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. Cynic

    Obama has been bought and sold like all the presidents have been for the past 40 years. Do you really think that Obama gives a damn about you? No, he is part of the elite ruling class, and they have loyalty to no one but the rich and their own. Anyone caring too much for the American people and their interests would never have the opportunity to be president. The people who really rule this country wouldn't give them the chance.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |

      Finally, someone in there right mind. I have been reading all of this far left and far right banter and all for the most part is garbage.
      Cynic, you hit the nail on the head! In the end they are all out for themselves and could give a damn about the common man. EVERY politician is self centered and unless you are the same, never expect to hold office. That is what this country needs, to clean house of career politicians. Put the common man/woman in charge!

      September 21, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Reagan Did it

    All the economic stress we have been dealing with the past 3 years is all from Reagan and his deregulation. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool. Reagan was a horrible president, much worse than Carter actually.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      Regulation just stifles. It's not about more regulation, it's about regulating what we currently have. There were regulations already in place, yet Madoff still screwed many...THE REGULATOR (SEC) CHOSE NOT TO REGULATE.

      In 2004, the Democrats blocked the regulator of Fannie and Freddie Mac and denied his report to go to the floor of the Congress to create another committee (increased regulation on Fannie and Freddie) and it was filibustered.

      So it's not about MORE REGULATION, it's about just regulating what's currently on the books.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Reagan Did it

      Wrong. Regulation is what pulled out economy out of the Great Depression and kept us out for 50 years. An unregulated economy is dangerous because it depends on the few not taking more than their fair share which is exactly why we saw massive bubbles form everywhere. Greed in moderation is good for the economy but too much greed is very very bad for it. The problem is without regulation you cannot keep greed in proper check. Anyone who argues otherwise is a fool or a vampire.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Reagan Did it

      ps- Reagans deregulations are why you see these huge too big to fail companies and banks. Reagan was a fool. Voodoo economics and trickle down bleed you to death economics.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cynical Randy

    Obama is the nutless monkey Tom Cruise referred to in Tropical Thunder. He's inexperienced, ignorant, lost without his handlers. He's almost GOT to be a stooge of Daly's Chicago Politcal Machine since we can't explain his meteoric rise any other way. I knew a lot of the 40% who do vote were easily misled mouth breathers, but this one just stuns me. I hope the Great Socialism Experiment is over, because Obama is DONE in 2012 and continues to make Jimmy Carter look good!!

    September 21, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Bailing out the rich and powerful is hardly a socialist experiment. The rich have received much more from Obama than than the poor and middle class. Obama actually took a hard step to the right as far as I'm concerned. A true socialist experiment would have taken private corporations from the rich and turned them over to the workers, certainly that has not happened. The problem is, nobody understands what socialism is; for most people against Obama it is just a slander word they heard on FOX news.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. craig

    It is true that the Bush administration got us here...but the Obama administration raised the debt TRILLIONS of dollars. So what our economy is getting better, we are in debt up to our eyeballs. The GDP is not even enough to cover the interest. Sorry but seriously this is not a small thing. We can point fingers all we want, the American people, all of us were a part of this, we elected bush, we elected Obama, it does not matter, both have toppled the country into out of control debt. It will be our undoing. At least our way of life lasted a couple hundred years, too bad that it is truly threatened now.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Reagan Did it

      Where do you think our economy and dollar would be if Obama didnt do the bailout and watched as our entire economy and dollar collapsed? You would be burning your money to keep warm. I mean literally.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    I supported Obama, and although I don't think he has done a horrible job, I am very disapointed in some aspects of his job.

    He ran on a campaine of change, it's going to be different, well in many ways it's the same old game, very little to no transparency, ear marks still rampant, big business still running the show!

    Same as Bush, same as other Prez before him... they put industry lobbyist in power positions that make decisions based upon what's in the best interest of the industry, not the people... I'm sorry but that is not exactly how Government was intended.

    Until that is addressed, I will continue to be unhappy with the utter lack of change.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bill Wildhage

    I have to agree I am having a hard time defending The President anymore. I realize he was thrown a massive curve ball when he got into office. Much like Bush with 9/11. But while I THINK it was important to bail everybody out I have some reservations. Particularly when the main issue is jobs. It is the APPEARANCE of saving the banks so they could give out bonuses with tax money with no consequences from the Whitehouse other than rhetoric that bothers me. And then the banks hold back lending money to small businesses. The President needed to work on jobs right after the banks. Make them lend money. Forget the Middle East. Let them fend for themselves. They don't want to settle anyway. Straigthen out things at home! Get people working again. Then the support for other things will reappear.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • jermaine jones

      Bill you say the president should have worked on jobs. I find that hard to believe because most of the jobs where lost in the private sector. If you have not realized this was caused by a few big banks and a few other things. But really think about what you are saying. If you have not realized most of the jobs that where lost in financial sector have been replaced and then some. So the banks cripple the country, they fire, they hire and everyone else is left to fend for itself. No one was complaining whent he money was flowing. I am not saying the government should not help but what you want the government to create more jobs that would actually lead to socializm which I am all for, but most people are not. Just like asked someone list me 5 ways you believe the government could create jobs. I don't give that change regulations crap so business will hire. As you see the banks are already finding ways around the financial reform like now they want to starting charging a fee for going below minium balance in your checking account.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JOE

      could someone here tell me who they think would has fix all problems we face in less time? and get this country back to run the way it use to be.. I feel that this PRESIDENT is doing a great job for only just 18 months in office . I feel if you or your family are in debt, losing your house, Job, Car that your problem not the country or the president problem. Taking out huge loans and payment you cant afford its part of the things that got us in this mess in the first place. Stop cry-ing and saying the president is not doing nothing for us and go out there and get it for your-self………….

      September 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Landon

    Clinton was more conservative than Reagan, lol. Where have you from?

    September 21, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Reagan Did it

      Its fact. Id aruge it and throw some stats at you but I doubt you are intelligent or educated enough to understand them. It is 100% true however. Clinton was a Conservative far more than Reagan was. Reagan was a bloated money burner whos only goal as a President was to give more money to the rich. This is beyond dispute if you know what you are talking about. He foolishly wasted money. PS The Soviet Union was about to collapse long before Reagan ever even got elected.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. bd80


    REally. You think working and going to school at night works, sonny? How are you going to go to medical school, for instance, and work full time. I think you need the education. Ignorance is bliss.

    Respectfully yours...

    September 21, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Matthew Smith

    I also find it interesting the number of people who claim that economic ruin is the province of this current administration when just over two years ago those same people were silent as a 'church mouse' as they watched their home values plummet and jobs vanish into thin air. And some of these people claim to be arbitors of or have a monopoly on the truth, which I do not. I do, however, see road crews working, restoring our infrastructure and incentives being created for businesses who create jobs here. I have also seen my home value at least stop falling and start to regain some of what was lost. It is sad that most of these people support the very people who driven by greed and the bottom line sent our jobs abroad tens of thousands at a time to line their pockets and those of their shareholders. I'm not saying that they did anything wrong, since I would gladly do the same given the opportunity, my problem happens when those same people co-opt a political party to gain advantage when they only represent a small percentage of the overall population. I believe in the free market, but not absolutely, there are always exceptions and some would have us believe that anything goes. Those folks are no longer in power and they are fighting tooth-and-nail to regain that sway...and anything goes.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. JO

    Personally, I am just tired of them all. A question gets asked and we NEVER get a straigt answer from any politician not just the president. All lies and smoke screens, just ask Nancy "you will find out what is in the health care bill AFTER we pass it".......translation: The American People are too stupid to understand or make decisions, so were going to do it for you..........

    September 21, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew Smith

      Which is why we have to stop treating the government like it is some 'boogyman' that we can't control. We do have control, with informed voting and civic action. The one thing everybody should have learned from Obama was his use of technology...the internet and social media. With current resources, we all have a voice! We should not waste it parroting what we heard some entertainer tell us the day before. We should not waste the opportunity to engage with other patriots who love this country to come up with solutions. We should all be striving to find out what will actually help the majority of us and ask those who represent us for whatever that is...and if they don't comply, find someone who will by voting that person out. That's called taking control of our government, which we can do at any time. Any fool can tell you what they think is wrong, or what or who they don't takes a Great American to swallow his / her pride and talk to other Americans and create real solutions.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Madman09

    LOL. MFW even Obama's supporters are tired of carrying his spend thrift a$$. People weren't supporting Obama, they were just defending their misplaced hope and dreams. They say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one, democrats are extremely buthurt, and now they'll vote for republicans, and the world will still be dumb.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. LoganwWon

    I think obama is the wirst president we have ever elected. He does not have what it takes to lead.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • jermaine jones

      maybe you should learn how to spell before you can call anyone the "wirst" it's simpletons like you who get out here and vote for the tea party candidate. You see you have a bright future regardless of what president is in office and regardless if OBama creates or does not create jobs!

      September 21, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You are what we call 'Gene Pool Failure'

      September 21, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • JZ

      Not saying I agree or disagree with LoganwWon but I love when people don’t have much of an argument back so they just comment on someone’s obvious typo. Considering the “i” is right next to the “o”. But hey were Americans we have to attack anyone who has a different opinion.

      And Jermaine, your grammar isn’t too great either; didn’t capitalize “maybe” at the beginning of the sentence; missing period after “wirst” and pretty sure first 2 letters in Obama’s name are not capitalized.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Matthew Smith

    Obama is not perfect, and I have no expectation that any POTUS is or will be, but I won't engage in being an obstructionist just to promote my 'party' or those who claim to be conservatives. Being a conservative is how you live your life every day and not just the words you say!

    September 21, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. TBates

    Forget the fact that people aren't able to work, that Gitmo is still open, that the War in Afghan has been escalated, that his admin is suing AZ for doing his job, that 1 trillion was wasted for stimulus, that the Helath Care Bill won't save any money, it's all OKay. Gays will be proud, unions got their payoffs, Illegal aliens could be given amnesty, and the middle class is getting screwed again. The Harvard elitists say we are doing just fine. Just ask them.......

    September 21, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen Bibb

    My 2 Cents: You know folks; the president is 1 man. He has to work with a bunch of lobbist / corporate controlled lawmakers every day. It is difficult to get ANYTHING done when you are the President. The changes that he has made are a foundation and he knew working to make these changes was not going to be easy and not perfect. I personnally do not blame this President for the slow recovery. I blame the lawmakers on both sides of the isle. Mainly I blame the Republicans for refusing to help this president and trying to undermine everything he has been trying to do to help the american people. Somehow I find it very amazing the trust many have in the idea of giving control back to the Republicans to fix the economy. They are going to give the corporations everything they want and you want to believe the corporations are going to create more jobs. They are busy shipping as many jobs as they can overseas and that will continue and not change if we allow the Republicans to take control of congress. You look at what Bill Clinton did and if we give this President time he will reduce the deficit and bring us out of this recession. You look at just before WWII and we were in a depression and the government was broke and there was a very high deficit. Then WWII hit and how did we pay for WWII? Did you forget? We BORROWED massive amounts of money from the Federal Reserve and the government took control of just about everything to pay for the war. In the process this created millions of jobs and where did the deficit go? Did you ever get a bill for WWII deficit? So this bull crap about leveraging our kids future over this deficit is a bunch of nonsense and political manuvering. I believe the President had his way he would probably roll 2 more trillion dollar out of the federal reserve to get this economy rolling. I also believe that if we were able to put enough people back to work the deficit would go away. The answer is getting people back to work but you can't do that unless you find a way to jump start the economy with creating jobs. With enough people back to work; the deficit will go away just like it did after WWII and just like it did when Clinton helped create thousands of jobs. You don't have to raise or cut taxes with more people working. The increase in employment automatically increases the tax base. Oh yea it was Clinton that raised taxes on the rich which was a good idea. We should not allow the tax breaks for the rich to continue. That is what happened during WWII. Everybody knows this and so does every economist. This is not brain surgery or rocket science. The Republicans will block any measure this president tries to put forth to get more jobs created. They don't support him because they don't want him re-elected. I will vote for him the next time regardless of what anybody thinks. As far as I am concerned he is one of the best Presidents this country has ever had.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
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