The HillTube

Obama praises Lew as 'master of policy'

“That is why when he was considering leaving a few years ago I had to personally get on my knees with Carol to convince him to stay on a little bit longer,” Obama said.

In picking Lew, Obama is elevating a trusted insider and budget expert to be his administration’s economic point man at a time when tax and spending fights are dominating Washington and financial sector reform is taking a back seat.

“Jack has my complete trust, I know I am not alone in that,” Obama said. “I hope the Senate will confirm him as quickly as possible.

“Over the years he has built a reputation as a master of policy who can work with both sides and forge bipartisan compromises,” Obama said.

As chief of staff, Lew was a central player in two failed attempts at a deficit grand bargain with House Republicans. The first effort came as the government negotiated a hike to the debt ceiling in August 2011, and the second took place last month as the nation teetered on a “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and sending cuts scheduled for January.

For more on Lew's nomination, click here.

More in Administration

Obama praises Supreme Court ruling on contraception mandate

Read more »