That’s what he told the Washington Post.
Obama said the public option "has become a source of ideological contention between the left and right." But, he added, "I didn't campaign on the public option."
Now I have to swallow some pride and quote Rep. Joe Wilson - ‘YOU LIE’
Does President Obama really expect to win back support from his dithering base by lying about them? If that’s the case then I fear he will really be a 1 term President.
Honestly I believe this reaffirms what Russ Feingold, Jim Webb and Joe Lieberman all said – that President Obama didn’t push the public option. Instead of admitting that strategic failure, President Obama is taking the all to easy path of simply lying. As a progressive I for one won’t sit back and not call him out on it.
For the record Think Progress highlights some major times in which President Obama pushed for the public option:
– In the 2008 Obama-Biden health care plan on the campaign’s website, candidate Obama promised that “any American will have the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan.” 
– During a speech at the American Medical Association, President Obama told thousands of doctors that one of the plans included in the new health insurance exchanges “needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market.” [6/15/09]
– While speaking to the nation during his weekly address, the President said that “any plan” he signs “must include…a public option.” [7/17/09]
– During a conference call with progressive bloggers, the President said he continues “to believe that a robust public option would be the best way to go.” [7/20/09]
– Obama told NBC’s David Gregory that a public option “should be a part of this [health care bill],” while rebuking claims that the plan was “dead.” [9/20/09]
What President Obama is doing is the exact kind of dishonesty I addressed earlier. Given the fact that it is coming from the President I will have to concur 110% with John Aravosis:
If he's trying to cover his behind, and make the best of it, that's one thing. But if he truly believes that he didn't compromise on some of his core promises, then this is very troubling, as it indicates he'll do it again without a moment's hesitation, because he doesnt recognize caving as caving.
What troubles me the most is how some of progressives will defend Obama on this. It’s starting to remind me of the conservatives who backed Bush 110% until his time in office was done, then his name became Mudd. As progressives we should really try to hold our own President accountable to the standards we hold so dear.
I do not have a problem with the idea of compromise. Political compromises happen all the time -- and for good reason. I do have a problem, however, with dishonesty. Claiming that a compromise has not happened when it actually has is dishonest. If the White House expects liberals to accept its political compromises, it cannot pretend that the compromises have not actually occurred.