On CNN's Campbell Brown, discussing whether Republicans are "still raising concerns" about Tim Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for Treasury secretary, neither Brown nor Jessica Yellin noted that several Republican senators, including Sen. Orrin Hatch and Judd Gregg, support Geithner. Additionally, Sen. Lindsey Graham has also reportedly expressed support for Geithner.
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During the January 14 edition of CNN's Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull, host Campbell Brown asked national political correspondent Jessica Yellin whether Republicans are "still raising concerns" about Tim Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for Treasury secretary. Yellin responded, "Yes, they are. For example, today, I spoke to Senator [Jim] DeMint [R-SC], who says he had been leaning in favor of supporting Geithner and says he's now leaning against." Yellin added: "And, look, the Republicans blocked his confirmation hearing from going forward this Friday. They say -- some of them -- they just want to take a closer look." However, neither Yellin nor Brown noted that several Republican senators, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) and Judd Gregg (NH), support Geithner.
As Media Matters for America documented, on the January 13 edition of Fox News' Your World, Gregg said of Geithner: "He's the type of person you want as your Treasury secretary. And I just think this is a lot to do about nothing." Gregg later stated: "But, you know, we gotta stop looking at the ridiculous and look at the serious. We are facing one of the most significant financial crises in the history of this country. Talented people like Tim Geithner are needed right now." In addition, on January 13, FoxNews.com reported that Hatch said, "I still support him. I have no problem. ... He's a very, very competent guy." Further, in an entry posted to his blog on January 14, hours before Yellin's report, Politico senior political writer Ben Smith reported that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said of Geithner, "Now's not the time to think in small political terms. ... I think he's the right guy."
From the January 14 edition of CNN's Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull:
OBAMA [video clip]: My expectation is that Tim Geithner will be confirmed. And my expectation is, is that he is going to do an outstanding job on part of -- on the part of the -- on behalf of the American people.
BROWN: Now, this isn't the only problem the president-elect faces on Capitol Hill. The pushback from Congress on his economic rescue plan is getting stronger by the day.
National political correspondent Jessica Yellin has been following that story for us all day today. And Jessica, Obama and Geithner have both been fighting hard to save this nomination, but are Republicans, I guess, still raising concerns?
YELLIN: Yes, they are. For example, today, I spoke to Senator DeMint, who says he had been leaning in favor of supporting Geithner and says he's now leaning against. And, look, the Republicans blocked his confirmation hearing from going forward this Friday. They say -- some of them -- they just want to take a closer look.
So, behind this, Campbell, it's not just the tax issue. It's that some conservatives have been unhappy with the Geithner pick all along, because he was one of the top regulators of the financial industry during the meltdown, and they worried he missed the signs of the -- they think he's too close to Wall Street. But a lot of this is just political -- to drag out the distraction for Obama and tarnish the golden image his economic team came in with.
Still, the bottom line here is, provided there are no other tax revelations, he is likely to get confirmed, it's just the opposition might be painful along the way.
BROWN: Yeah, still a major distraction. You know, Obama also wanted to have the stimulus bill passed, his treasury secretary confirmed by the time he took office. It looks like, you know, timing-wise, neither of these things are going to happen.
YELLIN: Right, well, it has become a rocky road to the White House. Look, Republicans are souring on releasing the remaining money from that financial bailout; liberals are resisting parts of the stimulus package; Democrats are showing they won't roll over for Obama. Now, part of the problem here is he didn't include them in writing the stimulus.
One senator said to me, look, if you want us in on the landing, you better get us in on the takeoff. So, there are going to be growing pains in this relationship with Congress, but none of it's dire. It'll get done. Obama is frankly too popular with the American public for Congress to buck him, at least at first, but it will be a steep learning curve ahead.
BROWN: Jessica Yellin for us tonight -- Jessica, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.