Obama On ’60 Minutes’: ‘Leadership Isn’t Just Legislation’

NEW YORK (CBS) — After suffering a “shellacking” in the midterm elections, President Obama acknowledges what many have seen as his chief weakness – failing to sell the importance of several legislative milestones to the American people.

“I think that’s a fair argument. I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone,” Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft in an exclusive interview set to air Sunday.

“Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully … as I go forward.”

Republicans enjoyed significant victories Tuesday, wresting control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats and picking up six seats in the Senate, as frustration over the economy drove voter sentiment.

A humbled Mr. Obama, who termed the defeat a “shellacking” during a postelection press conference Wednesday, must now grapple with an emboldened and empowered political enemy with its sights set on undoing much of what he accomplished in the last two years – including an effort to repeal his signature achievement, health care reform, reports CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante.

Watch the entire exclusive interview with President Obama on 60 Minutes this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on CBS 2.







  • stevegee

    Obama, you could “communicate” it any way you want, but the American people reject your radical leftist agenda — and we demonstrated that at the polls on November 2nd. So, take your foot off the gas and turn the car to the Right.

  • rickster

    Wow, what an incorrigible loon Obama is. If he will listen to anybody(which I doubt) they need to sit him down and explain to him that “we the people” understand everything that he doing, we just don’t like it.

  • Estaban

    In total denial. Keep it up Barack, you’re a goner in 12.

  • BK

    His policy was selling out the country to corrupt organized labor …I’d say he did quite well.

  • Volt007

    What an arrogant man he is.

  • Kevin

    Seriously??? This guy is absolutely clueless. When is everybody going to wake up and realize this guy is deranged? Hearing him say this stuff really makes me think he has some serious mental problems. He is so blinded by his thirst for power.

  • cr lynch

    He is on tv more than MIley Cyrus! I don’t care who you are overexposure will kill your message!! Stay off the airways.

  • Lenny Lemer

    He still doesn’t get it. It’s not the that the less than intellectually equal dumb Americans don’t understand it. We DO.! That’s the point. We see programs that seek to transform us into a European style country. If we wanted that system, we would move to Europe. If we wanted his programs, he wouldn’t have to SELL anything. It shouldn’t take a Harvard education to see that. Oh wait, he has one, and it obvioulsy hasn’t helped.

  • libcrusher101

    What was communicated is, that obama has failed both as a person, and as president.

  • RedTruck

    Mr. President – read our lips – We the People of the United States of America – being of sound mind – we GET IT – we do not want what you are selling – we are the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave – you are in La La Land.

  • Joe

    “Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully … as I go forward.”

    That pretty much says it all. In Obama’s mind, his agenda is great, but he’s so much smarter than us that he just hasn’t figured out a way to explain it to us. That’s like a snake oil salesman saying, “Sales are slow. Snake oil is great and will cure everything. I just need to figure out a way to get these stupid people to understand it.”

    • ColonialMarine0431


    • Daniel

      Right on the money, Joe. If only we weren’t all so stupid, this concerted effort to destroy the economy would be complete by now.
      This is also an indictment of the liberal media and Hollywood celebrities, who he counts on to sell policy and create “understanding”.

    • Erin

      He thinks we peasants are just too ignorant to be able to comprehend what he has said on every t.v. talk show, radio,and magazine in America. It must be tiring playing God! I feel like I can’t turn anything on without seeing his face, or go anywhere without his face somewhere. I can’t wait until he becomes just a brown spot on a page in history.

  • psadie

    Obama is just “too stupid.” OMG what arrogance!!! He plans to change nothing but to continue his socialist agenda.

  • adlibn

    The health care bill was negotiated behind closed doors, and members of Congress and the public were denied the ability to read it before it was voted on. Indeed most of Congress never did read it. Then the president insisted over and over that health care costs would go down and we would be able to keep our health plans. Well, now we are seeing the truth. The problem is he didn’t communicate the truth. We don’t trust him.

  • Joseph

    Frankly, Obama’s “communication excuse” is worse than his “policy excuse” offered on Wednesday–namely, that the American people had been frightened into voting for Republicans because of the Democrats’ absolutely-necessary, “national emergency” breakneck legislative pace.

    I’m sure there are at least 50 million Obama supporters in America who, despite all sense and logic, agree that an “emergency” required Obama to pass a healthcare reform bill that doesn’t even go into effect until 2013. Absolutely a joke.

  • will kessler

    Oh Hubris.

  • Bob Boogie

    His campaign was a bait and switch, that is why he is rejected. We wanted a centerist moderate and we got a far, far left partisan. We don’t want his far left policies.

  • SLS

    I am sick and tired of being called stupid! I understood the policies and didn’t like them.

  • Jim T

    Just consider this small fact. The little girls who are about 8 yrs old and set up the lemonade stand, picked the lemons, squeezed them, made the lemonade, set up the table and sold the cups of lemonade, took money and made change, have more business experience after one hour, than does the govt. fed leader of ours. And we want him to understand why his policies have killed our economy? It is not going to happen, he will never acknowledge he is at fault, it is not in his makeup.

  • Joe Doakes

    This guy may need psychological counseling.

    President Obama here is the score;

    $3.9 Trillion Federal Budget
    $1.7 Trillion Deficit
    $14 Trillion in Debt
    $100’s of Trillions in unfunded promises to the next generation.

    A war being fought for one side of the same arab/muslim coin.

    You don’t have a communication problem, you have a math problem. We voted Republican in mass to fix this math problem, will you help us or will you continue to hurt us?

  • Phil Bowman

    He just dont get it. It is all about his policies……I did not serve enough koolaid to persuade everyone……He is too much of a rookie to be President of the free World…..He needed more time in the saddle to understand that WE the People is who he serves…at our pleasure I might add…..2012 could not come soon enough

  • Lou

    This proves the President still doesn’t get it.

  • TMB

    He has communicated, ad naseum, and WE DO NOT LIKE what he has to say. His polices WERE rejected, ARE rejected and will CONTINUE TO BE rejected. They are horrible policies. Communicate all you want Mr. President, we don’t like what you are saying/doing, hence the votes. It IS about time YOU START listening to US.

  • David Smith

    Good! and goodby in 2012. ASnyone this out of touch deserves to be impeached but 2012 will work.

  • Tim

    If you are laughing at someone, but the person has nothing “up there” to hear the laughter, are you actually laughing?

  • Roger

    The radical is DELUSIONAL! He can’t spin his way out of this “shellacking”.

  • Renee

    No, President Dude, it WAS the policies. Sheesh.

  • arg2015153

    He is kidding, right? He’s on everything from CNN to MTV to Comedy Central to NBC, fawned over by almost all, uses a teleprompter whenever he wants, and he says that it was a problem with communication? Sorry, “Dude,” we understand you all too well.

  • Andy King

    The President trys to sell us that his policies weren’t rejected but his communication skills were and Bill Plante strokes him like he was Jesus himself. READ IT!

    “A humbled Mr. Obama, who termed the defeat a “shellacking” during a postelection press conference Wednesday, must now grapple with an emboldened and empowered political enemy with its sights set on undoing much of what he accomplished in the last two years – including an effort to repeal his signature achievement, health care reform”


    60 Minutes and CBS News are nothing but a infomercial for the Left

  • brad

    I know I voted against his party to reject his policies. I fully understand them, and fully reject them. That’s just me. How about the rest of you?

  • R Quinn

    I wonder what color is the sky in Obama’s world.

    If you want a puff piece for 60 minutes – Steve Kroft is your man.

  • Jam

    The election Tuesday signified a rejection of his policies which always increase government power. Americans are sick of unlimited government and want a return to the Constitution.

  • Joseph

    President Obama blames poor communication for his political setback?! He is the most media-exposed president in modern American history. He is the most self-obsessed politician we’ve seen in several decades. This guy has been everywhere from “American Dog” magazine to the NBA sidelines during ESPN broadcasts. Give me a break.

  • Pete

    A classic Progressive. If your policies are rejected by the people, then the people must be too stupid to understand. Go back and look what the early 20th century Progressives said the solution was to that. I will tell you. Because they believed they had evolved further than other humans (I kid you not), they argued it was justified to force their policies on a resistant public. That’s coming, folks.

  • AUEagle

    Why is it everytime the dems lose, they blame it on “not getting their message across”. Does it ever occur to them the American people get their message loud and clear?

  • VinnieDet

    Because his word can’t be trusted. We’re not fooled any longer. He’s tried to hide his past, his racism, his elitist attitude, etc. Hide it with the help of the media. We’re on to him and he’s a disgrace to the office. He should just resign and save us the next two years.

  • Jim T

    Maybe, just maybe, we do understand and just don’t like his unabashed spending and talking down to us. We don’t like ramming things down our throats, lying about what you are going to do, lying about what you have done, and then saying we are to stupid to understand what you intended. This idiot makes Bush look like a saint.

  • sylvia smart

    This man just does not get it. It is his policies, his communication skills and his arrogance that is his problem

  • TxnByBrth

    Another way of saying we just didn’t get it…one of life’s great ironies: “By virtue of a person’s stupidity, it is impossible for them to know they are stupid.” You can quote me…

  • Johnny

    “I have come to the realization that this president isn’t capable of running a bath, let alone the government.”
    Don Imus

  • samiam

    This idiot just doesn’t get it, he lies denies and now runs from the reality. His party is being destroyed and he thinks it’s becasue he’s not talking enough. thats all he has is talking, zero skills of running the country. Well 2012 will be here and the conservs will hold all three area’s and get rid off osama care and his other stupid dem USA destroying ways.

  • boiz

    Wrong. Your agenda is socialist and we don’t like it. Worst president in history.

  • Jon

    “Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that.”

    What a pompous…..it is ever so obvious the disdain this man has for the American public. Obviously the American public is too ignorant to understand his lofty goals and policies…he needs to dumb it down for us I guess.

    There is an enormous difference, Mr. President, between an unintelligible argument regarding a policy and a bad argument or policy.


    DENIAL !

  • johnny

    This president is so delusional I have to question his sanity. All he has done, for the past 18 months, is communicate. He’s been on every broadcast except the local access gardening show…is there ANYONE who can explain to this dolt that the MAJORITY of the USA DOES understand his message and has REJECTED it?

    “This president is in so far over his head he needs scuba gear.”
    Don Imus

    • Kestrel

      He is not delusional by any means and that is what concerns me the most. Get ready for reeducation camps because this guy apparently knows what is best for us — and we are going to get it whether we like it or not.

  • Barb

    It was his policies that caused the shellacking!

  • Jack Frost

    No. Voters defintely got the message. Tweaking it, like an advertiser or marketer, won’t likely change the outcome. Question is: Are you, Mr. President, getting the message?

  • Ellis

    Its not just a river in Egypt

  • Anon

    What ab arrogant schmuck.

    • Mike

      According to Mr. Obama and his minions, the citizens who do not support his Marxist agenda are too simple minded to grasp what the his extreme left is doing to our republic. This election is proof that mainstream America does see beyond his teleprompter presentation of the change he wants to bring to America.

  • MTB

    Sorry…the man is an idiot. HIS POLICIES were rejected. He was on TV so much I had to turn channels to escape him….geeze!

  • Alan

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!! For someone of his alledged intelligence, he sure is thick as a brick…

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