Here are some of the key points the president made during his talk show rounds:
He said requiring people to get health insurance and fining them if they don’t would not amount to a backhanded tax increase. “I absolutely reject that notion,” the president said.
Obama said while there are signs the economy is going to start growing again, he’ll leave it to Bernanke to say whether it’s officially over or not.
He has no deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces and pledged there will not be an indefinite American occupation. He said he won’t base any war decision on “the politics of the moment.”
He said the leader of reclusive North Korea is “pretty healthy and in control,” based on the assessment the president got from Bill Clinton after Clinton returned to the U.S.
He does not plan to ask the Justice Department to end its criminal investigation into the harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration. Seven former CIA directors have asked him to do just that.