Obama: I Don't Lose Sleep over David Brooks

CBS News' Katie Couric used part of her exclusive interview with President Barack Obama today to ask him about a David Brooks column in today's New York Times. Brooks argues that the president has over-interpreted his mandate and is letting Nancy Pelosi lead the Democrats on a "suicide march."

Mr. Obama's response – besides a bit of a ribbing of Couric for excerpting so much of the Brooks column in her question – was that he's not too worried about what Brooks thinks.

Couric: President Obama, there was a stinging column in the New York Times today written by David Brooks. He says Democrats are losing touch with America – because, quote, "The party is led by insular liberals from big cities and the coast who neither understand nor sympathize with moderates. They have their own cherry picking pollsters, their own media and activist cocoon. Their own plans to lavishly spend borrowed money to buy votes." He goes on to say that you have, basically, been co-opted by Nancy Pelosi. And you've deferred to the, what he calls, "old bulls on Capitol Hill…"

Obama: This was a really aggressive –

Couric: "…on issue after issue." There was a pretty…

Obama: Are we gonna – are we gonna read the whole column here?

Couric: No, I'm not gonna read – I'm – I'm not. … But the performance of government generally. … But it was – it was a tough column. And I'm just curious, A, have you read it? And, B, what's your response?

Obama: I, you know, I don't spend a lot of time reading columns, Katie. The fact is that – you know, I am confident in the work that we're doing.

Mr. Obama went on to say that he thought his administration had passed a lot of long-shelved legislative priorities in its first few months and that, in any case, it would be the second- and third-year report cards that would really count.

"Reforming this town, and working through these problems – they have been unattended to for decades," he said. That's not an overnight process. It certainly doesn't get – completed in six months."

  • Ken Millstone

    Ken Millstone is an assignment editor at CBSNews.com