Obama on Right-Wing Radio: 'We're Going to Get It Done'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 2:45 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks during a radio interview with Michael Smerconish in the Diplomatic Room at the White House today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama brought his case for health reform to talk radio today, telling a largely conservative audience that a public option is only a small part of his goal and expressing skepticism that any deal with Republicans is possible. On the public option, "what we've said is we think that's a good idea,” Obama told Michael Smerconish's call-in show, broadcast from the White House. “We haven't said that's the only aspect," reports the Washington Post.

Obama also said that while he'd "love to have more Republicans engaged" in the overall negotiations, he's not optimistic, notes the New York Times. “I think, early on, a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, ‘Look, let’s not give him a victory,’” Obama said. But he will not suffer opponents looking to repeat the tactics that killed reform under Bill Clinton. “There are some folks who are taking a page out of that playbook." He expressed confidence that "we're going to get it done."