By Kyle Balluck
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday said that dropping Vice President Joe Biden for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on President Obama’s reelection ticket was never “seriously considered,” although research was conducted.
“This was never seriously considered, never taken to the president,” Pfeiffer said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported in their new book, “Double Down,” that then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley ordered campaign staffers to poll and focus-group the impact of switching the two.
“Research is done on a lot of things,” Pfeiffer added.
The book’s authors also report that Obama said “I just don’t know if I can do this,” after a poor first debate against Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Denver.
“There’s no question the first debate did not go as well as anyone had hoped,” Pfeiffer said. “But he did bounce back in the second and third debates.”
“We are not the first White House to deal with leaks,” Pfeiffer added, discussing the book.
“When we find them we try to stop them,” he said, adding that Obama ”hates leaks” because “we should be able to work together.”
Pfeiffer also called the rollout of the ObamaCare website “inexcusable,” adding that the results do not “match up” to Obama’s expectations or the American people’s expectations.
“The good news here is the history of programs like this … is that people sign up toward the end,” he said.
Pfeiffer disputed a Wall Street Journal report that policy advisers who did not want Obama to tell the American people that they could keep their healthcare plans were overruled by political aides.
“That is not my recollection at all,” Pfeiffer said.
Pfeiffer also rejected allegations that that Obama is out of the loop as chief executive.
“That is an absurd [characterization] that flies in the face of everything I’ve seen,” he added.