February 3rd, 2009
06:13 PM ET

Obama: 'I made a mistake'

Program Note: Tune in tonight for Anderson's full interview with President Obama on AC360° at 10pm ET. President Obama says he takes the blame for the circumstances that led to Tom Daschle withdrawing.

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Nanette Craig

    United we stand. Devided we fall. Security is our ultimate goal and we have to have INSENTIVES to create new jobs in all areas concerned. We need security in our safety, health and welfare. It's time to take action to improve our lives. We need jobs available for our economic growth in wind, solar, and nuclear. Bailing out is Copping out. Insentive plans will set our economy back in the direction for progress, rather than passing the buck to the next generation!?!
    Stop passing the buck and start rewarding those that are taking action to improve our country. We are the world's leader of freedom! We have an obligation to our for fathers to secure it !!!

    February 3, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Larry, the captain of the ship is responsible for what happens on the ship. OF COURSE Obama is responsible. It's not the vetting process that's the problem. He knew of the tax iisues with all 3 (Geitner, Daschle and Killefer) BEFORE nominating them. It's the decison making after getting the facts that's the problem. One has to question his overall judgement in going forward with all three. Add on Richardson (problems also known in advance) and you now have a pattern of poor decisions. Say, didn't Obama campaign on his superior judgement?

    No Gayle, you didn't vote for the right guy.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  3. csuncollegegirl

    I love how your coworker Lou Dobbs can put the entire blame for the current economic downfall upon the man who just entered office two weeks ago. Where was his loud mouth when our former President was blindly handing out billions to guys who would rather spend it on jets and Las Vegas vacations than hep those who really need it? Why is it that every old, overweight, unattractive senior male wants to bark like a tiny pup at the fact that we voted in someone with more charisma then they EVER had in their prime? I'm tired of seeing these guys and their obliviousness to the fact that their generation is the one that got us into this big mess in the first place. Now OUR generation is supposed to save the world – and all we get is grief? Ridiculous. I think they just have a chip on their shoulder over the fact that most women in this country (including their own wives, ex-wives) would rather spend a charming evening with Barry than with the old ball-and-chain.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  4. James

    Anderson, I watch your show and enjoy it very much. Why do we call President Obama an African-American. I think that it is time that we started calling all blacks in the USA Black-Americans. The time has come to drow the African part to a black person. We have Swedes, Germans, French, etc. and we do not calla Swede a Swedish;American.

    Plus Prsident Obaam is only half Black. Lets get into the 21st Centruy. If you are a citizen you are an American–period. Solve the housing mess by letting people refinance at 4.5 percent and people well be able to pay loans and forclosures well drop.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  5. Ken From Colorado

    I wonder who is calling the kettle black? If asked, how many Senators, Governors and Congressmen would make their tax history public?
    Perhaps past tax issues should preclude any and all public officials from holding office.
    Capital Hill would look like the Lost City of Atlantis!

    February 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  6. Barb Miller

    Maybe it's time all Senator's taxes were audited......I am sure you will find many Republicans who scream the loudest have "errors" on their taxes also....just look at Ted Stevens. The Republicans waited until he was convicted before they tossed him out. Everybody in elected office should make their tax returns know yearly.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  7. MiMi

    OMG......Daschle should have NEVER ever been appointed.....and
    there are probably others in Washington that should not be there either.....it is like this everywhere.....those who have the big bucks tend to think they should not be treated the same as the middle class people.....I worked in banking back in the 70's and saw all sorts of
    "differences" the people with money get.....they use to be able to write a rubber check and no one ever knew.....the bank would send them a notice to make a deposit while the little people who were striving trying to make a living was charged a whopping $3 NSF fee.....yes back in those days....$3 was a lot of money....this is what is WRONG with our system today.....there are two standards of living......one for the middle class and poor people and 1 for the rich.....

    I thought we were getting CHANGE.......WHERE IS IT? WHEN WILL WE SEE IT? One of many broken promises to be seen.....

    February 3, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  8. Dulcie - Denver

    Kudos to Anderson for asking the hard questions and kudos to the President for answering honestly and taking responsibility for his actions. Very refreshing for a change.

    Thanks so much for this clip and I look forward to the show tonight.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  9. Karen

    Thanks Mr President for continuing to be a Class Act. Something we have not had in the past 8 years. No man walking this earth will not make mistakes. It takes a true leader to admit it. This is what we the American people have wanted from our leaders just to be truthful with us. We know no one if perfect!

    February 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  10. Geraldine Bernier

    It is deeply regrettable that Tom Daschle, with his outstanding 30 year record of public service as a dedicated, no-nonsense lawmaker, has been brought down by a personal tax issue. I don't blame the president although I am glad to see him taking the heat, but I do blame the vetters who missed this detail and brought embarrassment to the new administration. The saddest part is that all too many respected legislators get caught up in the lobbyist' syndrome and forget the ethic lessons instilled during their earlier years. Tom Daschle would have been a great HHS Secretary.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  11. Renee

    @ Tammy: Just glad Daschle at least has sense enough to walk away where the others were too greedy to have any honor by bowing out.

    I just had to re-write your script. Please forgive.

    Just glad Daschle at least has sense to walk away (before another tax audit) where the others were too greedy to have any honor by bowing out.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  12. Sharon

    Can't we SAVE our way out of this recession? Can we challenge those who are able to save $ do it? Can we start disclosing all the wasteful $'s being spent that can be cut immediately? I would be amazed to see that cuuting waste can decrease the $'s needed to recover.
    Also I want the ethics committee begin to look into all the current House and Senate Rep's ensuring that those who are approving these appointments are "squeaky clean" as well.

    February 3, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  13. Lilibeth

    I’m sure Pres. Obama wished he didn’t make this mistake, but he did and he owned up to it. He’s not perfect and he will make more mistakes along the way, but if his heart is in the right place, he will fix them and make sure they don’t happen again. This just goes to show that the path to recovery is a long and ugly road ahead.

    Edmonds, Washington

    February 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  14. Kev in Utah

    Bravo, Mr. President!

    I too, am glad that the Leader of the Free World is one to lead out in admitting to a mistake. One commentator indicated that President Obama "set the bar too high". I hope that we don't loose sight of the goal after the a problem occurs. But the apparent problems with lawmakers, civil servants, and politicians indicates that there is a culture that needs to be rectified. We need to support positive change and it would be a tragedy to "lower the bar" just to appear to that there will be change in Washington. I am looking forward to leadership from statesmen and NOT rhetoric from politicians!

    Go get 'em Pres B!

    February 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  15. lindsey, nyc

    I can see why Daschle drove off in his limo today. He doesn't have to put up with this. He can come back and make millions as a lobbyist to this administration. I am quickly losing faith in the morality of our new administration. And how did Timothy Geithner pass through all of this? If I ever deducted my son's summer studies at Skidmore and Brown I would be in jail. Why is this bright man held to such a low standard of ethics?

    Lindsey, NYC

    February 3, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  16. danny

    Good to hear OB1 admitting his mistake. Truman was right when he stated the "buck stops here". OB1, you're making the right statements, but the wrong moves..

    Does anyone know which tax courses Killefer, Daschle and Geithner took? I owe Uncle Sam a ton this year, and would love to bring it down to zero..


    February 3, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  17. marietta bernstorff

    Can any news company say anything positive about the President and the country without giving us all the stupid comments over and over all day about how the President and his team did this wrong etc... listen we had to endure the last President ignorance for 8 years this new President is wonderful for American- his human, he makes mistakes and the more the Republicans attack him the more I think he is doing a good job. WHY because they are scared at what this man could do for this country! So PLEASE its getting boring the news its critical critical and gossipy. Have you guys not noticed that Americans are suffering we want some light and positive human stories can you bring some of that HERO ideas to your news programs!!!!???? ENOUGH PLEASE

    February 3, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  18. Chris from Omaha

    Wow – that is change!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  19. Padma , NJ, USA

    Dear Mr. President,

    We need BACKGROUND CHECKS on the potential nominees!!

    I have been following your cabinet nominations and have noticed the recent embarrassments!

    Prior to even naming a candidate for cabinet poitions, how about getting a thorough background check on the proposed candidates – check on credit, tax/lien, civil, criminal, DMV and SSN checks. In addition, please check the history on how many nannies, home helpers, gardeners and chaufffers were hired by this candidate, and were all these people in legal status to live in the USA and were they authorized to work.

    If there are any issues with the above checks, you need to assess the candidate's viability......this will save embarrassment and tax payers $$$!!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  20. Tracey

    Why should Obama apologize.... I say that A-boy!!!!
    Look at the money that is getting paid to the IRS. LONG OVER DO
    I say lets keep it up and check all the politicans.
    I bet there is more...

    February 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  21. Gayle Barberis

    I campaigned for President Obama and made several small donations (all that I could afford) and am concerned about his vetting process. Now we have Tom Daschle withdrawing. I thought President Obama would have transperancy and I am starting to ask myself if I voted for the right candidate. My Republican friends are asking me the same question. Did I?

    February 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  22. missy

    how come people in lexington ky that are women cant get health insurance but we qualify for food stamps and kids get health insurance but mother of handicapp kids or normal kidscant get healthy insurance unless where pregant then we only keep it for 3 months after words.

    tell the president to fix that tooo

    February 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  23. Penny Dugan

    This is just a comment.
    Everyone must be happy that Obama came along so they could beat up on him, even though he is in office for a couple of weeks.
    When the other administration was in office, I did not see such hype.
    Maybe Obama should do things quietly, instead of being so public.
    I look at how people want to report everything in such a mean way.
    Very mean spirited.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  24. Heath Buckmaster

    I can't even imagine our previous president being so transparent and admitting error. Good for him and really let's just move on.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  25. Mike, Zephyrhills, FL

    I have to say Im not a Daschle Fan, he let Bush and the Republicans walk all over him. He is weak!!.

    His own state voted him out, and now he has tax issues, etc...

    He no doubt has been working for Insurance Companies and im sure will continue to do s , making millions trying to lobby for laws that will benefit the Insurance Co's and not Americans.

    Glad he is not in the administration, but he is not gone!!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  26. Pat-Charlotte

    Mr. President Obama,
    Continue on your road to serving the people. You did just what you said in your campaign speech. "When a mistake is made, the American people will know it". I thank you for your honesty.

    Get over it haters.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  27. Stacy

    How refreshing. He didn't even hesitate to say he made a mistake. Maybe change really HAS come to Washington.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  28. aubyn

    Mr president is here to get the job done because the republican were there for eight year's waisting their time it's, time for republican to step up or step down

    February 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  29. Gary T.

    Bravo President Obama!
    It is Different to have a President who actually tries to keep his word & better yet Owns up & Apologizes when he "Screws Up!"

    Shame on You Democrats!!
    You finally get the Presidency, Congress & the Senate & you Shoot Yourself in the Foot Over & Over!!

    What in the Hell is the Matter with you People!!
    The Country Needs You!!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  30. CJ

    I agree with Tammy of L.A. I am also thinking that this admission may be welcomed by many and work to the political good of the President. Even if previous Presidents were slow to admit their mistakes, admitting the mistake should NOT then throw this President into some sort of glorified icon! He could hardly NOT admit it; it's so blatant! AND, it isn't the first nor will it be the last. Honesty is something to be admired. I'm just not sure this was done for the sake of honesty.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  31. Russell La.

    I think Obama can balance the budget if he keeps picking. Obama should run the treasury dept. he has taken in more money in his first 12 days then the IRS all year. Bush should have audited all the democrates and he would have balanced the budget also. Obama's team the dirty dozen, keep it up. I believe in change now, as long as we don't have to pay taxes. Illinois has two set of standards, one for the people and one for the politicians.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  32. robyn caffrey keyser'' west virginia

    yes we can

    February 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  33. Sue Filutze

    First of all since when is someone else's tax error another person's responsibility? Obama hasn't done anything wrong, Daschel and the other person screwed up, let's look at all of the Congress and Senate's taxes past and present and see how clean they come out?
    Also, Obama has already said "I screwed up", which he didn't have too. Never once did I hear George Bush take responsibility for anything, nor any of the Republican parrots who kept telling everyone he was right. The Republicans only know how to block, obstruct and lie, they have ruined this country, they have much to apologize for, like IRAQ, and the mess were in right now. So when they apologize for all they've done, then we can talk about what Obama needs to apologize for.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  34. zhay

    I don't see this as the President's mistake unless he knew about Daschle's taxes prior to selecting him. I see it as shining the light on some things that has been allowed to go on in previous administrations. Good job Mr. President!! Keep the standards high and you will end up with the honest and best individuals for the job!!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  35. Carolyn

    "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
    President Obama--YES YOU CAN!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  36. Mike

    One way HDld save some mney is/was by settling some of the lawsuits in which they know they are wrong or that could be cheaper to reach a settlement than to keep reatining these HIGH PRICED LAWFIRMS, which they settle in the end anyway. Why not have the complaintant sign privacy greements and pay them instead of these VERY over priced firms. That money could be going to some "Joe the Plummer" kinda guy struggling while working in it's stores o feed his family. Thatmoney could well save SOME JOBS!! But o course at HD the top stays fat so why be concerned if they could save 10 o 15 jobs, huh! Ooops I forgot its HD we're speaking of.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  37. Larry

    What mistake did Obama make? The choice of Daschle was done by his advisors; they're the ones who should be nervous about their jobs.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  38. Bob Lazar

    How refreshing to have a President who can admit to making a mistake!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  39. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    At least we now have a President that admits he can make a mistake unlike the previous one who made mistake after mistake after mistake and refused to admit it or learn from it !!!!!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  40. Laurie Wright

    Way to Go...Show them that we are all human!!! We make mistakes, as a mother.. I support mistakes, as they pave a way for new thought, new decisions, and learning to do things better under a different angle of sight. Like minds see things only one way, unlike minds create opportunity!! I am a registered Republican, and I voted for you and still see a smartly intelligent human being, leading our country and paving a new thought of mind for all.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  41. Carla

    I appreciate the honesty, yes it was a mistake, just as it is a mistake to hire lobbyists after campaign promises. Stick to a set of standards and be true to those standards. Each time you set those standards aside you lose credibility.

    The thing about admitting mistakes is you earn respect if you admit the mistake and correct the issue, you lose credibility if you admit to the mistake and then continue down the same path.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  42. Sankar, San Diego

    I am glad we now have a president who is bold enough to say "I made a mistake". Everybody makes mistakes. We need more people like him who can take admit their mistakes and then proceed to hopefully correct those mistakes. (That's quite a contrast compared to the recent past!!)

    February 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  43. Adam

    it sure is nice to see a politician admit making a mistake, and apologizing for it.... especially a president...

    February 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  44. Larry

    Didn't HRC want the HHS job?

    February 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  45. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Wow...President Obama admitted to a mistake 15 days in? It took George W. 8 years to get to that point and even then he didn't really take any responsibility! That was an awesome clip and I can't wait to see the rest of the interview tonight!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  46. Annie Kate

    Wow. A president who admits he made a mistake – early, without much prodding, and says he will do better; that there is only one standard of right and wrong and it applies to all people. After the last 8 years this was really a refreshing thing to hear. Recognizing and admitting it openly is a lot of times the hardest part of correcting the mistake. Good for Obama!

    February 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  47. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    So does he take responsibility for the other screw-ups in his Cabinet like the Treasury Secretary who can't properly use TurboTax and Eric Holder with his questionable past? Sounds same old, same old to me despite campaign promises. And it sounds like he was trying to snow job his way out of answering this honestly. His hand got caught in the cookie jar. So did his nominee's. End of story. Just glad Daschle at least has sense enough to walk away where the others were too greedy to have any honor by bowing out.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  48. Mark

    I don't see it as the President's mistake just two sets of rules , one for the working person and one for the insiders.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  49. James, Charlotte

    Thank You Mr. President for being candid and real in times where other's would blame subordinates. The media wants to blame the vetting process. The issues we face are common across America with tax loop holes many have benefited from. If we can get to the real issues and stop looking for scandals we will be able to conquer this financial storm. Remember there are millions of jobs at stake here.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  50. JC-Los Angeles

    For the sake of time, President Obama should only vet the three or four members of Congress and the Senate who have paid taxes and who don't lobby on the side.

    Toto is pulling back the curtain once again and exposing the frauds.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
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