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Huffington: Bank Bailouts Could Be Obama's "Achilles' Heel"

(CBS)

In spite of President Obama's insistence Wednesday night that he is not interested in running banks, liberal commentator Arianna Huffington said the money the administration is pouring into the banking sector could be "the Achilles' heel of this administration."

Administration officials "have really treated the very people who got us to where we are with kid gloves," Huffington told Katie Couric during our special CBSNews.com Webcast following Mr. Obama's prime time news conference.

Banks have been able to wield powerful influence in Washington, in spite of their dependence on government handouts, Huffington said, by attempting to de-rail bankruptcy legislation that would help consumers. Moreover, she said, banks continue to raise credit card rates to astronomical levels.

The administration has said it is willing to hand more money to those banks deemed vulnerable by government "stress tests."

"The idea that we're going to give them more money even though... their lending is down shows the goals behind this program have not really been fulfilled," Huffington said.

She said that Citi must be taken into temporary receivership.

"Everything else is simply delaying the inevitable at tremendous cost to the taxpayer and the public," Huffington said.

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