Obama: “Nowhere to Go But Up” After Health Care Website Debacle

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 29 2013 5:15 PM

Obama: “Nowhere to Go But Up” After Health Care Website Debacle

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President Obama pardons the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey "Popcorn" with his daughters Sasha and Malia

Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama says there is a clear upside to his low approval ratings following the troubled rollout of his health care initiative: “The good thing about when you're down is that usually you got nowhere to go but up.” In an interview with Barbara Walters set to air Friday night on ABC, Obama says he is still confident the Affordable Care Act was a good idea. "I continue to believe and [I'm] absolutely convinced that at the end of the day, people are going to look back at the work we've done to make sure that in this country, you don't go bankrupt when you get sick, that families have that security," Obama said.

Obama gave his interview as the White House gets ready for its self-imposed Saturday deadline, when officials said the Obamacare website should be fixed for most people. Obama said that right now his priority “has been to just make sure that it works” although he also acknowledged his staff is analyzing why he was kept in the dark about concerns within the administration that the the website was not working properly.

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In a more personal segment of the interview, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hinted that they may stay in Washington after the president's second term ends. Obama said his younger daughter, Sasha, would play a big role in deciding where they live after the White House because she would be a high school sophomore by then. “So we’ve gotta—you know we gotta make sure that she’s doing well … until she goes off to college,” the president said. “Sasha will have a big say in where we are.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.