- President Barack Obama explaining how he "screwed up" the handling of the nomination of Tom Daschle as the Health and Human Services secretary in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper
President Barack Obama on Tuesday admitted he made a mistake in handling the nomination of Tom Daschle as his health and human services secretary, saying Daschle's tax problems sent a message that the politically powerful are treated differently from average people.
Daschle, the former Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, withdrew earlier Tuesday as news that he failed to pay some taxes in the past continued to stir opposition on Capitol Hill.
In an interview with CNN newsman Anderson Cooper, Mr. Obama said, "...I screwed up. And I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again."
Daschle had apologized Monday for what he said were honest mistakes, calling them an embarrassment. The series of errors included improperly reporting $15,000 in charitable donations, failing to list $80,000 in lobbying income due to what Daschle said was a paperwork error, and not reporting as income a car and driver loaned to him by a friend and business associate.
Later in the interview, Mr. Obama said, "Ultimately, I campaigned on changing Washington and bottom-up politics. And I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards -- one for powerful people and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes."
Daschle was the second Obama appointee to resign due to income tax-related issues. Earlier in the day, Nancy Killefer, who was Mr. Obama’s nominee for chief White House performance officer, withdrew her name from consideration after it was revealed that she had a nanny tax problem. And even though he was confirmed for the Treasury post, Tim Geithner also had his share of income tax woes.
plez sez: daschle's tax problem was more egregious than the other nominees and i personally feel that President Obama took too long to remove his name from consideration.
i love the fact that the president is confident enough to admit to his mistake and take responsibility for his error (george bush and hillary clinton are you listening?), instead of going into spin mode and rationalizing his decision to stick with daschle.
president obama is going to be a good one!
Read the New York Times article about how to avoid tax problems.
Read the CNN.com article about Obama's CNN interview about Tom Daschle.