"I think the Bush administration misread the law -- justified the action which both the president and I consider to be torture -- on a faulty rationale," the vice president said. "I think they were mistaken in their judgement on what constitutes torture. We believe it was torture. We've ended the practice."
Obama and Biden both touted the administration's economic recovery plans, and the budget, indicating that it was a step in the right direction.
Obama called the budget plan passed by Congress Wednesday the latest step in his administration's efforts to stabilize the American economy.
"This budget builds on the steps we've taken over the last 100 days to move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity," Obama said.
Both the House and Senate passed the $3.5 trillion, five-year budget plan that sets funding priorities for many of the president's top agenda items, including investments in education, renewable energy and health care.
"We must lay a new foundation for growth -- a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st century," Obama said. "And that's exactly what this budget begins to do."
Despite attempts by Obama's advisers to write off the president's 100-day anniversary Wednesday as a "Hallmark holiday," the administration had representatives fanned out across the airwaves touting the sheer size and scope of what Obama has accomplished in his short time at the White House.
Even the president got into the game a bit at his town hall meeting outside St. Louis Wednesday and in his remarks at the news conference before he took questions.
"You can expect an unrelenting, unyielding effort from this administration to strengthen our prosperity and our security in the second hundred days, in the third hundred days, and all of the days after that," he said.
Obama echoed comments he made at a town hall meeting Wednesday morning in Arnold, Mo., and said that while progress had been made on the economy in the first 100 days of his administration, much work remains to be done.
"I am proud of what we have achieved, but I am not content," he said. "I am pleased with our progress, but I am not satisfied."
The president ran through a list of big issues Wednesday that still need to be addressed: economic issues like unemployment, tight credit markets, the struggling auto industry and long-term deficits, and foreign policy issues such as the continued threat of terrorism, nuclear weapons and flu.
"The overture has finished, and now it truly begins," one adviser to the White House said, referring to the health care, energy, and automaker debates to come. "If people thought the first 100 days a productive one, it genuinely only served as a curtain raiser," the adviser said.
With the Senate likely to house 60 desks on the Democratic side of the aisle before too long, an emboldened majority in the House -- after winning some intraparty skirmishes like fast-tracking health care reform and an interparty victory in upstate New York-- and a troubled Republican Party still searching for a path back to power, Obama enters this next phase of his presidency in an enviable position, and one of a considerable strength.
But he acknowledged that even with Specter's party change, he still faces challenges from senators who "have very strong opinions.