Obama laments lack of "cool phones" at the White House

Maybe he watched too many episodes of "24" or "The West Wing," but President Obama complained last night about the phones in the Oval Office, portraying them as antiquated technology.

"I always thought I was gonna have like really cool phones and stuff," he said during a Q&A session with contributors to his re-election campaign.

"We can't get our phones to work." Acting out his exasperation, he said: "Come on, guys. I'm the president of the United States! Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen."

Mr. Obama made the remarks at the 2nd of 3 fund-raisers last night in Chicago. He took questions from contributors after the press pool had left and may not have realized some reporters back at the White House could still hear his comments.

Obama: GOP tried to "sneak" agenda into budget

He said the White House is "like 30 years behind" when it comes to technology.

"Our IT purchasing is horrible," said the president referring to Information Technology throughout the government.

"It's true in the Pentagon. It's true in the agencies. It's true in the Department of Homeland Security," Mr. Obama said of outdated equipment.

But he did have some kind words to say about government workers.

"What's striking when you enter into the federal government is how generally smart and dedicated people are." He did opine that some employees "are slugs and not trying to do their job. But that's true of any large institution."

But generally speaking, he said he would put up federal workers against any workers in the private sector.

As for staffers at the White House, he said "they are as good as anybody else."

Below, listen to Obama's revealing remarks on the budget negotiations from the fundraiser last night:

  • Mark Knoller On Twitter»

    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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