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. Rocky

    I want to hear what Roland Martin thinks of his speech about as much as I care about Hannity's opinion on the issue. They are both so partisan and incapable of objectivity. These guys are entirely predictable and therefore uninteresting. No matter what Obama says Roland is going to say he did the right thing and the real problem is Repulicans, and vice versa for Hannity. Can we get some opinions that are worth listening to (or reading)?

    September 10, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. scott

    Have to comment on the democratic control of Congress. I think it's a fair enough criticism that bears a little examination.

    Controlling congress with a Republican administration primarily allows the congressional majority to prevent actions, given the veto power of the President. Also, given that the Senate majority was not filibuster proof, the ability to actually do anything was hindered by the GOP tactics, no less than today.

    So what did the Democrats prevent - and what did they, in fact, do? For one, they prevented the dismantling (call it 'privatizing' social security. [When Bush took over, both Paul O'Neil and Alan Greenspan went to Bush and Cheney with a proposal to save social security: Bush said no - we will have tax cuts. Then, having further broken the SS trust fund - (remember the GOP smirks about Gore's 'lock-box') - they said it was broken and had to be privatized.

    Second, they never failed to support the military effort - albeit while protesting the off budget accounting.

    Third, they passed the emergency financial measures at the end of Bush's term - although the GOP blocked the first attempt, resulting in an unncessary loss of ONE TRILLION DOLLARS from the stock market.

    I am thinking that if the administration had been Obama's - the GOP might have allowed the country to go all the way off the cliff - preventing any action at all. Great for them, politically down the road.

    It's true enough the economy is in the ditch. But it was going off a cliff. The ditch seems like not that bad a place to dig ourselves out of. It was rediculous for John McCain during the campaign to say the 'fundamentals of the economy are strong' - just before implosion. Does the GOP have no one with some intellectual heft - or are they all the Michelle Bachmans, Boehner, MicConnell, Sharron Angle, Sara Palin, Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford, Joe Wilson, Eric Cantor, Haley Barbour lightweights? At least Mitt Romney has brains and was a good governor - but had his manhood taken away by Rush and pals.

    These are serious problems calling for serious people. Time to get real, folks

    September 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JV

    Interesting comments..........getting your point across is tricky, Rufus. Your retrospection was correct but I still think you have a ways to go in perfecting it.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JT

    Fact – Democrats have been in control since 2006. Since 2008 they don't need or only a select few Republicans to pass anything so some of your Elected Democrats Leaders don’t believe in the Presidents way of thinking. Funny how the Democrats always say they are for the poor and the Republicans only help the rich yet look at all the rich non-elected people (Czars) are working for Obama and living off all of our taxes while not paying their taxes. Let the Whining begin!

    September 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Berrnardo

    I use to respect David Gergen, but after reading his comments, I can help but agree with some of the previous bloggers. Here is a case where the president just had a press conference and all he can comment on is the emotionalism of the president. We need to hear your comments on the press conference contents and not stirring people's emotion as most of your buddies seem to be doing. Fear is nerver a solution.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JJ

    Why dont Obama ever tell us what policies he's refering to. The financial policies during the Bush yrs have been in place since Jimmy Carter was president with slight changes made by Clinton. The Democrats have been in power since 2007, whatever policies Bush would try to implement they didnt have to vote for. This is a bunch of lies. Obama been in the Senate since 2004, I never seen him speak out when the economy was booming. The war cost 700 billion in 9 yrs, Democrats have spent 3 trillion in 18 months. The war employs 100k people/contractors that pay taxes so 30% of the money is refunded back to the government. The people hired Obama to do a job, I never seen so much complaining in my life. He wanted the job so do it and shut up. The GOP has been powerless 2 yrs, until November.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Principally, regulators were told to sit on their hands.




      September 10, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. scott


    You should get your facts right.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    POINT 1. Without the economic stimulus, the unemployment rate would be 11.5%.

    I certainly don't expect anyone to take my word for it. Mark Zandi (econ advisor to John McCain) and Alan Blinder (another widely respected economist) studied the evidence and they confirmed the estimates of the party independent CBO. These are not right wing (or left wing) zealots, which means some of the Republicans here will automatically discount what they have to say.

    POINT 2. Things are definitely better than they were when Obama took office. WE WERE LOSING 750,000 JOBS EVERY MONTH! Last month, we gained 67,000 private sector jobs.

    Don't let GOPers con you. Yes, there were almost 500,000 new unemployment claims. There were also 500,000 + 67,000 people who got new private sector jobs. That is where the *net* 67,000 gain in private sector jobs comes from.

    POINT 3. Republicans seem to suffer from selective amnesia. George Bush signed the TARP (bank bailout) bill. Obama was still the Senator from Illinois at the time. JOHN BOEHNER PLEADED WITH THE HOUSE TO PASS IT. When it failed the first time, the stock market lost 1 Trillion in value that day.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lezah2

    You know... CNN still doesn't get it. They lost over half their viewers during the presidential campaign because they were so not because they didn't take a political stand. They absolutely did take a stand...their stand was to glorify Obama and have every "analyst" they employ singing his praises. What network would ever hire Roland Martin except that he's black...for heavens sake...does anyone who is not black agree with this man? Look at Real Clear Politics website and you'll see the one poll that is way out of whack...CNN...still giving their guy Obama a 50 percent approval rating...going bankrupt.

    September 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      You mean they lost their audience because they WERE UNBIASED and people like you prefer your "news" slanted sideways rather than straight up!

      September 10, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Winter

      They should call themselves the Liberal News Network.

      September 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Notaliblikeu

    The only thing that he was passionate about was the GZM questions. HMMMM wonder why that would be..... Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, sounds like a duck, mentored by ducks, grew up with ducks, hmmmmm must be a.......

    September 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    The thing Obama was most impassioned about was creating American jobs.
    Unlike the Republicans who have done everything in their power to kill the economic recovery.

    I know you feel bad that only 67,000 private sector jobs were created in August.
    You prefer LOSING 750,000 JOBS A MONTH, that we had BEFORE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE.

    September 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      Impassioned? Where was his passion his first 12 months? Secondly, it's legislators that pass bills and policies not the President. It is legislators that sit on Congressional committees not the President. It was Bush that gave us an unemployement rate of under 5% for his eight year term.

      September 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Siestasis

    Who was the idiot that started his analysis of the President's speech with "why did he schedule this at 11:00 am on Friday when all the old folks are watching the Price is Right". Talk about disrespecting your audience. Look dummy I am 67 and have news on all day and have never watched the Price is Right or any of the other dumb daytime shows.

    September 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul

    I guess I watched a different show than some. What I saw was more of President Obama's boring campaign speech. I have never seen a President use a news conference to get free air time to campaign for his fellow Democrats. I do agree with him on the mosque and the burning of the Koran. He campaigned on a platform of change. I haven't seen much of a change. I just don't think he is getting the message that American voters are sending him. It is time to stop blaming the Bush administration for our problems and take some responsibility. He said when he was campaigning that he was the man to fix the economy. Well Mr. Prasident, quit making excuses and do what you said you could do. You have a majority in both houses. Take charge. Fix it!!!!

    September 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      We passed a law that will (after a 4 year phase-in) make it illegal to deny health insurance to someone simply because of a pre-existing condition. This is a revolutionary change that will restore insurance to its original concept where we all split the cost of medical care.

      If you listened to the debate very carefully, you would know that Republicans *said* this was a change that we all could agree on, then they *acted* to oppose this very concept.

      September 10, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alex Winter

    CNN BREAKING NEWS – Obama blames Republicans – CNN BREAKING NEWS

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

    Scott why dont you enlighten me. Bush and Obama is the cause of our problems but I want to know the specific policies Obama keeps mentioning. He's only said it 100 times since he's been elected. How many Fortune 500 CEO's contanstly complain more than a few times before they get to work. Many countries were affected by the economic downturn in the housing market. People spent more than they can afford and shading lending also played a part along with FMAC. I dont trust any economist paid by or friends of a politican. THey all made good money – trust me from the stimulus that the tax payers are now the hook for. Right now investors are scared to invest because taxes are going up. When you cut taxes(proven fax) Gov. revenue goes up. All the gov spending makes no sense (omnibus bill, health care,jobs bill 1 etc). If you a homeowner and trying to get out of debt you dont go purchase a expensive new car and build a new pool. You cut back on your bills, sell stuff and change your spending behavoir. How could anybody with some sense, buy into the garbage the GOV is feeding us with all this spending.

    September 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Most importantly, Bush told the regulators to SIT ON THEIR HANDS. The result was an unprecedented amount of risk (see AIG, Lehmann brothers, "naked derivatives", liar's loans).

      Time after time, we have seen that when regulators take a hands off approach, the market blows up in our face.

      September 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
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