Washington, Feb.4 (ANI): President Barack Obama has admitted that he made a "mistake" in his handling of Tom Daschle's Cabinet nomination.
He told FOX News on Tuesday that he is taking full responsibility for a process that ended in Daschle withdrawing his name amid tax problems.
The president also said that he's standing firm on a February 16 deadline for the multi-billion dollar stimulus bill being debated on Capitol Hill, despite growing concerns that package contains too much unnecessary spending.
He stressed that the package, which is tagged at close to 900 billion dollars on the Senate side, boosts unemployment insurance, provides support for people who lost health care and makes investments in green technology and infrastructure that will jolt the economy.
Daschle's withdrawal, along with wrangling over the stimulus, made for possibly the rockiest day of Obama's presidency so far.
"I consider this a mistake on my part, one that I intend to fix and correct and make sure that we're not screwing up again. Ultimately I have to take responsibility for a process that resulted in us not having a (health and human services) secretary at a time when people need relief on their health care costs. So this is a mistake -- probably not the first one I'm going to be making in this office, but what I'm absolutely committed to doing is fixing it," Obama said.Obama, who had tapped Daschle to steer a sweeping health care reform effort, said the next order of business is to find another "highly qualified" health and human services secretary.
Obama denied influencing Daschle's decision to withdraw, which caught a number of senators by surprise Tuesday.
Though Daschle caught flak for revelations that he had failed to pay more than 130,000 dollars in taxes, the former Senate majority leader has strong personal ties on Capitol Hill, and several Democrats said they thought he still could have won confirmation.Obama said Daschle's decision to withdraw was solely his. (ANI)