Feb 3 U.S. President Barack Obama conducted a
media blitz on Tuesday originally aimed at pushing his economic
recovery plan, but that effort was clouded by the embarrassing
withdrawal of Tom Daschle's nomination as health secretary due
to tax problems.
Following are a selection of quotes from a series of
interviews Obama conducted with with U.S. television networks:
ON DASCHLE'S FAILED NOMINATION
"I think this was a mistake. I think I screwed up and I
take responsibility for it," Obama told CNN, adding he did not
want to send a message there is one standard for the powerful
and another standard for ordinary people.
"Ultimately I have to take responsibility for a process
that resulted in us not having an HHS (Health and Human
Services) secretary at a time when people need relief on their
healthcare costs," he told Fox News.
ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY EFFORTS
"The only measure of my success as president when people
look back five years from now or nine years from now is going
to be did I get this economy fixed," Obama told CNN. "I'm going
to be judged on did we pull ourselves out of recession."
He said he viewed Feb. 16 as a firm deadline for passing
the stimulus bill, telling Fox, "Nobody disagrees with the idea
that if we keep on putting this off that we're going to end up
seeing more months with half a million people losing their job
each month. We can't afford to wait."
ON FIXING BANKING SYSTEM
"We're ... going to have to fix a bank system that's
broken. We're going to have to make sure that loans are being
given to small businesses that are right now having a terrible
time. That people can get a car loan if they want to buy a
car," Obama told NBC News.
ON TRADE PROTECTIONISM
"I think we need to make sure that any provisions that are
in there are not going to trigger a trade war," he told
television network ABC, referring to "Buy American" provisions
in the stimulus bill now making its way through Congress.
"I think it would be a mistake, though, at a time when
worldwide trade is declining for us to start sending a message
that somehow we're just looking after ourselves and not
concerned with world trade," he told Fox.
(Compiled by Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Editing by