President Barack Obama bluntly says he "hated" the bailout of Wall Street but supported it to prevent a deeper meltdown of the economy.
The president used his State of the Union to respond to deep public resentment of how Washington rescued the teetering financial sector at taxpayer expense.
Said Obama: "I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal."
Obama said the big banks getting the help were the same ones that caused the finacial crisis in 2008.
He said he rallied behind a massive rescue program, which was started when George W. Bush was president, to stabilize the markets and prevent more home foreclosures and erosion of jobs.