Obama: Daschle's tax troubles 'very serious'

February 2, 2009 12:15:39 PM PST
The White House says President Barack Obama considers Tom Daschle's tax troubles to be a "very serious" matter. But the president's spokesman says Daschle remains the right person to lead the Health and Human Services Department. Daschle expressed remorse on Monday about failing to pay more than $120,000 in back taxes. And Obama says he "absolutely" stands by him.

But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that Daschle had made a "serious mistake" that he then fixed. Gibbs said the White House is "not insensitive" to the news of the unpaid taxes by a potential Cabinet secretary.

Gibbs said that if Daschle is confirmed he will closely follow the ethical guidelines and rules of the administration.

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