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. Sharon Davis

    I watched this entire interview. I am very curious as to why this is the only person response highlighted for reporting. Where is the small business man who commented positively about the Obama strategies regarding the stimulus and support of small businesses? Could it be that only negative info is being shared about this interview...and why?

    September 21, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Craig

    I am not tired of defending Obama because I agree with almost everything he has done, Extending health care insurance to those who don't have it and passing a stimulus job that saved jobs and helped states save jobs were huge measures. How did we get to the deficit? Two unfunded wars, a tax cut (the first time ever taxes were cut during a war!), and other spending increases during the Bush administration. Remember (although I supported it), TARP was a Bush program.

    Obama continues to provide principled leadership, and that is what I want in a President.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Yes ... he has done a lot and you forgive a lot as well.... He calls the Cambridge Mass. police stupid, He blames the republican party for all his parties failures, he ignores the initial phases of the gulf oil problem, he ignores jobs in favor of health care and wall street reform, he ignores jobs needed now in favor of creating new tech jobs where the infrastructure does not exist to support them.

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

      If what he was doing was working there would be no need for a defense. Thats what criminals get when accused of a crime – a defense lawyer.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Paulie

    half-minute man: I see so the USA should just let countries leaders run rampant until they grow powerful enough to invade and enslave others is that it? Since when dont democrats believe in spreading freedom and democracy? Imagine if we did nothing during World War 2. Idiot. Maybe you wouldnt even have been born.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. Labad

    It seems we have turned in to a country of old grumpy pessimists.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    I love Velmas comment that the president is all talk .... Remember if you talk the talk ... you gotta walk the walk .... People in this country are suffering from a delusion that the president runs it all and that is not true. Even our president seems to think he runs it all.... look to the legislature for problems ... they create the laws ... the president is 1 person and there is no way he can read the hundeds of thousands of pages of each law he signs. He has to rely on congress to "advertise" whats in it. That being said ... I don't like this presidents policies, they are devisive and polarizing.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Doug

    You are right Bill but till this day a majority of Democrats in America still blame Bush for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

    Typical morning in a Democrat househeld: " oh no I'm gonna be late for work again, that Damn George W. Bush hid the garage door opener again, what a nazi!!!!"

    September 21, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • William Bergmann

      Your response sounds like it was scripted at FoxNews.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Benjamin Lonetree

    We had an entire generation where everyone went to college. Now things have changed and that generation will end up working at Starbucks. I know more then one already doing this. Americas focus on college has created an extreme shortage of skilled trades. But what the heck a peice of paper to hang in your office is more important. I am a lead engineer in charge of many including a large maintenance department. When I hire I will hire someone with street smarts and years of experience over any degree. I am not advocating not going to college but a degree is meaningless to me. If your good your good. Degree or no degree.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew Smith

      very good post. Folks, there are jobs, just not ones our workforce is trained for. Pick up any major metro newspaper and then tell me there are no jobs! Right now in my company, there are roles that are not being filled by empoyees whose roles are being significantly changed, and / or eliminated because there is a resistance to re-tool. We have to start changing the way we think about work.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. CNS

    It is truly sad how ignorant most of these comments are.
    1. The reason most people think Obama is all talk and no action is because his actions are completely opposite of his talk. The whole reason for the health care bill was to reduce health care costs, right? Well, nothing in the bill even relates to reducing the cost of health care. In fact, it was proven to increase the cost of the health care before it was even passed through skyrocketing insurance premiums.
    2. I do believe Obama has a plan, the problem is that he has not made any effort to communicate that plan to America. That act in itself, gives reason for Americans to wonder what the heck he has in mind for our country. The situation is not helped by the fact that Obama's actions align his plan very closely to the plans of other socialist dictators.
    3. Republicans did not cause the economic collapse. In fact, most of the economic bubbles that collapsed leading to the recession began decades ago. Obama has not stopped the hemmorhaging of jobs nor has he lowered unemployment as some above claim. In fact, Obama does not even use actual economic measurements to determine his "jobs created" numbers. There is no such category as "jobs created or saved", which is the number Obama touts as his contribution to unemployment. Obama has also caused many employers to freeze hiring or cut back employees further due to the extreme cost of the health care bill on businesses. Of course, this is all just fear-mongering so why believe economics?

    September 21, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. AC

    Its easy to defend the President, he does not run the country! It is the beuracracy! You go on national television and give fodder for all the conservaties, THINK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOU MOUTH. They will be playing these clips all through the election. Its amazing how these educated bumpkins react for a few minutes of air time. The President is doing a fine job, however, the other half want there country back. That's code for 'We want it back from the black people, mexicans people and all others of color' Right on Bill Maher!

    September 21, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joseph

    I am one man, with one vote. I will not cast it for the President or his supporters. I do not need to belabor the point with tiresome rhetoric or hyperbole. The President has lost my vote.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. LMNGUY

    Obama is a terrible president. and if u think otherwise, then u are stupid~!!!
    the late response to oil spill, telling our enemies when we are leaving iraq, extending friendship to those who DEF want to kill us and our families, his comments on the islamic mosque at ground zero.
    He is an islamic butt kisser and has hidden agenda's. u want mosques on every street in america?
    then follow Mr do nothing himself. he is weak and we will suffer for it.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • unretired05

      Iraq is like pouring money into a rat hole. Are you blaming Obama for that? If you expect BP to pay for the oil spill then don't try to tell them how to fix it. After all they should be the experts not the government. The Taliban just sits back and watches the money flow out of the US into the war effort. They are putting us deeper into debt and that is what they want. The deficit grows under Obama as it did under Bush. Clinton left he left a surplus that Bush wasted.

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

    Uh, guys, Ask yourselves. How long can we maintain trillion dollars plus deficit spending? You guys blast Bush and the Repubs for their spending, rightfully so, but Obama looks to match Bush's eight year debtload WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR. If Unemployment is going down, HOW COME IT WENT UP LAST MONTH? If he is such a great leader, and his policies are so wonderful, then how come the Dems are fighting for their political lives? Go ahead and blame Beck, Hannity and LImbaugh (Don't forget FOX) The people are looking at THEIR OWN SITUATION AND REALIZING THEY ARE NOT DOING BETTER LIKE THEY WERE PROMISED!!

    September 21, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike Distance

    Bottom line: Obama is bad for America. Democrats are bad for America.

    If McCain/Palin were elected in office instead, there wouldn't have been any bailouts, unemployment would be at 3% or below, our borders would be protected and we would definitely not cut and run out of Iraq like Obama is doing. Of course you won't hear any of these truths in the liberal biased media.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Inil

    I wish CNN would play the response President Obama made to the people asking questions instead of just showing the people asking the questions. It is one sided on TV and the viewers should see his answers to the questions posed.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. LauraV

    @Tanya – Why in the world would you type that statement?

    Tanya writes: Obama, I am African American and I voted for you. We trusted you.... I will never vote for you again!!!!!!!!!!!! That's IT!

    You voted for him because he's African American? Come on. That's what's wrong with people today. All they see is color, not policies. I'm not saying all, but many did. Many people, also, bought into the "Yes, we can!" slogan. No, one person should ever put their trust in a politician. I would hope next time, the American voter looks at a candidate's voting record, or background before voting that person into office.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
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