September 10th, 2010
12:34 PM ET

CNN analysts take on Obama's Q&A session

CNN Security Analyst David Gergen said he believed Obama's press conference was "mostly passionless and, frankly, boring" until the mosque question.

There, he took a much clearer stand on the mosque than he has in the past.

CNN political analyst Roland Martin, however, criticized the summation, saying he is not looking for anyone in Washington to "enamor me."

However, Martin said, he would have liked to have seen Obama be clearer about Republicans setting up roadblocks, saying no and blocking progress.

"You know what? He's not an entertainer," Martin said of Obama. "He's the quarterback. He has to set the tone," Martin said.

CNN's John King, host of "John King U.S.A." said he was impressed by his "long, substantive answers" on several of the issues and noted that on some questions he spoke for three, six and seven minutes to address some of these issues.

Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union," said she got the sense that Obama did not want the issue of the mosque to be raised, but everyone on the CNN panel seemed to agree that Obama was most passionate in addressing that specific issue.

CNN political analyst Donna Brazile speculated that Obama became so passionate because Muslim Americans died in 9/11 and have also given their lives in the cause for freedom.

King said he was concerned with U.S. troops who are Muslim.

"Look, there are Muslim troops serving under me, your commander in chief," King said, summating Obama's thoughts.

Crowley said while Democrats do not want the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be a major issue as November approaches, Obama reiterated his administration's stance that he wants them to expires for couples making more than $250,000, but not for the middle-class.

Borger, however, said she felt he seemed to leave room for compromise if he can get a jobs bill though Congress.

Addressing Martin's statement that he doesn't want politicians to entertain, Gergen said he doesn't, either. However, when Obama was on the campaign trail his tone, enthusiasm and message "stirred people's hopes."

But in Friday's address, Gergen said, Obama seemed more "professorial' and "there wasn't much electricity to it." At the beginning of the speech, he tried to rally Democrats with a "nakedly partisan" attack, Gergen said, but he has had trouble rallying his party of late.

"I think he hasn't found his voice again," Gergen said. "His voice isn't communicating in the same way."

Gergen thinks perhaps the newser lacked electricity because it carried on too long, more than an hour, noting it's tougher to "rifle-shot your message."

Obama seemingly was closer to using a shotgun, he said.

All of the CNN panelists seem to agree the Republicans are hammering Democrats on the economy.

Crowley said Obama seemed to say, "Well, OK, you can stick with us or you can go back to the people who caused this mess."

For Roland Martin, there is one key.

Obama "must stay on the offensive" about the GOP trying to block Democratic action on the economy.

Obama has to loudly voice this allegation and "give other Democrats the confidence to say it themselves, what they've done has made sense," Martin said.

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Robert

    The fundamental fact is that Bush or Obama, they would have said the same thing about the Mosque, irrespective of how insensitive it is, which is like building a German cultural center at the point where Nazi troops entered Poland, or Shinto Shrine right outside where the Nanjing massacre happened. Why do we have to put up with this insult, and not speak a word about the injustice to religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries? One word: OIL. They have it; we need it. Until we get off oil, our leaders' hands are tied. So for Tea Partiers and for detractors of renewable energy arguing it is too expensive? It is time to re-evaluate your priorities and think seriously about the implications of oil dependency, even if you don't think global warming is happening.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    I think you meant "Obama has *to" loudly voice this allegation and give other Democrats the confidence to say it themselves, what they've done has made sense"

    Let me say it:

    Republicans have acted again and again to oppose economic recovery.
    Federal spending means a larger money supply.
    A larger money supply means more jobs.
    The stimulus created 2.5 – 3 million jobs.

    WITHOUT THE STIMULUS, WE WOULD HAVE A 11.5% unemployment rate.
    Just ask Alan Blinder and John McCain econ advisor Mark Zandi!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Martha Sharp

    I thought President Obama was right on with this news conference. He answered all questions thoughtfully, honestly, and completely. His tone and demeanor were perfect. What I have always admired about the President is that he does not play games and says what he thinks. He shows common sense and an ability to cut through the "bull" in most situations. I thought Roland Martin made some very good comments about the press conference. I am deeply disturbed by the hatred and divisions in the world and in our country. I have to wonder what would have happened if the media had totally ignored the so-called "pastor" from Florida? He certainly is not a man of God. This has become a media event that should never have happened.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    How about we deport bigots who hold all Muslims responsible for the actions of the few?
    Are you responsible for the actions of a dummy in Florida who wants to burn holy books?

    September 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Susan

    We have become a country of whiners. I don't like him, I don't like her. At least for goodness sakes he is trying. If everyone would vote democrat for midterms and they had free acess to do everything they wanted and then it didn't work then we through the bums out. Give one party, one chance to do everything the needs done. I'm sorry right wingers but it took less then the time the democrats have been the president to make this mess. This honestly is Reaganeconomics run amok. Rich get richer poor get poorer but eventually the poor can't buy things from the rich and then we all sink. Simple supply and demand. If the majority has limited funds no one is going to be rich for long. Put that in your idiology and smoke it. I am tired of working hard and still being poor. At least the democrats care about me and not getting a tan.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jan

    You are all so you write your comments ahead of time.....Gergen has so little credibility why is he still around....Crawley, Gregory again I can turn off the sound and know what you said......everyone should be using their own brain because there is just nonsense on Cable. Tune into a PBS news channel and/or CSPAN.........make up your own mind. You can think for yourself America!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom TX

      Much like Obama's words today, Kerry had nothing worth listening to, therefore no history lesson is needed, but thanks for the advice.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      You are certainly welcome to your opinion, Tom.......I'm just asking you to look where it got us. I'm not willing to go back to the policies you support. I vote to move this country forward and promote the middle class......the wealthy are doing just fine and in fact are the only ones that are doing fine right now.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ward

    I thought it was a masterful press conference. I noticed his sense of purpose and steadiness and that it comes from keeping in mind his goals (job growth, education reform, for example) and the principles this country stand for–rule of law, religious freedom. I was also impressed with the questions from the press, nothing really snarky or gotcha.

    Tom in Texas–he was every bit a leader and in no way thin-skinned. This was a good press conference. I hope he does more before the elections.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom TX

      Sorry, I will stand by my position; too thin skinned to be effective. The campaigner in chief said in Milwaukee on Labor Day..."they treat me like dogs." He should listen to his own characterizations of Republicans. He is already making excuses for why his party will be trounced in November.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanner S.

      I. think. the. President. did. a. fine. job. as. well. I had to step away from the press conference during the first question and ricked it up again 30 minutes later. Thankfully he was still answering the question and I hadn't missed anything. If you have nothing to say and take twice as long to say it, it's spell binding for many.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLV

      Tanner, the only thing I disagree with are your first two words.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    Some of these analysts weren't listening to the same news conference I was. Obama was very clear, IMHO, in pointing out the Republican obstructionism that is blocking actions that would improve the economy. And he pointed out who got us in this mess, and legitimately raised the question, do we want to return to the policies that got us into this mess, and support politicians that are obstructing actions to improve the economy for their own political purposes? I think the answer is pretty clear, and the more people see that, the more this fall's vote will trend back to the Democrats, as some polls are already starting to show.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Again, Obama can't even convince many in his own party that massive and aimless government spending is the answer. He and his party have had Congress since 2007. Nope, wouldn't want to return to those Republican policies such as mandating mortgage loans to unqualifieds buyers, aided by the actions of those staunch Republicans, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (as Committee Chairmenn) to bar any investigation into the role played by Fannie and Freddie in providing mortgages that were doomed to fail. More recently, the failure of those same staunch Republicans plus our current President to even address Fannie and Freddie in the financial "reform" bill. No, I don't want to return to those failed Republican policies. Nor would I want to return to the days when the tax cuts for all provided double digit growth in tax revenues and resulted in the wealthy paying a higher than ever share of the tax burden. Let's reverse all of that and stifle the revenues needed to finance this runaway spending.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      Now, now, Ricky, there you go again.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Apparently you failed U.S. civics class.
      Takes 60 votes to get past a filibuster in the Senate.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom TX

      John, I respectfully disagree, it was not the Republicans alone who got us into this economic mess; economic greed by business leaders from both parties and misguided policies of the Pelosi-Reid Congress from 2006-2008 that led to our economic woes. The "stimulus" plan was a collosal waste of taxpayers money. Obama said unemployment will not go above 8% if his plan was enacted, well it was and noe unemployment is hovering near 10%.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Like most disasters, the current economic crisis has many causes. For example, lowering trade barriers (and other economic policies) have led to falling middle class wages. When these people saw the market value of their house sky-rocket, they in effect supplemented their income with home equity loans.

      Yet, some of the major events that led to this crisis could have and should have been prevented, if we had had an administration, and their appointed regulators, that understood the necessary and proper role of regulators as watchmen.

      Consequently, the regulators were not aware of, nor acted to mitigate, the dangerous behavior of AIG (who had hundreds of millions in credit default swap obligations, without any reserve capital to back it up); of Lehmann brothers, who were borrowing huge amounts in the overnight commercial paper markets, using the money borrowed Tueday to cover for the money borrowed Monday; and of investment banks that took some bad mortgages (mixed with good), and resold the resulting toxic assets, in security form, to thousands of banks in the U.S. and around the world.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      Tom, please, the misguided policies were from the Bush administration. You can't rewrite history.......a war we never paid cuts for the rich never paid for......."No child left behind" that Bush never funded......deregulation of the banking'll take awhile to get out from under the dark cloud Bush left behind as his legacy.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. livinonhigh

    Alert the press! Obama agrees with the imam about the proposed mosque and not the majority of americans. As he also disagrees with the majority of americans about national security, taxes, healthcare and spending! He is beginning to be a real problem here in the US of America! Are we sure he is president of the right country?

    September 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Alert the media:


      September 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tre

      John, the president certainly is not standing up for the right of the (crazed) pastor that wants to burn the Koran. He supports first amendment rights when they support his agenda.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Stand up for the crazy who has defined himself by his INTOLERANCE of Muslims?
      Am I obligated to be praise those who live for hate?

      September 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dee Woodman

    Obama is on the stump again. Each time he opens his mouth lies come out of it. Health care driving down costs while my health care goes up and I will get less care with Drs. not wanting to take Medicare patients. His administration going into my private bank account. Come on folks see this man for what he is a liar and controller. His way or the highway. Hopefully in Nov. he will be a lame duck. Even his own party is disagreeing with him. Get this ncompetent out of office before he ruins our country. Even Hillary said he was inexperienced and wouldn't know what to do with that 3 AM phone call. Obama has now provefd to our country Hillary was right.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      I've always thought that people who resort to name calling don't have any worthwhile comments. I'm afraid I'd have to put you in that category, Dee.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Get all your "facts" from Fox news?
      Then you choose to indoctrinate yourself with propaganda.

      September 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. leonat

    I do not want an entertainer. I want a leader who gives me clear answers to hard questions. Mr. Obama does just that at these news conferences. I want someone who seems to have a handle on the issues and at least an idea of how to solve the problem.

    Some things you have to stay with before for they get better. The economy is in a tough situation right now. Mr Obama does have a plan.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JL

    How refreshing to listen to a Presidential news conference by a leader that is thoughtful, explains his policies well, has a sense of direction for America and reminds us that it took 8 long years to create the mess we're in and will take patience and sacrifice to correct it. And you have to agree that it was definitely refreshing not to watch the swagger or hear any inappropriate jokes about ties that we suffered through for 8 years!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    When Obama came to office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month.
    Now we are gaining 67,000 private sector jobs a month.

    GOP: How we miss the good old days, when the economy was falling like a rock!

    September 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      You're delusional. In one month 67,000 jobs are created.. Last week (- 9 states that didn't report) 450,000 people filed for unemployment.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      What you mean is that you are ignorant.

      The economy is creating and destroying jobs constantly (even during high growth). The economy created 67,000 private sector jobs net, in August. That means that the American economy created 67,000 MORE JOBS THAN WERE DESTROYED.

      September 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    WITHOUT THE STIMULUS, WE WOULD HAVE A 11.5% unemployment rate.
    Just ask Alan Blinder and John McCain econ advisor Mark Zandi!


    September 10, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom TX

      Are you sure you are not the president's spox, please give me proof that unemployment would be over 11.5%. I agree, you are delusional. Sorry.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      Some people don't want to hear the truth but good for you for trying.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tre

      Please! Obama promised that with all that spending unemployment would not go above 8%. What happened to that? Also, where does he get the 3,000,000 "saved" jobs figure? Pulled out of thin air. But that is the way of the community organizer.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLV

      Tre, I hope you're not saying that teachers' jobs are not worth saving.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Google up Mark Zandi. An economist and a Republican (and McCain econ advisor), he and Alan Blinder did a just-the-facts-maam analysis.

      Also, it is simple Econ 101. A larger money supply means more jobs. ARGUING OTHERWISE IS LIKE ARGUING THAT THE EARTH IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, or that a bowling ball will accelerate away from the center of the Earth if you let it drop.

      Economists can count the jobs directly created by the expenditure of stimulus dollars. All economists agree that there is a multiplier effect in that one person with a new job will spend money, creating more jobs in the economy. The only question is HOW LARGE this multiplier is.

      September 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jake

    I just want you to know.. That the Quran burning will only be damaging if the media shows it to the rest of the world. The blood is on your hands.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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