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Barack Obama Says Change Is About Owning Up to Mistakes

President Obama may have started yesterday with the intention of selling his stimulus plan to the American people with a full-court media press, but he ended it defending his stake on change. On the NBC Nightly News Obama handled ex-nominee Tom Daschle's tax problems by confessing to Brian Williams: "I screwed up." Check out how Obama maintained that he's ushering in the era of responsibility, and other highlights from last night.

  • On Tom Daschle's withdrawal: Oh it made me angry and disappointed and it's something I have to take responsibility for. I appointed these folks. I think they are outstanding people. I think Tom Daschle as an example could have led this health care effort, a difficult effort better than just about anybody. But as he acknowledged, this was a mistake.
  • On whether politics as usual has won: [T]he fact of the matter is Tom Daschle pulled out today. And I'm here on television saying I screwed up and that's part of the era of responsibility, is not never making mistakes, it's owning up to them and trying to make sure you never repeat them and that's what we intend to do.

To read what the President wants to do to bailout regular Americans,


  • On how the stimulus plan will help regular Americans: Now the recovery package that we've put together, has not only immediate relief to families, if they've lost their job, they're going to get extended unemployment insurance, they're going to get to keep their health insurance. We're going to make sure that states don't have to lay off teachers and that they can train teachers for the math and science that is so important for our children.
  • On whether the stimulus package is getting "pecked to death": Well look, it's got to go through Congress. That means there are 535 people who have an opinion about what's good policy. . . And I want to continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to find some common ground. But what I can't accept is the politics as usual where we think about scoring points . . . instead of acting. We've lost a million jobs in the last two months. We can't afford another four million jobs lost this year and every economist I talk to projects that if we don't act quickly, we could end up seeing a much more severe situation than we're seeing right now.
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stephley stephley 8 years
In response to questions about possible mistakes he made as president, Bush said he probably shouldn't have appointed some of the people he did - but said he wouldn't embarrass them by naming them. He said 'some' of his rhetoric was questionable, and he said he wished the intelligence on Iraq had been correct. Otherwise, no, he did not admit to errors, mistakes.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Bush admitted errors, mistakes, I myself didnt keep track of the specifics(what speech, what press conference) Its really not the presidents job to say "sorry people" everytime the governments plan goes wrong unless its specifically his and his alone.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Ooh, a President who admits errors, and not just when he's on his way out! That's new.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
I suspect that when Obama nominated Daschle, he felt that the incredible depth of knowledge and experience that Dashcle brought to the table on health care policy was more important than his tax issues. Sometimes, the best person for the job comes with some skeletons. It doesn't mean he isn't still the best man for the job. Perhaps he felt the same way about Geithner. I'm a bit more suspect about why he thought a tax problem wouldn't be a problem for the man nominated to be the head of the IRS.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
chaton go back to any post about george bush or iraq or any of his policies and you'll see i'm feeling a little lazy to do that but there are there if you actually want to go back and see
stephley stephley 8 years
"I'm going to criticize him for appointing people he knew were wildly dishonest and ridiculously unaccountable for their own actions when he said that honesty and accountability for self are at the core of his system of governing." Wildly dishonest??? Ridiculously unaccountable??? you're kidding right? If Geithner and Daschle are wildly dishonest and ridiculously unaccountable, then just about every member of the Bush Administration should be considered Public Enemy Number One.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Right, and I'm admitting that I don't read every single post on every single thread that citizen ever posts, but I'm wondering if anyone can provide some links.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
chaton they don't mean on this post but on other posts people have defended bush and his policies vehemently but criticise obama constantly, it's not you it's them lol
legalbeagle legalbeagle 8 years
He knows the election is over right? Enough of the rhetoric. Stop trying to convince us you were the right choice and start making good, healthy, non-Socialist change for the American people. That would include scrapping the bailout for a bill that isnt loaded with uneccesary spending!
skb9850 skb9850 8 years
I give him points for admitting the screwup. I just wish Geithner would step down because messing up your taxes and then being put in charge of the IRS just doesn't seem right to me. How can he lead the tax department when he can't or won't pay his taxes?
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
geebers, we must be reading different boards. Where has George II been vehemently defended? I'd love a link!
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I'm going to criticize him for appointing people he knew were wildly dishonest and ridiculously unaccountable for their own actions when he said that honesty and accountability for self are at the core of his system of governing.
geebers geebers 8 years
chaton I was not calling you out at all- I am just referring to the comments I keep seeing here where people are just calling Obama out for every little thing yet continue to defend Bush when anyone else points out the mistakes he made.
stephley stephley 8 years
Obama's been president for two weeks - after 8 years of a president you now refer to as an idiot, you're going to criticize Obama for not achieving perfection in less than a month??
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
geebers, I can only assume you're talking about me since I'm the only person who's still discussing. When have I ever defended Bush? He was a blemish in our history, and soon enough we'll talk about him like we talk about other embarrassing historical figures. mydiadem, why would he trust them if he already knew they were dishonest?
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
I think the honor of being the dumbest president still is very securely the Shrub's. Had # 43 only been able to admit he made mistakes. Instead he's responsible for thousands of lost lives, not only those of US soldiers, but also of Allies killed and tens of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East, in various African states. And he let his cronies ruin not only the US economy but that of other countries as well. Was he sorry? No, he had his people obstruct justice instead. But of course if one's sincere, it's a PR move, or being dishonest, or being an idiot!
geebers geebers 8 years
I think it takes a lot of strength to own up to your mistakes - and he made a mistake that was embarrassing. I have never heard Bush own up to anything -even till the end. Would you rather Obama act as if nothing went wrong? I don't get how some people here find negativity in every little thing Obama says or does yet defend Bush vehemently.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I don't think Obama is dishonest, I think Daschle and crew are. These things did come out in vetting, its a shame that Obama trusted these people and they were such deadbeats.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
nya, Bush was, without a doubt, an idiot, but if Obama isn't an idiot, then he's incredibly dishonest.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
no chaton that honour goes to the mba president george bush
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Sorry, TS. Next time I respond to something at 3am after being awake since 6, I'll put more thought into it. But the eye roll pretty much sums up my feeling s on this. He made it public knowledge that he was going to hold everyone accountable for every single one of their actions, most actions of those close to them, and they would the THOROUGHLY researched before being allowed to work in the White House... and yet here we are, a few months later, and there have been several people who clearly were not researched. Maybe Daschle's tax evasion wasn't obvious, but Geithner's was, and the gal who had a tax lien on her house? Public record, and yet they still missed it. It really makes me wonder if he's being dishonest, or if he's simply the dumbest president we've had in a while. :oy:
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
I agree.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Exactly, Em!
em1282 em1282 8 years
Well, I guess admitting a mistake and saying you screwed up is just a PR stunt, but going in one direction for eight years and crashing into wall after wall is just doing what one thinks is right. Got it!
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Right, until he paid the back taxes. Then it all came to light.
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