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. Fred

    Oh, so she's like Obama. SHUT UP AMERICA. Stop talking, debating, do what we say! Your voice doesn't matter. Do SOMETHING even if it's wrong.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ed regarding who did it? who shot America?

    President Bush W aka BiWi-diddy
    Vice-President Cheney aka Che-diddy aka Buckshot

    President Obama aka OBi-diddy aka drone daddy
    Vice-President Biden aka Lil B-diddy

    And yo boyz in the House of Sen-nizzle and the House of Repre-nizzle

    September 21, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Patty

    And who don't my comments show up!!!! Censorship??

    September 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Patty

    Oh sure, they post the one that says NOTHING! I'll try to keep it simple then. Obama is a disgrace to our country. I've listed the many reasons but they won't print it. So, the dumb just keep getting dumber.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. junglejim123

    The Obamabots will investigate this poor woman and set out to destroy her like they did to Joe the Plumber for speaking the truth. Thank you Velma spoke eloquently and with conviction. We were hoping that it would rattle Obama but he views Americans as the problem. He did finally go to church though..on the day a sermon was being conduted by a radical Palestinian . ..... his LOYALTY TO THEM KNOWS NO END BUT TO AMERICANS LIKE YOU AND ME VELMA...HES DEAF.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. john

    What we are not talking about is how all these government solutions inacted are outrageously costly to taxpayors and have just created the largest debt in the history of this country...all for a meager recovery. They were cost inefficient. Paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for each job saved/created. We must understand government's limitations and inefficiencies. I know the president is trying to help the country but his ideology forces mostly big government solutions. Sometimes things have to correct themselves too (like the housing market). Healthcare should not have been passed last year, same with all the energy on cap & trade. We needed to encourage growth in the private sector. In 2009, they should have suspended payrol taxes and enacted various business tax incentives, including tax breaks for companies who don't export jobs out of the country. We need to make the U.S. more attractive as a place people start businesses, which bring us all jobs.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cory

      The US will never be more attractive to start businesses over China or Asia. When you can face this fact, you can conquer it. We don't need more tax breaks for existing poor or middle class people to save a thousand dollars, while the rich save millions. We need stronger reforms that punish existing companies for shipping jobs overseas,but keep jobs here a viable option. We also need to send a strong message to the banks that this country is not run by financial products and debt, and their greed will not be tolerated. When that is done, you put in policies that raise the wage gap and income divide to pre 80s levels where it should be already.

      When a country is as close to equal as possible in all facets of life, that country will thrive for an eternity. Things were so good when you were a kid because of policies set up by great men to make life more fair and accessible to as many as possible. Was it perfect, no. Did it need to be improved upon, yes. Did it work, you bet your behind it did. The reason you could go to school and work and buy a car and a house was because of people like FDR, not Reagan or the Bush family or even Clinton. When more people can acknowledge this, then we can fix our country.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cory

    There is a huge student loan problem. First of all,any society that forces people into debt to achieve a higher education is a failing society. As is seen now default rates are sky high and continuing to rocket upwards, myself included. Simply working full or part-time is not always possible either, so people need to get that idea out of their heads. Also, most of us do work part-time or full-time and attend school and we are still in heavy debt. I worked two part-time jobs for years and still had to take out 40k in loans for a public university. The biggest problem right now, is that we think it is ok to put people into debt to become better in life. It is not. No one deserves to be an indentured servant, and just because you had debt, that doesn't mean everyone else should. I would not wish my life on anyone. Poor or middle class, there are no affordable methods to schooling for most of us. So we either change how we look at degrees, or we change how we charge for them. Also, some protection would be wonderful. Most of us are under a mountain of debt, not because we are so irresponsible as all the idiots claim, on the contrary it is because the banks decided to take a policy and run it dry, crashing the economy. You can't pay down debts w/o a job, you can't get a job w/o good credit that allows you to pay them in a timely manner. So how then can you live at all in this country? McDonald won't hire college grads, so living paycheck to paycheck at a low-end job is not an answer at all, yet people make it seem it is THE answer.

    The answer is offer bankruptcy and structured settlements that allow the current defaulters a chance to get out from under their debt in a responsible manner, including but not limited to things such as: community service, volunteering, etc. At least then the whiners can't complain they got off free. Either way, something needs to be done. No one in the "greatest" country in the world should have to live a life comparable to a third world country just because he or she wanted to learn more, and I would like to think every fellow American would believe the same, but I am losing faith.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Confused

    In my honest opinion one of our main shortcomings in this once great country is not that we believe in capatalism it's that for far too long Universities have been teaching that the primary goal in marketing and business is that profits trump all else period. At some point in time people have confused this business philosophy with greed. Corporate America is no longer interested in just turning a profit, they are interested in making that profit at the expense of all else, employees, community stability, and the continued succes of the United States. There is no logical reason why American corporations would have managers lay off thousands of employees and then receive bonus checks for doing it. Greed has many names "down sizing, " Lean Manufacturing" "Re-Structuring" but in the end it is still greed. If any of my fellow Americans are confused about this then ask yourself this question if Corporate America could use slave labor starting tomarrow morning would they? Of course they would because it woulds be another method of increasing profit. Why do you think manufacturing moved from the Northern U.S sector to the South? Unions demanded a living wage and cut into Corporate profit, the Soith has been historically Anti-Union and will work for less pay, Then that Southern 12 dollar an hour job went to Mexico along with Tax breaks for the companies and other incentives to pay Mexican labor 1.98 an hour, but apparently even that was to much for corporations to pay employees so they moved the manufacturing to china, God only knows what a communist govt. (China) requires another countries employers to pays its employees, I can guarentee its less that the poverty wages of 1.98 in Mexico. My Engineering job paid 65,000+ a year in Virginia, when it went to Mexico it was only worth 16,000 a year. Did the price of the product decrease for you the consumer? no it actually increased as did the bonus checks and the profit of the corporation and those who held onto thier jobs at the very top of my former company. If your curious about this being something new to the United States all you need to do is go back to the late 1800's early 1900's and read about American society, we are only repeating history. Anti Union Corporations, a huge gap between the struggling working poor and a smaller (2%) who have amassed not only fortunes but have stripped much of the working cash from all other segments of our society. Where are we headed next? Open your history books and see where we ended up at the end of the 1920's. We had mega rich and we had the majority of the american citizens trying to survive on a day to day basis. For all of you who hate history the one thing you should always remember about history is it always repeats. Thats not a theory or some made up factoid like the ones posted on her that my fellow Americans is a "fact." The company was Technicolor and it closed its manufacturing of DVD's and compact discs in Virgina, Illinois (TUMS), as well as Camarillo, Calif, Wales, Ireland, Luxumberg, etc. etc. It's discs are now manufactured in China and Mexico where all of its equipment was located. If it wasn't about greed then why would they shut down the most profitable plant in Virginia first. Technicolors plant closings can be verified on the internet just type in the name and the state. Are you paying less money for your discs that you were before? I didn't think so. Thousands of Technicolors skilled workers lost their jobs and went in many different directions, most never found jobs that paid as well. Does that sound familiar to more than 8 million of my fellow Americans, it should.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cory

      I could not agree with you more. It is hard to convince people of this when there is so many form of propaganda that promote businesses. In my generation, I grew up listening to the mantras that businesses are good and people are evil. Along with that was the " poor people are poor because they don't work as hard as others and they deserve it" mantra. All of our problems started with electing people in the 80s that should never have been there. I know people will disagree with me, and may get offended, but admit it, anyone supporting big government,military and business at the expense of society is a fascist. Sorry to say but it is true.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Starfleet

    Velma said that she is a Chief Financial Officer for “American Vets” Velma said that she is exhausted with defending the President then tells him that she has two children in private school.

    She and her husband are both employed no doubt with health insurance. She didn’t say that she was in financial trouble or that her home is on the verge of being foreclosed on. Velma appears to be sincere and well educated women.

    If Velma is exhausted with “defending” the President I can only wonder what her state of energy would be if she and her husband were unemployed with two children in the public school system.

    Velma would have a little more credibility if she had acknowledged many of the Presidents accomplishments considering that the US House & Senate are the ones that vote on legislation.

    Regarding the young man that wanted the President to wave a wand to make his student loans go away. He should take responsibility for making his own decisions regarding financing his education. He did not say that he was willing to look for a job outside of his field of study until things improve.

    Since it took just over 10 years to dig this whole that all of us are in…reasonable people would agree that it will take far more than two years for this crisis situation to stabilize first before everything that is broken can be fixed.

    Basically, If I had Velma’s hand… I would gladly toss my hand in.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. New York

    "Man cannot live by bread alone." Progress cannot come by President Obama alone. Everyone needs to contribute, lately the country is filled with naysayers that are reaping the benefits of recent policies yet speak against progress. We need to stand behind our President and each do our part instead of complaining and waiting for some miracle, this is not a movie its real life. Get with it or get lost.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obamanomics

      Agreed, he can not do it by himself, he does not write laws, he proposes and lawmakers debate it, he is not a one man band.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • geez

      So are you saying the it is as much Obamas, Reid and Pelosi's fault that were are the mess we are in as it is Bush's?

      September 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obamanomics

      What I am saying is that is a collective effort.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • geez

      Right, so not only are the plus collective but the minus' too.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cecelia henshaw

    Hopefully, Velma, who is not in nearly the terrible situation that many other americans are in, feels a little better now that she has hit the "TALK SHOW" circuit and gained her 15 minutes of fame. (Did she go on Fox yet???). She will. Hip, hip horaay Velma. Now please go sit down and let this man help to move us forward. And we have got to help him help us. Not just sit around and complain. If you can, reach out and touch someone else's life in some small way. We are americans. Let's get moving. HELP OUT PRESIDENT AND HELP OURSELVES. GET MOVING PEOPLE.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Will

    Sad. Actually, every Obama supporter is always defending him because Conservatives are going to every length, including lies, distorted facts, false accusations, fright, bigotry, hatred, etc...) in order have things their way, again. (Look where Conservatives got us last time: 1) a war without the U.S. public or the UN's approval AND biased support, 2) tax cuts for big biz and the rich which led us right into the double recession we're in now, and 3) unemployment is still near 10% while I personally have been unable to find work.) If the Right were in power, now...America would be in MUCH worse shape. And just watch...America WILL be in much worse shape as soon as the Right has a majority, again. God help us from the Right's insanity.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • geez

      None of those things were done by Conservatives...

      September 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      You are right, they were done by fascists starting in the 80s not the 2000s.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • geez

      try 70's

      September 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Obama the Liar

    -Curious For ripping on my post, you sure do spew alot of unsupported rhetoic / remember the back porch suggestion I gave.

    "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)."

    September 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cory

      Name one politician that is qualified to lead anything. You can't. No politician in the history of man is ever "qualified" to lead anyone or anything. That holds true today especially. Today's leaders are no more of a great man than a pig is a cow. If they were true leaders, they wouldn't abandon their people for riches and power. They are all in one shape or another, greedy pigs, that need their food cut off.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Bergmann

      All of what you say has an element of truth to it. So what. Why do you throw around "liar" so easily? Did you do that when Bush was in office?

      Cory, who responded in a completely infantile manner, should be limited to Captain Kangaroo's site.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Obama the Liar

    -Curious Also you didn't research very hard it seems. Chicago Annenberg Challenge read up on it for starters. Independent audit was done.. but hey just because you can find it on the internet doesn't mean its true right? Like you said, the world is flat. Unless its YOUR opinion of course.

    September 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    God bless President Obama and please protect him from the evil Right who are simply a group of archaic-governing, pro-big business, ANTI-environmental, ANTI-middle class, ANTI-poor, and quite honestly...the Right is where 99% of all bigots and racists politically place themselves. The brilliance of President Obama and his administration are being clouded by the cry-baby Right who are always distorting facts and the truth in order to regain their power...and, at the same time, will set our country back another 50 years. AMERICA, WAKE UP AND SEE THE CONSERVATIVES FOR WHAT THEY ARE: SELFISH, ARCHAIC-THINKING, ANTI-MIDDLE CLASS, ANTI-SCIENCE AND PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT, ANTI-ENVIRONMENTALIST, AND WORST OF ALL...THEY ARE PRO-FOSSIL FUEL. (The Right STILL refuses to accept the fact that global warming is here to stay and is killing our planet)

    September 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • No more Taxes

      Wake up already!! When you mention savior, are you referring to the Trillions of dollars in debt that this democratic congress is putting our country into? Obama has been so busy trying to push through his agenda, he has worked hard enough on the number 1 topic and that is the economy. Just keep blaming Bush is his strategy.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
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