Yes, he actually said this in the monster New York Times magazine piece that just came out:
“We probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.”
Oh where, oh where to begin. First, we have the arrogant assumption that the administration’s crime here is getting the policy right. The fact that majority of the country that hates, say, health care reform with the fire of a thousand suns is presumably because they don’t know what’s good for them. Then the idea that Obama neglected “marketing and P.R. and public opinion.” The president gave 54(!) speeches on health care reform, including a special joint session of Congress and prime time infomercial. And yet, he’s still of the opinion he just hasn’t explained it properly or something? We’re gonna like this turkey any day now! (Also, the fact he’s explaining his policy approach in his eleventy billionth magazine profile should tell you something — as president, Obama’s even posed for the cover of The American Dog.)
Also of note from the profile, Obama says he now knows “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” Wait, government is slow to get public works project underway? Who possibly could have known? Good thing we spent $814 billion to find that out!