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. Obamanomics

    To run a country especially ours with a big deficit, it is not a one man's job, he is just a leader, but if Republicans will not work with him and Dems are too afraid to loose their jobs, it does not give Obama much to work with, he is inspirational and you could see he has a plan, but his Army and enemies are more worried about staying in power than anything else.
    I wish reasonable people would understand his situation, but he is really trying.
    Look at DADT, months ago McCain was for repealing it, today he is aiming to kill it. He wants to inject capital into the Economy but Reps and Tea Partyists are against it, because they want to see him fail.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. thunder

    I definetely think we should have gotten more for the money that was wasted.No more excuses,No more 3 million jobs saved.No more blaming Bush, or the Republican party that couldn't stop your democratic house, and congress.No more excuses, we are passed that now, but an apology sure wouldn't hurt for all the hate, diversity, and fear mongering, you have used, and tried to stir up, to further your agenda.Now thats unexcuseable!

    September 21, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Obamanomics

      I will bet my money, that if he had not injected the stimulus and other measures to stop the country from falling into recession, you and the same group of people would be here banging the drums of war because he did not do anything about it.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Maquignon

    When will we learn that we can't depend on the government for everything? For everything the government "gives" you, it takes something away. I value my freedom much more than I value the government subsidies. Government, just stay out of my way. I can take care of myself. I want a government that REFUSES to do anything for me. That government is best that governs least!!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. descarado

    How can any decent American decry the Obama Economic Miracle. For example, Obama's Stimulus gave Los Angeles $111 million and that great city created 55 jobs! 55 JOBS! And no one is left out of the Master's Plan because if you weren't lucky enough to get one of those 55 jobs, you, your kids and your grandkids all get to participate when you get the bill in your taxes!

    September 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bruce

    Why is it if we disagree with this clown we are racists? Can't we dislike the man for who he is and his policies without it being turned into a racist thing? Come on people get your heads out your butts for once.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • reader123

      Bruce – I'm not responding to only your comment about why there are charges of racism against some of those who have disagreed with Obama – but to the many individuals who have raised that question.

      Not everyone who disagrees with Pr. Obama's policies are racists. I never said that and don't believe it. However, since the election, there have been many comments made about the president which are a personal attack against him and which question his parentage, his citizenship, and his patriotism. Many of those comments are racist. People seem to be disagreeing by hitting below the belt and going for the cheap shot. Some people allow their fears to control their perception of anyone who is different from them – and aren't intelligent enough to voice their dissent without calling names. As an individual over 40, I can't remember a time when party politics has descended into such vitrol and hate. You're not a racist when you disagree with the President's policies, but you are a racist when you call him Saddam Obama, or some other stupid nickname.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe average

    velma is just a liberal plant.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chewie

    A lot of comments are being made about how much obama has done. I agree and it will take years for America to get over what he has done, financially, socially. race relations wise, job creation, border security, and our leaning toward a Socialist Society are all disasters.. Boy, what a great leader.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Oates

      Always a pleasure to here the opinions of the right-wing neo-nazis.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lee Oates

    I support President Obama completely. I can understand way things are not being done as quickly as he would like. You have an enire polictical party, the Republicans, who have done everything they can to undermind everything he does to advance the nation. You have the Blue-Dogs in the Democratic party willing to do the same in order to block a blackman from succeeding. He is faced with a mess he inherited from Bush, and despite the opposition, has managed to do something positive. He is a popular president around the world and has done a great deal to restore some respect for Americans, despite themselves. I think he is one of the greatest Presidents every elected. The only conclusion I can come to is that the average American citizen is an uneducated loser, and quite frankly, really not deserving of such a great man. The fault lies with the citizens, not with the President.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obamanomics

      I think he has actually accomplished tremendous tasks, he is going down as one of the great ones.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • maljazur

      You are exactly correct. While he (nor ANY president) is perfect, he has demonstrated nothing but pure dedication, persistence, creative problem solving, compromise and strength since he took office. Despite the vitriol and narrow-mindedness he's faced by his opponents, we will all benefit from his policies and he will go down as one fo the most effective presidents in America's history.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      Yes Mr Oates, you are correct. The fault DOES lie with the "uneducated, loser" citizens; those that voted for your "greatest President every (sic) elected". And those citizens you speak of have failed (like the Democratic controlled legislature) to help him because it's their own fault.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. clark1b

    it isn't that he is lying ... it is that he only has academic worldly wisdom ... he lacks true wisdom and therefor his conclusions are all based on faulty foundations.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Curious

    Obama won the presidency based on the color of his skin, not his experience or demonstrated leadership abilities (he had none). He was nominated for (and won) the Nobel Peace Prize before he even came into office–again because of the color of his skin, not his achievements as a statesperson (there were none). Ironically, now, he's being blamed for problems that he did not cause, that were brewing long before he became president. Well, two out of three isn't bad...

    September 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      Boy was that a dumb comment. While it is true that many voted for Obama because they wanted history to show a black president, many also voted for him because they wanted a change from the previous administration. That was abundantly clear. But if Obama was voted in for artificial reasons, why was Bush voted in? God knows it couldn't be for his governing or fiscal abilities. He failed at every business he tried before the presidency. What made us think he would be a good business manager for this country?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Daniel

    I think that this should be taken as a bipartisan call – A notice to all voters; a notice to all citizens – It's time to stop relying on "Big Government" and their empty promises, and their partisan politics, and their stalemates, pork-barreling, and catering to lobbyists and special interest groups. Time to take away the sweeping endorsement, and the open check-book. They talk a big game, then whine about what they *can't* do...Then what the heck do we need them for? It's always what can't be done. Awww. Poor legislators, poor senators, poor administration...Funny how they all still get paid (and paid very well) regardless of what they "can't" do. Boo-Hoo.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Real Fred

    The Obama presidency is a failed presidency. Velma has been guzzling the Kool-Aid too long.
    His legacy will be one of bitter disappointment and disillusionment.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      The man isn't even halfway through his first term and you've already pronounced him a failure. My sense is that you came to this conclusion long before now. Gee whiz, I hope those who stand in judgment of you aren't so hasty.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obamanomics

      Your poor and premature judgment is a failure.
      let me guess, you are "Tax cuts for the Rich" and leave my Medicare alone, right?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      The rich are already paying more than their share of taxes. Why should they pay an even higher percentage than the rest. Those complaining should just get a job and pay their share.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CartBeforeTheHorse

    The short term burst of census jobs was just a small expensive vent of steam in the pressure cooker that is the lack of New sustainable permanent jobs. A lot of stimulus money went to restore an already existing job or to fire up temporary ones. Nothing has been done to take the pot off the boil. For years, there has been an ever increasing flow of jobs leaving our country. We have been continuing to lose this life blood of our nation. One of the auto makers that came for a hand out of taxpayers money stayed just long enough to get on it's feet. Then; they dumped our workers to move it's plant overseas, the ultimate outsource that was fueled by our pockets. We need to restart quality American based manufacturing industries, tax outsourcing, and put tariffs in place. It will serve the twofold purpose of generating revenue and allowing our businesses and workforce a fighting chance of survival. We need our president to focus on us in the mainstream, not the interest groups, or historic social agendas. If there are no jobs there will be no revenues.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. i report

    That women has lost her mind. If she's losing faith than thats her own problem. All that complaining a wining is not gonna fix anything. It's easy for her to say that there hasn't been enough change, she's not the one having to get laws put into place and fix all these problems. And i'm sure that Obama is trying really hard to get stuff done, but it's tuff when have other people and groups trying to hold you back. A lot of these issues were already going on before he even took office, so i don't know why people are acting as if he caused this mess. And it's probably gonna time before things get movin again. If these problems were so easy to fix Bush could have clapped his hands when he was in office and it would all be fixed, but it's not. So it's obviously gonna take time and hard work to get over these problems.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • CartBeforeTheHorse

      I haven't lost my mind nor my hope, however it is possible that President Obama will lose my vote. Since you seem so deeply convinced he cannot even introduce measures to stimulate small business and manufacturing growth. For a president who pushed health care through.....................

      September 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Godo

    What I find amusing is how people actually think that getting a college degree is going to do anything for them anymore. Anybody can get a degree now. So it means nothing.

    There was a time that you went to a job interview and out of the 10 people applying, 2 had degrees. They got the job AUTOMATICALLY. Now, all 10 have degrees. You can then say, well the advance degrees will now get the jobs. The problem here is that the jobs dont pay anything worth an advanced degree.

    A four year degree is the equivalent of a high school diploma nowadays. However, its not free. It is all about colleges, which are simply big businesses that push the idea college on the high school students. Instant debt that produces NOTHING.

    Things have to change. Online colleges are an absolute waste of time. They are seen as a joke in the business world. The best thing is that they are some times more money that a traditional college!!!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nic

      You could not be more incorrect with your comment. To say that "everyone" has a degree could not be more inacurate. You have completely disregarded the lower middle class–and well as the vast, vast majority of the lowet classes. Your comment from the start loses all weight with this comment.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
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