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. In Michigan

    I'm betting he'll be gone in about two weeks.

    March 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Carol

    sally March 22nd, 2009 10:11 am ET

    of course the job is safe, no surprises here; obama is a corporate man.
    BHO is not a corporate man! He is a puppet.....a pelosi puppet.

    March 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Keep TEXAS RED

    Geithner's job is safe, but the rest or our's are not! Obama really knows how to pick 'em! Both his and Geithner's inexperience is very evident.

    March 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Byrd

    bush administration=8 years....obama administration=2months..........oh wow its been 2 months and he hasnt fixed the economy...omg....he hasnt forfilled all of his promises in 2 months...omg........and yes I am being sarcastic....only a complete idiot would think all this is going to be fixed in 2 months

    March 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. god save us please

    What I have noticed is most republicans have an unwillingness to accept the actions of Obama's team as anything but orders from hell meant to destroy the United States. I have also noticed that most of those same republicans posting here do not know how to check their spelling and grammar. Is that just a coincidence?

    March 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Viewer from Switzerland

    'Senator Dodd should be forced to give up his Senate seat ' I agree completely with Steve D. At first Senator Dodd claimed he had no idea about what must have permitted AIG to pay out such a large Bonus . Much later he confessed to knowing about it. Give me a break. This is absurd. An absurdity against the transparency of Obama's Government. I think Obama should read the writings on the wall. There are alot of people who want to see him fail. Not only some Republicans but also some Democrats. Obama should watch out for that wolf in a sheep' skin. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should resign. It would be too late for Obama to cry when his head is off. As a Treasury Secretary with so much experience he should have seen the clouds above before it turned into some acid rain showers.

    March 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. DA

    AS IT SHOULD BE!!! Give me a break the guy has been on the job in less than two MONTHS!!!
    This just goes to show how much of a "RIGHT NOW" culture we live in. People it took time to get into this mess it is going to take time to get out of it. So folks sit back and get ready for a long bumpy ride!!!

    I think the President and his Administration are doing a really good job given the fact they have been on the job for THREE MONTHS!!!

    March 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Rick

    Guantanamo Bay is a very mixed bag of moral and military webs. On the one hand we must use extreme measure to extract information we need. On the other hand, if we do so, we are no better than the terrorists. My sense is that at this point in time, we defer to the 3000+ people who died in 911 an nothing is of limits. War is not pretty, that is why you try to avoid it!

    March 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Bob

    The bonuses are inexcusable, but were created long before Obama took office. Politicians can posture and nash their teeth over them, but as unethical as they were, there was nothing illegal about them.

    The bonuses amounted to less than 1% of the total bailout. Meanwhile we continue to borrow money to support a war in Irag that costs $10 billion a month. A war that will continue to cost us in blood and treasure long after our current economic crisis has past.

    It took years to get us in the economic mess we are in, it will take more than a few months to get us out of it.

    March 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Kathy S. Cloughn

    Don't kill the messenger just because you don't like the message. Quit the carping and lets get on with America's business.

    March 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Patrick Oliver

    Good god, Geithner has only been the Treasury Sec. for a few weeks! Give the guy a break. And give him a chance to actually start doing his job! Are we as a nation going to let our (terribly inept) media start questioning every politician's performance and fitness for office a few weeks after they start??? Of course the Republicans (desperate for any sort of support) are going to criticize everything the Obama administration does. (Ironic since he's trying to repair their 8 years of gross mismanagement). In the case of the AIG bonuses, those contracts were written under the Bush Adminstration. And the Obama people didn't want to get bogged down in lawsuits. So in the collective good of the nation, let's stop all this negative energy and give these people a chance to do their jobs and let's start judging their performance in a year or so!! Please!!

    March 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. David

    Obama's statement just shows more of his communist way of thinking. No one see's the problem with his response to Torbo Tax Tim?

    Last time I looked, some of the constitution was still being observed by democrats. It's a free country; if you don't want the job any more, you have the right to resign and quit.

    Guess Obama does not see it that way.

    March 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. MD

    Please remember, the absolute unbridled greed, negligence, and unregulated rich boy politics of the Bush/Cheney administration has caused this mess. Not only will there be no quick fixes, but there may be no fixes that will work to rescue the mess that was left behind. It's appalling to blame the current administration who has been put in this desperate situation by those that preceeded them. Bush and Cheney should be in jail for what they have done to this country and to our economy. Instead they are laughing all the way to the bank. To claim that Bush/Cheney is history is like claiming the aftermath of Katrina was not caused by a hurricane. Clean up will continue to be long and hard. No administration has inherited such a mess and to deny this is just stupidity.

    Give it some time and expect some mistakes. No one has the answers to solving the absolute collapse of our economic system, but we know that it will take considerable time to recover if we recover at all.

    March 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. tully

    Geitner will go. Bloomberg will take over. Competance trumps corruption

    March 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. JB

    Mr. President, you have seen and read those provisions before signing the stimulus bill into law. And you should also take the blame and responsibility for its initial failure. You are a lawyer and you should know the implication of bonuses.

    March 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Roger

    I am so sick of these self righteous Republicans and their constant criticism and berating of President Obama and the ambitious and necessary plans he has put forward. They have no plans of their own, no alternatives and the cold hard fact of life that is we have tried it their way – it didn't work!!! Yes, this is a time of great financial and emotional turmoil within the country, but our President is trying to fix problems which have been ignored, overlooked and festered for 30 years or more. This President deserves our support and his programs, propsals and solutions should be given the opportunity to work before jumping on the bandwagon of criticism. If you have alternatives or compromises, bring them forward, present them to the administration; if not shut up!

    March 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Tom Durfey

    Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner sure knows how to catch flak and divert it away from the President. He must be taking lessons from Vice President Joe Biden.

    While our Connecticut Attorney General reveals AIG paid $ 218 million in bonuses, not $ 165 million, buses are rolling through the Nutmeg state giving tours of homes where those AIG executives live. It's like Graceland for recessionistas.

    President Obama made a boo boo when he compared his bowling score to the Special Olympics on Leno. It's nice to know the guy can make mistakes and apologize. I hope former President Bush was watching.

    Sienna College, 3,000 students, beat Ohio State, 52,000 students, in the NCAA Tournament. We like it when the little guys win.

    Add the Seattle Post Intelligencer to the growing list of newspapers that have published their last issue. Meet The Press moderator David Gregory showed us how delivery boys used to fold the paper before they tossed it on the lawn. I was a paper boy. You got the fold wrong David !

    A vegetable garden and green water in the fountain for St. Patrick's Day at the White House. It's nice to have the People's House back in our hands.

    Tom Durfey


    March 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Rick

    I am in the financial services industry so I do have a sense of the issues. There is no intellegent life in the House and Senate! They don't get it!
    Let's look at the auto industry as an example. We've spent nubers that have more zero's at the end of that I can't fathom to bail them out. We have done the same things with the banks. THE BANKS HAVE THE MONEY! So now the car dealership has inventory. You go to finance the car. The banks say no and keep the money to keep the balance sheet look strong. So we bailed out one entity that has product to sell but cant because the other entity wont give the money so the dealership can sell their product.
    If you have a job and are breathing, you should get the loan.
    The House and Senate just don't get it. The combined IQ of both is probably 1

    March 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Walter

    Boy, I sure wish I could get my boss in my private sector job to say my job is safe.

    This is so un-American it is not even funny.

    March 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. Robin in Tampa, FL

    In a year's time if things get better we wont care.

    March 22, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. SamHouston, Clarendon, Texas

    Today, there are way too many critics letting tjheir mouths overload on almost every thing under the sun.
    The President can't joke, The President can't hesitate in his speech, the President can't and so on!!!!
    It's time the News Media, all TV Major Networks, Talk Shows Hosts, TV Anchors and the White House Press Corps "COOL IT".
    The United States and the rest of the world are in one of the worst financial crisis in history (and I said history).
    The former administration (Bush) for eight years did not enforce financial regulations which started the slide that we're in today.
    People bought homes (not to live in) but to benefit for financial gain.
    Consumers charged (credit cards) almost everything for themselves plus their kids.
    Seldom did we see a couple buy a single story home no, they had to have a three story mansion with no kid in sight yet!!
    One car didn't fit the bill, they had to have two cars plus a pickup and then came a boat, ATV's, RV, Motorcycle, Snowmobile, Jet Ski, Hang Glider and vacations that were hard to pay for.
    Pretty soon most of their credit cards maxed out so, they borrowed on their home equity for a new pool, hot tub & Jacuzzi and then the kitchen had to have a total redue with Marble Top Counters and so!!!!!!

    So, when it's all said and done we have ourselves to blame not President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner.
    President Obama is doing a great job and he'll bring all of us out of this financial quagmire.

    March 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Obama,Queen & The Cosmos Rocks!

    »WELL done,GREAT President Obama. Good.

    March 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Dump Geithner Now!!!!

    He's incompetent and he's performing poorly. We don't need a deer in the headlights as Treasury Secretary.

    March 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Blaine

    March 22nd, 2009 10:51 am ET

    bush administration=8 years….obama administration=2months……….oh wow its been 2 months and he hasnt fixed the economy…omg….he hasnt forfilled all of his promises in 2 months…omg……..and yes I am being sarcastic….only a complete idiot would think all this is going to be fixed in 2 months

    It is not that he has not fixed anything, it is that what he wants to do is not going to do anything to fix it. If anything it is going to take us further in the hole. Ok, so he rushed a bill through and no one read it before voting or signing it, however the bonuses were added as a lst minute thing so everyone should have known about them at the very least.

    Gaithner is supposed to be updating Obama on a daily basis but neglected to inform him about this clause in the stimulus bill? I have a hard time beleiving that Obama did not know about this. I think he is using it as a rallying cry to show how much he supposedly cares about this Country.

    As far as the budget goes, this will bankrupt the U.S. you think we are in a recession now just wait another year. Also no matter what Obama said about the budget to get us through the end of the year he could have refused to sign it and sent it back to get the earmarks out. This was not something that absolutely had to be done right that minute.

    This administration is using scare tactics to get what they want and some people are following right along without doing the research themselves. If What Obama wants to do works then great we can all live better, however almost all the wall street people and a ton of economist say it won't work. It will destroy the economy even more.

    March 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Larry

    Deny,deny,deny,tell a lie long enough ,Democrats will believe it.

    March 22, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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