Geithner: Unlikely to be asked to stay if Obama wins

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 25, 2012 5:29 PM
Geithner: Unlikely to be asked to stay if Obama wins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday he would not expect to be asked to continue as Treasury chief if President Barack Obama wins re-election.

"He's not going to ask me to stay on, I'm pretty confident," Geithner said in response to a question during a Bloomberg television interview conducted in North Carolina, where Geithner toured an electronics manufacturing plant.

Geithner said he was confident Obama would win a second term in the November election and said he'd then "have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury."

There would be "something else for me," Geithner added.

Geithner considered leaving Treasury last summer but agreed to stay on at Obama's request. It is not a surprise that he does not expect to continue as head of the Treasury Department, but it is the first time Geithner said it so directly.

Geithner has been Obama's only Treasury secretary, taking office in January 2009 when the economy was in deep recession. He has had to deal with a series of pressing issues, from a housing downturn to the ongoing European debt crisis.

He said European leaders, widely criticized for failing to deal more forcefully with their debt crisis, finally seemed to be making progress.

"They're doing a lot of things to put in place reforms that help fix their financial problems, hopefully help them grow more rapidly," Geithner said. He added, however, "They've got a lot of work to do."

(Reporting By Glenn Somerville; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)