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. Nic

    The MAJOR problem is that Obama was never fit to be the President in the first place. He is a motivational speaker at best. His lack of experience is shinning right now.
    The best thing that will happen will be when he is out of office.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • descarado

      Obama is an empty suit. He is a bubble-headed prom queen with absolutely zero experience or accomplishment in the marketplace. Unfortunately, America's millionaire, boob bobble-heads were too busy throwing their wet underwear at him during the last election to ask him any serious questions. And people like John Harwood continue to throw their undies his way.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. muslimsuck

    I'm glad this came from a colored person because if it would have came from a white person the blacks would be crying racisium again.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      "Racisium" is that Latin?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cjr

    so vote republican and see how far that gets you. americans have to grow up. I spoke yesterday to a former co worker who works for a major corp. she says that yes she has a job however is being worked to death – her firm will not hire more people -and so those that are employed are working harder for no no raises. I have heard that from a lot of people. Corporate america ( read republican) is the problem – CEO's are hoarding profits and telling employees no raises – and reducing benefits – Republicans are the problem !

    September 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nic

      "Corp America" (Republicans) are the problem?!? Haha...
      Funny how must republicans see liberals as those looking, asking, demanding for a handout.
      Get a clue. The system being put into place and the objective of the Democratic party is in place for those looking for a hand out–not a helping hand.
      I'll take the republican capitalism objectives over Obama & his liberal drones Socialism objectives any day of the week.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      All Ceo's are Republicans?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    Jim Greer, Former Chair of the Florida Thuglicans, said it best, "I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our Party [GOP] today." @

    The GOP ~ Thuglicans!

    September 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    Jim Greer, Former Chair of the Florida Thuglicans, said it best, "I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our Party [GOP] today."

    Read it yourself,

    The GOP ~ Thuglicans!

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

    This is to "Obama the Liar" aka possibly Carl Rove, I did as you suggested and tried to research the one name you used, Allison Davis, the one who made the negative quote. What I don't understand is she apparently ( according to more than one post from newspapers , commentators) is a contributor and supporter of Barack Obama. Do you have a location where I can go directly to to find your "facts"

    You failed to provide any name(s) for the most negative quotes you posted so I might suggest as you so graciously put it to clean your own back porch and possibly use some windex on the windows to help you see better. Just kidding

    I wasn't really suprised that I couldn't find anything when I did a search to support your unnamed sources, would you recommend the Rush website or the news site named after the animal that sneaks into hen houses and queitly steals chickens?

    Sorry for mispells and typos, I was laughing when I wrote this because I thought your comments were serious, have a splended day!! LOL

    September 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Barb

    very interesting that the expectations are so much higher for the left than they are for the right. guess it is understandable since the right has the answers to everything and the solutions to nothing.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Any proof to your remarks Barb?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:52 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. Try supporting him, rather than bad-mouthing him.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      That's right, Lee, keep blaming the Republicans for pie-in-the-sky campaign promises. The Democrats had a veto proof majority in Congress and couldn't pass legislation that wasn't a lobbyist's wet dream. He may be popular around the world, but he hasn't gotten respect for the simple reason that kow-towing only earns contempt. What makes our citizens look uneducated is expressing opinions without substance to back them up, much like our President offers so-called solutions to poblems without the means to back them up (e.g. so-called health care refor that can't be paid for without bankrupting our country, or financial reform that leaves the fox in the hen house). What our President has done is promise Arpege and given us hog slop, and if you were one of the educated class, you would understand that "change" as envisioned by the President is a different country than the United States. Why support someone who ultimately doesn't believe in our country?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Oates

      Thats twisted logic based on half-truths and deliberate political spin. Try telling the truth for a change. Even the average citizen catches on eventually. Lets hope its before the next election.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

    Velma said "I want to have a card on the table that shuts the discussion and I don't have that yet."
    I think we all want that card, but when the opposition is discussing things that dont even exist (he's turning the nation into a socialist-communist-marxist govt) then what card are we supposed to have? You cant fight delusion with reality, it never works...delusional folks live in the land of make believe, and they will continually move the goal posts to suit their delusion.
    The best we can simply do is stay motivated to keep the agenda's moving forward, remain vocal so that our president, our media and our elected politicians HEAR OUR VOICES TOO...and most importantly, SHOW UP TO VOTE IN NOV!
    Nothing sends a message like sending the buttclowns of the tea party home on election day with nothing but gripes.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Jessica, come on your more intelligent then that! I mean really "buttclowns". At least put some facts instead of resorting to some childish name calling.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Jessica, why are people in the Tea Party movement buttclowns? The fact that they are tired of Washington passing legislation that can't be paid for and for passing so-called reform that protect the interests of lobbyists, all with the connivance of a President who promised change and whose adoring followers can't see that the emperor has no clothes? What does that make you?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ahlong

    I agree with Oliver Z on all of his comments. The president cannot do this by himself. We are all responsible for what happens in this country and we need to do more to help out. I think our president is doing all that he can do to get our country back on solid footing but it is going to take time. Let's stop criticizing him so much and start thinking about what we can do to help him get us out of this economic mess. We do have to start creating our own jobs and spreading the wealth among the least of our people. If we want to make this country a better place for our children and grandchildren to live and prosper then It begins and ends with us working together.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave

    Doesn't it say somethink about what the majority of people think if Velma is getting tired of defending Obama. If he was being successful, she wouldn't need to defend him so much.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh S.

    You're incorrect. Only a slight portion of student loan interest may be deductible, depending on what bracket you fall into. If you pay more than $2500 in interest per year (many grad school loans amount to 10x that amount) the rest is not deductible. It's actually a huge burden on anyone paying back responsibly. So you are taxed on an amount that is tens of thousands above your income – expenses. Agreed that people take on debt willingly, but that tidbit of tax info is not well understood.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob

    Why cant people realize that both parties had a part in economic collapse. The bubble occured during the Clinton era and Bush had to deal with that crash. The Bush era created the housing bubble which Obama is dealing with. Obama is creating the debt bubble which the next president will have to deal with. Each president just keeps passing the buck. Where my fustration lies is the lack of desire to meet in the middle for EITHER side. Only help the working class- dont steal from the rich.....etc. Unfortunatly, the president will not step up to do what is needed- tell the country EVERYONE needs to do their part, not just one part of the population. I guess my wish of a leader who takes action based on what is right, rather than what will simply get votes is just a pipe dream.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Actually, blame Democratidc Congressman Barney Frank for the housing bubble. He was instrumental in forcing banks to reduce the risk criteria to allow people who couldn't afford mortgages to be able to get them. Bush opposed it, but Congress forced it through. You can blame Bush for the lax scrutiny of financial instruments that supported such lending and ultimately caused the market collapse. But in either case, if the borrowers had been able to repay their loans, the collapse wouldn't have happened. The truth is the Democrats have more than their share of the blame for the problems we currently face. My view is through them all out and start over. Maybe a new tem will realize that they serve the people of th United States and not corporate interests.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    Looks like the card you have is a spade...

    September 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Loren

    Velma is a sad case of what happens when people put their hopes in a dream and the dream turns out to be hollow. As a Chicagoan, I know all too well about the false promises of politicians. President Obama is merely a vessel for the hopes and dreams of those who voted for him without really knowing who he was and what he believed. What we've learned and what those like Velma still refuse to believe is that President Obama is the ulimate politician, making hollow pomises that are to be paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of his constiuents. You were sold a silk purse and received a sow's ear and still you don't want to believe. While I am not a fan of the Tea Party, I am of the view that our Congress has failed miserably and they should all be retred. VOTE THEM OUT.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
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