Ironically, the president said this as controversy and clouded intelligence swirled around another terrorist attack on America -- the Christmas Day terror attempt on Northwest flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab -- a.k.a. the "underwear bomber" -- in 2009. More than a week after the failed bombing attempt, President Obama said at the time that he took ultimate responsibility for his administration's failure to connect Abdumutallab to the al-Qaeda group that had orchestrated the attack.
"The buck stops with me," Obama explained at the time.
“I have repeatedly made it clear in public, with the American people, and in private, with my national security team that I will hold my staff, our agencies and the people in them accountable when they fail to perform their responsibilities at the highest levels,” Obama said.
This past summer, President Obama used Harry Truman's famous saying to criticize GOP challenger Mitt Romney and his work at Bain Capital.
“Well, here’s what I know, we were just talking about responsibility and as president of the United States, it’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you,” he told ABC News. “If [Romney] aspires to being president one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations.”