"The overwhelming bulk of the package is sound ... most of the programs that have been criticized as part of this package amount to less than 1 percent of the overall package. And it makes for good copy, but here's the thing; we can't afford to play the usual politics at a time when the economy continues to worsen."
The $819 billion package that passed in the House last week did not receive a single Republican vote. Obama said he remains determined to reconcile the House and Senate bills quickly.
"I'm less concerned about bipartisanship for bipartisanship's sake," Obama told Gibson. "I'm interested in solving the problem for the American people as quickly as possible. And I think that we have an obligation to make sure this money is spent wisely. I want this thing to move through the Senate. I want the House and the Senate bills to be reconciled."