Jake Tapper Asks Obama If He Was 'Naive' Back In 2008

In an interview that aired on Friday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked President Obama if he was "naive" back in 2008 when he bragged that his presidency would be remembered as when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

"Do you think you were naive back then, or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?" Tapper pressed Obama.

"Your critics say this is diminished expectations," Tapper told Obama point-blank. "I remember during the campaign when you talked about your presidency being a moment when the rise of the oceans would slow and the nation and the world would heal. And now you're talking about pen and phone and executive orders and executive actions."

Obama responded that he accomplished much of what he set out to achieve. "Well part of it is we got a lot of that stuff done," he answered. "[T]hat checklist that I had when I came into office, we have passed a lot of that."

Below is a transcript of the segment:

CNN
NEW DAY
1/31/14
[6:06 a.m. EST

JAKE TAPPER: Your critics say this is diminished expectations, and I've been covering you for a long, long time. As you remember, 2005-2006 in the Senate. I remember during the campaign when you talked about your presidency being a moment when the rise of the oceans would slow and the nation and the world would heal. And now you're talking about pen and phone and executive orders and executive actions. Do you think you were naive back then, or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: Well part of it is we got a lot of that stuff done. We got in this country a health care reform that has already signed up millions of people. And make sure that everybody who's watching, anybody who already has insurance will not be dropped because of a pre-existing condition. They don't have health insurance, they can get it on HealthCare.gov. We have made enormous strides on the education front changing our student loans program so that millions of more young people get student loans. And so part of what's happened is, that checklist that I had when I came into office, we have passed a lot of that.

And so in no way are my expectations diminished, or my ambitions diminished, but what is obviously true is we've got divided government right now. The House Republicans in particular have had difficulty rallying around any agenda, much less mine. And in that kind of environment, what I don't want is the American people to think that the only way for us to make big change is through legislation. We've all got to work together to continue to provide opportunity for the next generation.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014