannot be easily recovered.

    March 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Karen Toledo OH

    All of you that are critisizing Obama need to look at the BIG picture here. How can any of you expect things to turn around in less than 4 months that he has been in office??? I support our President and trust that in time things will turn around and progress will be made. We didn't go down the tubes in 3 or 4 or even 6 months of the Bush-Cheney regime so how can you expect things to turn around in that amount of time now? Lord people have some patience here. If things are still in the dumpster after a year then you might be able to critisize.

    March 22, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Sam

    This is amazing. Where were all of you whiners and complainers 6 years ago when Bush was beginning his destructive adventure through the country and the world? This new administration hasn't even been in office for 100 days and everyone is saying "Fire Geithner."

    Bunch of hypocrites. But I would expect nothing less from the "President Palin in 2012" crowd.

    March 22, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Kris Johnson

    Wow, this a Repub forum, or what. Im definately not Rep OR Dem, but let me say a thing or two. No, thousands of terrorists were NOT brought to justice, only a devotee of the Repub religion would say such a thing. Most killed in Iraq were not terrorists, most capturred and interrered at Guan. Bay were not given justice one way or another, aswour gov. decided to write a new rule for them. It is true, Bush put us in a hole, and Obama is sealing the deal, both parties are opposite sides of the same big business coin. Wake up America, it is close to too late. kris_danzig@yahoo.,com

    March 22, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. annie - Palin 2012

    The last 2 yrs of bush's admin., was govern by a democrat congress. I'm a registered dem. and personally both parties are so full of corruption and incapability that 98% of them should be replaced. They can keep bo as a 'talking head' but they need somebody behind with a brain to make decisions to save our country not destroy it.

    March 22, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. David

    What kind of example does Geithner set for our children, Mr. President?
    That you can repeatedly fail and snugly maintain high level of office without repercussions.

    March 22, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. Tom in NYC

    Geithner needs to be fired ... what type of change is this??? It isn't

    March 22, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. Cut him him loose

    Time to cut him loose, if Obama wants to see the promises he made during the campaign fulfilled, he needs to consider replacing Geithner with someone that is not personally tranished.

    Geithner made a serious error of judgement, one that caused a fury of public response and is serving to drive a wedge between once united Demoncrats. He does not have the confidence of the public. We should ask our Democrat Senators and Congress to withhold support of Obama's financial agenda until new leadership is selected.

    March 22, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. Mom in SC

    He started out with a BANG all right.... shooting himself in the foot!

    March 22, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. EDR

    "The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training" – Joe Biden, referring to Obama. A little warning that America should have heeded.

    March 22, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. gary

    why in the world would obama nominate a tax dodger for this job in the first place are you going to tell me their are not ant economist out there or some one from our university who is more caoable then geithner i guess the group the who put it best in there song wont get fooled again that fits obama about change the lyric goes meet the new boss same as the old boss.

    March 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Bill

    love all the "republicans ruined the world" comments. The dems have been in charge of both houses since Jan 2007 ... what responsibility do they have?????

    March 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. annie - Palin 2012

    I was not a bush supporter but quite possibly he did keep our country safe. bo is all over the board. One minute it is one thing next min. something else and nothing good is being decided for our country. As I said before the last 2 yrs. of bush's admin. was a demo. congress. They were just like the repub. when the controlled congress "0". They approved whatever bush wanted. Maybe our politicians (both parties) should remember that they work for us and decide what country they work for.

    March 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Dania Alvarez

    I don't think Mr. Geithner is doing a good job at all.

    It's a shame that President Obama is being surrounded by a lot
    of unqualified people.

    March 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Juan Suero

    Larry, worry about your own house man. You are too worried about people failing and criticising. That is the one thing I really despise about this country.... the propensity to try to break its leaders down... instead of recognizing and pulling together to make it work. Do you know that the more support Obama gets from us the easier and faster it is for him to do his job? Did you know that? You act like a frekin Yankee fan fo godsake. Wake up and grow up. Americans sound like little kids who got thier lollipop taken away. THE GUY IS TRYING TO LOWER YOUR HEALTH CARE AND IMPROVE YOUR EDUCATION... NOT TO MENTION CURE CANCER FOR GOD SAKES WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    March 22, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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