Feb 3 (Reuters) - 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.
“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.”
“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.
“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 Cynthia Osterman