The Washington Times - April 14, 2011, 06:56PM

President Obama on Thursday admitted his 2006 vote against raising the debt limit as a senator from Illinois was “political” and not in the best interest of the country.

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, the president said he has a different vantage point now that he’s in the Oval Office and now recognizes the importance of ensuring the country is able to make good on its obligations. 


“As president you start realizing, you know what, we can’t play around with this stuff [-] this is the full faith and credit” of the country, he said, calling his prior stance “an example of a new senator making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country.

“Still, he conceded, raising the nation’s borrowing limit “is always a lousy vote.”

Asked about business mogul Donald Trump’s questioning of his birthplace, Mr. Obama said voters are more concerned about gasoline prices than “conspiracy theories or birth certificates.”

“I think that over the last two and a half years there has been an effort to go at me in a way that is poltiically expedient in the short term for Republicans but creates, I think, a problem for them when they want to actually run in the general election where most people feel pretty comfortable the president was born where he says, in Hawaii,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama also defended his sharp attack Wednesday of the House Republican budget proposal, saying his dark depiction of the plan put forth by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was factual and not political.