[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/04/obama.daschle/art.obama.intvu.cnn.jpg caption="Obama says he "screwed up" and takes full responsibility for the troubled Daschle nomination."]
AC360° Senior Producer
Anderson is back from DC following his sit-down interview with President Obama at the White House yesterday.
President Obama addressed Tom Daschle’s failed appointment as Health & Human Services Secretary due to tax issues, saying he ‘screwed up’ and takes responsibility for it. He said he didn’t want to send a message to the American people that there are 2 sets of standards, one for powerful people and the other for ordinary folks working and paying taxes.
The vetting process for cabinet appointees was reported to be quite extensive, we may look deeper today into how snags like these didn’t come to light sooner in the process.
Meanwhile, President Obama says he didn’t take the job to occupy the fancy (Oval) office, but came to change things, like the economy for instance. In his words “I'm going to be judged on, have we pulled ourselves out of recession? I think the members of Congress understand that as well”.
Today, President Obama announces that executives receiving federal bailout money will have their pay capped at $500,000. That sounds like a lot to most of us! But these folks make millions of dollars a year normally. I guess they’ll have to buy only 2 cars instead of 10 this time.
President Obama told Anderson “I think that when you see the announcement that we make, people will say, this is a reasonable approach. It's not a government takeover. Private enterprise will still be taking place. But people will be accountable and responsible. And that's what we have to restore in the financial system generally.”
Randi Kaye examines whether the government can get back any of the millions of taxpayer dollars that have been doled out. There were no restrictions and the money wasn’t exactly used as it was intended (lavish corporate retreats and multi-million dollar office makeovers anyone?). Does the government have the right and authority to take the bailout money back, or did it goof and the horse is out of the barn?
The Senate resumes debate on the economic stimulus package today, we’ll watch Republicans and Democrats go back and forth on this bill which is approaching $900 billion now. Some lawmakers are pushing for provisions in this bill such as cutting mortgage rates, tax rebates for first time homebuyers, and a three month moratorium on foreclosures. We’ll give you the latest.
See u tonight!
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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