Obama admits mistake after Daschle choice nixed

WASHINGTON Tue Feb 3, 2009 6:35pm EST

Secretary-designate for Health and Human Services Tom Daschle speaks to the media after meeting with Senate Finance Committee about his pending nomination on Capitol Hill in Washington February 2, 2009. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Secretary-designate for Health and Human Services Tom Daschle speaks to the media after meeting with Senate Finance Committee about his pending nomination on Capitol Hill in Washington February 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday acknowledged an error after former Senator Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination as health secretary over tax problems, saying, "I've got to own up to my mistake."

Obama made the admission in an interview with NBC as part of a media blitz to rally support for a nearly $900 billion economic stimulus plan, an effort overshadowed by the latest embarrassing setback in the formation of his cabinet.

"I've got to own up to my mistake which is that ultimately it's important for this administration to send a message that there aren't two sets of rules. You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes," Obama said, according to a transcript of the interview.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

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