"I can't just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want or, you know, turn on a switch and suddenly, you know, Congress falls in line," Obama said.
Biden this morning had some different responses to the same question.
He told "GMA's" Robin Roberts that he's surprised most by how quickly the administration has had to make decisions. "What's surprised me is the pace -- and I've been in Washington a long time -- of decisions that have had to be made across the board," he said.
Biden said he's disappointed with his Republican counterparts, saying they seem to have an "offset determination not to cooperate. "What's troubled me is the failure ... to get the kind of cooperation we hoped we would get on major issues from some of our Republican colleagues," he said.
At the same time, however, he is humbled by the response of the U.S. people. "People are really banking on us changing the day and it really is humbling," he said.
As for what enchanted him the most, Biden said, "My wife on the night of the inauguration. She was gorgeous."
And on the subject of Sen. Arlen Specter's switching to the Democratic party after 29 years as a Republican from Pennsylvania, he said, "I started on Arlen six years ago, but that was Arlen's decision. He's an independent guy."
Biden deviated slightly from official swine flu warnings, suggesting on NBC's "Today" show" that Americans should avoid all mass transit, a slightly stronger precaution than what the president suggested Wednesday.
Wednesday evening was Obama's third prime-time news conference and, while it was scheduled to coincide with the 100th day of his administration, the president made it clear he was looking forward to the next 100 days and beyond.
The first question posed to the president was about the outbreak of swine flu in the United States and around the world. Obama reiterated that while the virus is a "cause for deep concern," it is not a cause for panic.
Obama said his advisers have not recommended closing the border between the United States and Mexico, likening it to "closing the barn door after the horses are out."
The president said he has requested an immediate $1.5 billion in emergency funding from Congress to support efforts to monitor and track the virus and build the government's supply of antiviral drugs and medical equipment.
"The key now, I think, is to make sure that we're maintaining great vigilance, that everybody responds appropriately when cases do come up, and individual families start taking very sensible precautions that can make a huge difference," he said.
On the issue of interrogation policies and methods, Obama said that waterboarding is torture, but he would not specifically say that the Bush administration had sanctioned it.
Obama pointed to his decision to end such practices and said he has seen no information since taking office that has made him second-guess it.
"I am absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do, not because there might not have been information that was yielded by these various detainees who were subjected to this treatment, but because we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are," he said.
Biden was more forthcoming this morning.