STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're not on the campaign trail, now. You're right here in the White House. You're the head of this system. You promised transparency, putting the health care debates on C-span. It didn't happen. People said he promised to get rid of earmarks. They look at the health care bill and see all these carve outs for Nebraska, for Louisiana. They say you're not living up to your promises.
OBAMA: Well, look, there's no doubt that when I look back in the course of this year, what I'm constantly balancing is how do I move on these big agendas and at the same time, try to reform a system that has a lot of bad habits built up into them. So am I satisfied with the progress that we've made on changing how Washington works, absolutely not.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Could you become complicit?
OBAMA: Well, I think that if I had to make the same choices this year about do we have to get a strong economic recovery package passed, even though that means that there are going to be some things that people stick in there at the last minute that I don't like. Do we have to make sure that we are saving the financial system so it doesn't collapse, even though how it was originally structured was not my preference. Do we have to tackle health care and do I believe that the end product of insurance reforms that we've been fighting for for decades, essentially a patient's bill of rights on steroids, that makes sure that people don't lose their insurance when they get sick and make sure that kids can stay on their parents' health insurance until they get their own insurance. Was fighting for those things worth it, even though there are some compromises that have to be made along the way, then I would say yes.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 32
George Stephanopoulos tries and fails to pin the president down on broken promises: