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. jc

    obama will only do what the teleprompter tells him to do.

    March 22, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Robert

    Stupid is as stupid does. The immature Obama supports the incompetent Geithner (who can't even use Turbo Tax). Poor decision to elect Obama, poorer decision to put Geithner in that position and Obama is plain old stubborn to keep Geithner around. Shades of Bush and his stubborness. It is not good for the Country!

    March 22, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Dave

    Obama is going to go down with Geithner.

    March 22, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Texas Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    You "teleprompter" whiners should really get a life. You sound so pathetically juvenile.
    For God sake, people, the guy has been on the job about 5 weeks– give him a chance. After all, this administration inherited the biggest mess in just about all of the history of this country. I really don't think it's something that can be resolved in a month or two.

    March 22, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Maggie

    PEOPLE! I supose you all think that you consider your selves good Christians??? Why are you judging? Thou shall NOT JUDGE

    You all must feel great in your misery. Instead why don't you pray FOR him? I feel that President Obama is doing a great job,

    March 22, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Scott

    The two party system is killing the US. I could care less if you are a republican or a democrat – do what is best for the country as a whole and not your self interests.

    The problem does not fall completely on the president because (for the record I'm not a Obama fan) it is a position that can only do so much. If you want the problem fixed then vote out the senators and congressman that have been there for decades – until that happens be prepared for the same thing no matter what party is in charge.

    I could care less about $165 million in bonuses – I bet Pelosi has spent that much in jet costs over the last few months. What I do care about is the billions that are being spent without protocol in place prior to distribution.

    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.

    March 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. tlobe

    Geithner is a Wall Street and Fed insider. He fully understood the implications of paying bonuses and should have advised Congress to put legal restraints on such bonuses as a condition of federal bailouts. He didn't. In short he reflects the "more of the same" crap that Obama ran against. He should go. So far Obama has failed to live up to his campaign promises. Few, if any, of his cabinet and top tier political appointees are truly from "outside the beltway" and the network of good old boys and girls. The president needs to take a deep breath, get a good night's sleep, and go back to square one. We cannot solve all our problems in one fell swoop and the president needs to lower his sights and limit his line of attack to one or two objectives at a time. I for one feel that the capital markets must be reformed to ban capitalization of everything from mortgages to magnetic emissions from solar flares (yes, I'm being facetious on the last point). This trend gained steam during the Clinton year's and led to a false of peace and prosperity. We are paying for the unwise decisions of the 1990s to let people become rich without really trying. Hence, the, the IPO, and the onset of the housing bubble. Trying to foist all this mess on the Bush administration is akin to the ostrich burying his head in the sand; it overlooks the realities of the world but is good pablum that soothes the souls of the naiive people who think Clinton was great despite the historical evidence to the contrary. Bush sucked but so did Clinton, Reagan, Carter, the other Bush, and even JFK (god rest is soul). Lets find some of Teddy Roosevelt's DNA and clone a good president.

    March 22, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Rick S.

    Go back one year, swap the words Republican with Democrat, and the comments haven't changed a bit. Righteous indignation by the party in power against the shrill criticisms of the party out of power. It's so human! In the end, we are all sheep.

    March 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    I guess Obama needs a fallguy for when the economy collapse and Geithner's his boy.

    March 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Arron

    Give Tim Geitner a chance to succeed. You can't expect him or anyone to clean up Bush's monumental mess in only a couple of months. After a couple years we will better judge on his performance. The banks are already starting to stabilize. CITI Bank, for example, is reporting a profit this quarter. If people are all up in arms about exec compensation (which the republicans opposed regulating, by the way) then let's enact sweeping reforms of the entire financial system's regulations...and that is exactly what Obama is doing. All the Obama haters will have a lot of crow to eat when the economy rebounds.

    March 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. thank

    These guys are on training. As president Obama once said let him know and he will sell it. This time, he sells the America. I hope I am wrong about this.

    March 22, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Blaine


    At this time Obama has no choice but to keep him around. He has no one lined up to take Gaithner's place and his administration cannot afford another "mistake" in their appointments of people.

    Gaithner has taken so much of his time backpeddling and trying to hide that he has not even gotten half his staff yet. How does Obama expect him to get a job done with no staff?

    I did not vote for Obama and I definately would not have voted for Hillary. Neither is experienced enough to lead this Country. Frankly I don't think Mcain was either. The problem with Obama though is that he seems to have the "it's going to be my way or no way " approach and that will simply not work in this Country right now.

    He had the stimulus rushed through and basically took no advice at all from Republicans or some Democrats in his administration. He wanted it done and no matter what anyone said it was going to get done. It was rushed too quickly and now we all have to deal with the consequences. Obama needs to stand up and do something besides say " it is my fault I take responsibility"

    March 22, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Cynthia

    And it should be.

    March 22, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |

    How come no one is asking for Dodd's resignation as he was the author of AIG execs getting their bonuses.

    March 22, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. ben

    "For God sake, people, the guy has been on the job about 5 weeks– give him a chance. "

    Everything he has done so far has made things worse. Given enough time, he may bankrupt the country. Its like a Doctor who gives arsenic as medicine. The patient gets worse and the Doctors fans protect him while he proscribes more arsenic. A very dangerous situation we are in.

    March 22, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Roger

    Blaine, you are so correct. Obama must realize that the campaign has ended and he is the Nation's President. It is tme for leadership not political campaigning.

    March 22, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Blaine

    Btw, we heard the same comments from a couple of past Presidents and within two weeks the person they were talking about was resigning.

    March 22, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Larry


    When driving a vehicle on a slippery surface,a good driver knows to be smooth with his corrections .Slamming on the brakes will just make you slide straight ahead,tap your brakes and you will gain control.Turn into a slide ,not away,and you will gain control and not spin out,but the best thing you can do is go as slow as you can and stay in control.Life and management is a lot like driving,many drivers crash and kill people everyday because they do not know how to drive,but they do have a drivers license.We are heading for a real bad crash.

    March 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Steve, NY

    It's the inexperience leading the inexperience. There is no responsibility. If they fail they'll blame it all on Bush, and the Democrat voters will eat it all up. The only way things will change is if all the rich liberals start getting poorer and poorer. Finally they'll say enough is enough bring the republicans back.

    March 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Maggie

    How many more losers will Obama hire fior his cabinet? I am sick of these type people.

    March 22, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Pat F

    All that is left is for Obama to say "Geity, I think you're doing a terrifc job."

    March 22, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. texas teacher

    This whole thing reminds me of when the democrats were calling for Rumsfield to resign when he made mistakes on the war in Iraq. Bush stood by him and for the longest time, would not let him go, until public opinion made it difficult to keep him on.

    Now we have Obama standing by Gethner saying essentially the same thing, even though public opinion is turning against him as someone who is not qualified to lead the treasury department during these economic times, because of the major mistakes being made.

    The question is, will the same people who called on Rumsfield to resign, have the same "courage" to call on Geithner to step aside? Or is that only if it is a republican who makes mistakes, because democrats never make big enough mistakes that they need to resign. So far it seems that it is the latter, just from reading these posts, as so many people are still "praising" for a "job well done."

    March 22, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. vso

    Stop Bloomberg and the MTA from increasing fares on the poor folk..

    March 22, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Larry

    The Democrats are good people ,and they think they are taking the country in the right direction,the problem is they have the map upside down,how far in the wrong direction will we have to go be for the Democrats realize the mistake,and will we have enough gas to turn around and go back in the right direction ??

    March 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Matt Kachaluba

    I'm optimistic that things could turn around...we'll see.

    March 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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