Obama admits to mistakes, but no big ones

November 10, 2009

Barack Obama says he probably makes one mistake a day, but doesn’t think he has made any fundamental ones in almost 10 months as president of the United States.

obamartrsToward the end of his first term, his predecessor George W. Bush famously said in answer to a question that he could not think of any mistakes he had made — a comment which long dogged him as the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 led to chaos in Iraq.

When Obama was asked the same question on Monday, he was quicker on his feet.

“Oh, we make at least one mistake a day,” he said with a smile.

“But I will say this, I don’t think we’ve made big mistakes,” he told Reuters in an interview in the Oval Office. “I don’t think we’ve made fundamental mistakes.”

When asked to give a few examples of errors, Obama regretted how his team had handled some of the early vetting of administration appointments, a reference to problems with personal taxes that knocked some key picks out of contention.

He also mentioned regret over how he had “phrased commentary” on the controversial arrest of a prominent African American Harvard University scholar in Cambridge earlier this year, when he said police had acted stupidly and was later forced to backtrack. OBAMA/INTERVIEW

“I mean, there are constant sort of things that I think have proven unnecessary distractions,” he said.

“But in terms of the core decisions that we’ve made to rescue the economy, to move forward on a path for moving our troops from Iraq, on making sure that we’ve gone through a rigorous process in Afghanistan, to how we have moved healthcare to a place that seven presidents have not been able to get to, I feel very good about our progress.”

Highlights from the Interview

For more from the interview, click on the story links below:

Obama warns of strains with China

Obama on Iran nuclear deal

Obama on Copenhagen climate summit

Obama says expect to sign START pact in December

Obama reading Life of Pi

Photo Credit:Reuters/Jim Young (Obama answers questions during Reuters interview in Oval Office)


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I find the global bail out directionless. All the liquidity is going towards fuelling asset prices across the globe. It is most unfortunate that US is financing the US Dollar carry trade to enable asy liquidity to be used for pumping up the Foreign investment in emergig economies through hedge funds, thereby allowing the most affluent to further prosper, while production, jobs, earnings in US continue to decline, thereby pulling down the common majority. While I am not advocating trade protectionism, all I am requesting is that find wys to put a greater part of the money in peoples hands through lowered taxes, employing for infrastructure, and ban lending to hedge funds directly and indirectly.

Posted by Carl | Report as abusive

Funny that Reuters never questioned Pres. Obama about the double standards and hypocrisy of ignoring Israel’s 200-300 nuclear bombs, while threatening to sanction Iran for not giving up its legal right to enrich uranium for suspected nuclear bombs. Pres. Obama should have also been questioned about his alleged commitment to Israel to veto any UN Security Council plan to establish a Palestinian State, as well as his plan to veto the Goldstone Gaza Resolution when it comes before the Security Council. These are important questions that Pres. Obama needs to answer.

Posted by marge | Report as abusive

We all make mistakes, some are man enough to admit them.
Trying to run a country like the US is the hardest job on Earth. For every decission the President make, he may have 50% for him and 50% agaist him. But he has to make the decissions. I wish him well and good health and I hope his decissions turn out well.

Posted by Ben Gee | Report as abusive