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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 34

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, the president addresses the lack of transparency in health care negotiations:

SAWYER: Health care -- going forward, should all the conversations, all the meetings be on C-SPAN?

OBAMA: You know, I think your question points out to a legitimate mistake that I made during the course of the year, and that is that we had to make so many decisions quickly in a very difficult set of circumstances that after awhile, we started worrying more about getting the policy right than getting the process right. But I had campaigned on process. Part of what I had campaigned on was changing how Washington works, opening up transparency and I think it is -- I think the health care debate as it unfolded legitimately raised concerns not just among my opponents, but also amongst supporters that we just don't know what's going on. And it's an ugly process and it looks like there are a bunch of back room deals.

Now I think it's my responsibility and I'll be speaking to this at the State of the Union, to own up to the fact that the process didn't run the way I ideally would like it to and that we have to move forward in a way that recaptures that sense of opening things up more.

The White House website does not have a transcript of this interview.