Obama Team Scrambles to Save Geithner

PR blitz tackles nominee's tax, immigration issues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2009 1:50 AM CST
Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner listens as President-elect Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in Chicago last year.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak )
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's transition team distributed talking points defending Timothy Geithner within minutes of emerging news on the Treasury nominee's tax and immigration issues, Politico reports. The PR push stressed that Geithner had paid off all his back taxes and that his former housekeeper's legal status did not lapse until the last three months of her employment.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee closed ranks behind Geither after a meeting. They said they had been made aware of his mistakes weeks ago and didn't believe they were enough to disqualify him—especially in light of the urgent need to have somebody in place immediately to tackle the economic crisis. The ranking Republican on the committee has privately questioned whether the issues should derail the nomination, but has refused to comment publicly.