Sigh. It is very hard to do these things without your staff behind you, your briefing books at your right hand, and time to think. But Tim did not cover himself in glory:
'This Week' Transcript: Geithner: TAPPER: Job creation has not gone as well as you hoped. What more can you do? I know there's this small business lending initiative. What more can you do given the lack of appetite on Capitol Hill for any spending programs? Any more stimulus?
GEITHNER: Well you know, the President's proposed a very strong package of help for small businesses which you just referred to. He'd support giving more support to states so they can keep teachers in the classroom.
TAPPER: Fifty billion dollars in emergency spending but the Congress has not acted on that.
GEITHNER: They haven't yet, but we can (inaudible) case for doing it. They're going to, we're going to keep at that. But right now, the best thing the government can do in addition to those things, is help create the conditions for the private sector to start to invest in hiring again. Now, we've seen six months of positive job growth by the private sector. That's pretty good.
TAPPER: By the private sector.
GEITHNER: Pretty good this early in a recession.
TAPPER: Although you count in the public sector with the layoffs and the census jobs.
GEITHNER: But only because of census. But you know, what matters is -- is the private sector starting to hire people, add back hours and that's what's critical. And you're seeing that happen now. Now we want it -- we want to see it happen at a faster pace. But I think most people understand that you know, this was a deep crisis. The scars ran very deep. Devastating damage. It's going to take time to repair that damage, take time to grow out of this. But we're making progress...