September 21st, 2010
07:28 AM ET

Vets CFO on Obama: 'I am exhausted of defending you'

President Obama was hearing an earful from voters at a town hall meeting in the nation’s capitol yesterday.

Anger and disappointment was voiced by many in attendance, including Velma Hart, Chief Financial Officer for “American Vets” and Ted Brassfield, a law school grad. Hart and Brassfield spoke with CNN's Kiran Chetry on "American Morning's" about their feelings on Obama and clarified some of their statements from the town hall.

Kiran Chetry: Velma, when you said you were getting tired of defending the president, it's exhausting. Have you lost faith in the president? Or do you think it's simply the circumstances we're in that he doesn't necessarily have control of.

Velma Hart: It is absolutely the latter. But I don't know that he doesn't have control of it. I still have great faith in this president. I think that he is an amazing leader. I think he is inspirational.

Kiran Chetry: Ted, you asked whether or not you thought the "American Dream" was still attainable. Why did you choose that question? I know that you had a lot on your mind. You had a lot that you discussed among your friends. Why did you ask about the "American Dream?"

Ted Brassfield: Well, it's a real problem that a lot of us who have advanced degrees - and people who are going to college, maybe they don't know why they went to college. But we are facing massive student loans. The entire generation is just often facing six figures even when you go to public universities. And you have people like me who had good jobs but went back to school. Society says if you work hard, if you go to school, we will have good jobs for you. And that's why it's - you're willing to take on a massive amount of debt. And it seems like that's been lost. And it's really hurting a lot of my cohort.

Kiran Chetry: Did you get the answer you were looking for from the president or any more clarity on it?

Ted Brassfield: I think that unfortunately I felt that the president answered very effectively all of the other questions he was asked by the audience. But like Velma, I thought that I had given him a lay-up to say this is why you should still have hope. And he didn't say that. He didn't answer it at all.

Kiran Chetry: Well, Velma, you said you're exhausted defending him. What do people who have criticisms of the president that talk to you say? What are their biggest beefs?

Velma Hart: That he's all talk and no action, which I absolutely disagree with. I think the health care reform bill is action. I think the student loan legislation is action. I think there are - even, you know, like it or hate it, even the financial reform is action. So I don't get that argument. And I - and I get pretty passionate about it. I can't tell you I stand on top of tables and, you know, bang my head against the wall, but I believe in him. And I - you know, there's something about what he communicates that makes me believe that he's got a plan. I just - I’m tired of having debate - I think this is a moment of poker or something for me, maybe blackjack or 21. I want to have a card on the table that shuts the discussion and I don't have that yet.

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soundoff (502 Responses)
  1. Mike T

    Or we could treat higher education like my friends in Korea, where they go for free. We could do the same thing, then have a mandatory three years public service, whether it is planting trees, tutoringn, or picking up trash on beaches, parks, etc.. I worked full time and went to school, and still have massive student loans. So actually I am in a worse financial position than some friends who just went to highschool. The issue with advanced school, is that many programs forbid you to work more than 20 hours a week. And you get about minimum wage as a TA or research assistant.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Shekkon

      Mike – what degree are you doing ?
      I earned $16/hour and $27 OT while in undergad on co-op. I made $25k a year in co-op working 6 months a year -studying 6.

      And once done with undergrad, I had FT job offers from 3 companies starting from $65k – $79k plus full benefits. I made them bid against one another 🙂 I leased a BMW M3 and lived a decent life.

      Wait- sorry that was in 2000 – ohh those good old days !!!

      Cheer up,
      if you are in IT/Envo/Chemical Engg – jobs are plenty in US everywhere.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |


    September 21, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • whatthe

      Obama didn't send our troops to Afghan. It was Bush that did this 10 years ago. so maybe you need to ask Bush why the troops are there.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Navybill

    Hey folks, if you are going to write a comment it may be a good idea to reread your entry for spelling, grammar and punctuation before selecting Post or Send. Or, flash of brilliance, type your comment first in Word (or your choice of processors),and enable spell and grammar check. Not all of your mistakes will be found, but most will. Remember, once it is posted, you cannot take it back. You may have an opinion, which is good, but why come across as an uneducated nub in the process? For those of you who are offended at my suggestion, you need to get real, get a life and get an education before displaying your ignorance in a public forum. Have a great day. 🙂

    September 21, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. John

    I'm tired of waiting for the Obama of the campaign to inspire people and educate them, to counterbalance the blatant lies by the Teapublicans and Fox Lies Channel that are accepted as true by the ignorant masses. Is it so hard to explain that deficit spending was our only hope after the disaster caused by Bush? Instead, he lets the moronic voters (who never learned basic US history about deficit spending to get us out of the Great Depression) believe that Obama is running up deficits because he's a Democrat. How can he let the Teapublican Party portray itself as the party of fiscal conservatism? It's maddening.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. KC Rick

    The President's mistake and what Velma is saying – he did not focus on the economy. He spent his political capital on healthcare reform, a bill (at least in its present form) that Americans by a 2-1 margin clearly did not want. His stimulus is viewed now largely as a union payback, costing Americans about a $1 million dollars per job created. Because he is a policy wonk, he clearly does not understand (or pretends not to understand) the engine that makes America go, and that is small business. He is throwing some bones that way now, but he clearly could have set the stage for a recovery by being more open to business. But, he and the intellectual elite (his staff) know better than the American people, and he has tried an experiment that did not work in the 1930's (despite want historians tell you) and it won't work now. This is the worst recovery coming out of a recession in modern recorded history (1-2% growth). Compare that to Reagan, where the recovery was in the 8-10% range year over year. Blaming Bush, is getting old Mr. President, and the American people see through it.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Obama the Liar

    Obama claimed to have worked at a high powered consulting firm as a research assistant. A former colleague who sat down the hall from him debunked Obama's puffery in 2005:

    First, it wasn't a consulting house; it was a small company that published newsletters on international business. Like most newsletter publishers, it was a bit of a sweatshop. I'm sure we all wished that we were high-priced consultants to multinational corporations. But we also enjoyed coming in at ten, wearing jeans to work, flirting with our co-workers, partying when we stayed late, and bonding over the low salaries and heavy workload.

    Barack worked on one of the company's reference publications. Each month customers got a new set of pages on business conditions in a particular country, punched to fit into a three-ring binder. Barack's job was to get copy from the country correspondents and edit it so that it fit into a standard outline. There was probably some research involved as well, since correspondents usually don't send exactly what you ask for, and you can't always decipher their copy. But essentially the job was copyediting.

    As a young attorney did he engage in the grind that is the fate of all young associates in law firms? Was he buried in books at the law firm library, barely able to keep his eyes open? Was he paying his dues? Not quite. Instead, he can be pictured with his feet up on his desk, scribbling ideas on a legal pad for Dreams of My Father - the book that helped make him a star.

    Allison Davis, a founding name partner of the firm that hired the young Barack Obama out of law school had this bit of history to share:
    "Some of my partners weren't happy with that, Barack sitting there with his keyboard on his lap and his feet up on the desk writing the book."

    Not content with the practice of law - or whatever he was doing at the office, Obama left the law firm for greener pastures. While he was on the verge of running for the state Senate, he was tapped (by Bill Ayers, no less) to head the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a donor-funded effort to improve Chicago schools. This was the only time that Obama had experience running anything.

    How did he do?
    He wasted over 100 million dollars and the program was declared a failure in an independent audit.

    His state senate colleagues took umbrage at his modus operandi. He was what came to be known as a bill-jacker: someone who takes credit for legislation that others had written and worked the aisles to get passed.

    How about claiming to be on a committee that had just successfully passed out some high-profile bit of legislation?

    Barack Obama today boasted about a bill in "my committee," a committee on which he has no seat.

    While speaking to the press in the Israeli town of Sderot, Obama mistakenly put the U.S. Senate banking committee on his resume, although the Illinois senator does not serve on the committee and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is the chairman.

    The Republican National Committee distributed an e-mail pointing out Obama's mistake with a subject line of "Obama's Gaffe Machine Rolls Into Israel."

    During the press conference, Obama said, "Just this past - this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon."

    September 21, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      NEWSFLASH, we just located the WMD's.

      Swift boat vets are now posting as Obama the LIar.

      Maybe thats part of the problem, did the former colleague have a name, no? I didn't think so

      Why would you even attempt a Carl Rove Strategy on here?

      Bush is a communist. It must be true because a former roomate said. sorry folks can't divulge my source for security reasons.

      Sadly even when your lies are proven wrong the ignorant Americans can not be convinced of any truth. It's like someone has perfected Brain washing in this country, the amazing thing is they only have to say it one time for the feeble minded to keeop repeating it without even checking to see if its true.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bret

    Velma wants a "a card that ends the discussion"?!?! Wow, that's very open-minded and democratic of you Velma. Sounds like what she really wants is some mechanism in which she can tell those she disagrees with "I'm right, you're wrong, so shut the f*** up!"

    Wow, a liberal who not only disagrees with dissenting opinion, but disavows anybody's right to have one. What a surprise!

    September 21, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    Obama is going up against a system who's special interests are so vested in corporations, money, greed, and lies, that at this point, it may be impossible for anyone to truly change anything. The Republicans will veto anything he presents that is forward thinking, and truly for the middle class. Bush spent 8 years making a complete mess out of this country, and you all are expecting him to fix it in 2 years? To UN brainwash everyone? that is asking alot. He is doing his best.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      "Mike – To UN brainwash everyone? that is asking alot. He is doing his best."
      Uh, that's the problem Mike, his best just doesn't cut it.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kirk

    How long did it take Nick Saban to turn around Alabama....That's what I thought, and he didn't spend his press time whining about the previous coach. NO, he just made us forget who that dude was. Maybe Obama should go get some coaching from Saban!

    September 21, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. msebree

    To Velma: I got news for you sister-girl President Obama could easily turn your little snide remark around and say he is tired of defending you! Don't you ever forget who you are and where you came from. I get blessed everytime I see him standing up for the rights of the common man and the immigrant, and yes for the likes of you who think you have arrived. Look around, honey. We have not overcome yet!!

    September 21, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Obama the Liar

    @msebree -You mean standing above them with his nose pointed twards the sky? This man does not care about you or anyone else but himself. He is a liar and a fake. A Puppet. Open your eyes and do some research, if you can actually find something that he didn't have his lawyers lock up.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      I'm confused in your previous post you stated his colleagues didn't like him, now your saying the covered things up?

      I'm just so glad that Bush Jr. didn't go AWOL while on a cocaine binge while in the reserves, boy it would have taken someone pretty high up in politics to cover up that blemish on his record.

      I just don't know who to believe anymore. The news lies, the politicians lie, the people who post lie, everybody lies apparently. The ones who say something positive on here are belittled and bullied, what great country we have become. A shining beacon to all of the world.

      Now lets get started on those internment camps again.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bobby

    Let me ask you something. The money in your pocket right now, WHOSE MONEY IS IT??? No matter how rich or poor you are, THAT MONEY IS YOURS, YOU EARNED IT!!! According to Obama's response yesterday, He LETS US HAVE A TAX BREAK, UH EXCUSE ME, BUT LEAVE MY MONEY ALONE!! He talked about all of the services we are demanding, yet our taxes went down. I DON'T RECALL ASKING FOR THIS HEALTH CARE MONSTROCITY. IN FACT, ABOUT 65 PERCENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WERE SAYING VERY LOUDLY NOT TO DO IT, BUT THEY DID IT ANYWAY. Does it seem funny to any one of you that the only time they are worried about the deficit or PAYING FOR SOMETHING is when it comes to tax cut (letting you keep your money) When it comes to the upper class tax cuts, he SAID HE COULD SPEND THE MONEY BETTER THAN THEY CAN (He rally did say that). which side of the aisle are you on? Is it your money or are you content to let them SOAK THE RICH till you are next?

    September 21, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • maljazur

      Pssst! Scuse me, Bobby, I hate to interrupt your rant, but I wanted to point out one little thing about what yousaid about healthcare. While your 68% opposed is exaggerated, you should know that many of those who opposed the healthcare bill actually wanted it BIGGER. Yeah. Many Americans actually wanted the government to run a healthcare plan like Medicare for all Americans, so that as a birthright as a citizen of the wealthiest country in the world, we all pay taxes that ensure that every one of us can see the doctor and go to the hospital when we need to. Yeah...chew on that.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Obama the Liar

    Sorry confused, you've got the wrong guy. He must be someone else that does a little reading on Obama. Sorry Bush was terrible also. If you want to take what i wrote and smear it thats fine. The intelligent person would actually take it and look it up. I am not going to sit on a comment site and quote sources. I gave you the information now do some homework (unlike Obama) and find the facts. They are there, so stop being lazy.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      My question without any sarcasm is what makes it a fact? Is it a fact because you read it or is it a fact because someone said it? Your comment reminds me of the "facts " on ACORN and the "facts" provided by the swift boat vets, and the "facts" about Obama being a Muslim, and the "facts" about Obama being born in Kenya. Are those all facts as well? Just curious

      BTW I can do a search on the earth being flat and find info on it, but it does not make it a fact.

      Sorry for any typos

      September 21, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    Keep defending the president and his policies which are our policies as well.
    Apathy will kill the Democrats. We need the same energy we used when we worked to get Obama into office. Now we need the same energy to get him re-elected.
    The lies that the Tea Party, GOP and Fox news tells Americans are awful. We need Paul Hackett back to help us tell hte truth. Get him back in the lime light and you will see a BIG difference in this war of lies!!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. A CNN Reader

    There aren't but TWO WORDS I want to hear from Nobama.... they are "I QUIT" ....and even then I wont believe it to be true until I see someone else in the White House

    September 21, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
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