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« Keith Olbermann Responds To Accusations He Smeared Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (VIDEO) | Main | Dick Bove: Citigroup Is A SELL & The Obama Bank Tax Is 'Venezuela-Style Expropriation' »

Obama Discusses The Message Of Massachusetts, Healthcare Reform, Bailouts & Voter Anger

ABC Video: Obama interview with George Stephanopoulos -- January 20, 2010


STEPHANOPOULOS: So you saw it coming by then?

OBAMA: By that time, we did. And here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country.

The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.

People are angry, and they're frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years.

You've got really hard-working folks all across the country, who have seen their wages flat line and their incomes flat line.

They feel more secure than ever. Then suddenly you've got this bank crisis in which their 401Ks are evaporating, their home values -- their single-biggest investment -- is collapsing.

And here in Washington -- from their perspective -- the only thing that happens is that we bail out the banks.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're in charge, now.

OBAMA: No -- well -- absolutely. No, keep in mind the point that I'm making here.

It was the right thing to do for us to salvage the financial system, and I make no apologies for that, at all. But we knew at the time how politically toxic that was.

What it gave people a sense of is, "We're spending all this money, but I'm not getting any help."

And, "Gosh -- I wanted Obama to come in there to start making sure that I was getting help; not the big special-interest and the institutions."

Now if I tell them, "Well, it turns out that we will actually have gotten TARP paid back and that we're going to make sure that a fee's imposed on the big banks, so that this thing will cost taxpayers not a dime," that's helpful. But it doesn't eliminate the sense that their voices aren't heard, and that institutions are betraying them.

And I think that's been expressing itself all year. And they've gotten increasingly frustrated over the course of the year.

So I take complete responsibility for the fact that -- A -- we had to salvage a financial system that could have made things much worse. We had to take the steps that we did at the beginning of the year, in order to stabilize the economy.

And I am actually glad to see that the economy's now growing again, and we have the prospect of a much better economy in 2010. But that doesn't negate the anger and the frustration that people are feeling.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But a lot of the Republicans say that the anger goes beyond the bailout. The financial bailout.

I was talking to Michael Steele this morning -- the Republican National Committee Chair. He says it's repudiation of your entire agenda.

OBAMA: Well, I think if he's suggesting the people voted against credit-card reform, so that credit card companies can't take advantage of people, or prevention of housing fraud reform, or that they were voting against national service, or they were voting against the 4 million children who have health insurance now because of the steps that we've taken... I don't think that's a plausible point.


Read the complete transcript at ABC News  >>





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Reader Comments (25)

Jan 21, 2010 at 4:11 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

Exclusive: President Obama Says Voter Anger, Frustration Key to Republican Victory in Massachusetts Senate

Obama to Senate: Don't 'Jam' Through Health Care Until Brown Seated
Jan 21, 2010 at 4:13 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Can you hear us now?

(Have you seen the SNL Obama?): Nope!
Jan 21, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Sorry, that^ was totally unclear. What I meant was if you've seen the SNL Obama, then you've heard him say "Nope!" in response to questions like that. And I think that's your answer. What BHO is doing now is more of the same -- pretending to "get it" and then doing nothing much about it.

But we'll see. Maybe he can be our patsy for a change.
Jan 21, 2010 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
I thought this was interesting re the announcement on size and prop trading by banks:

"News of the announcement came shortly after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had a private dinner Wednesday night with chief executives from some of the top Wall Street banks."

This is why I'm totally skeptical of anything significant happening. I couldn't believe that they would suddenly decide to actually do something in the way of regulation as a knee-jerk response to Brown's victory -- WITHOUT filling the banks in first.

This dinner meeting would not have been enough time to help the banks prepare for the coming announcement, so I assume it was just a nice little dinner to say, "Hey guys, don't worry. This is just campaign rhetoric. You know, like Canada and the trade agreements."

Thanks, Timmy!
Jan 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
A lot of people don't think Scott Brown won the Massachusetts senate seat but think, instead, that Martha Coakley lost it.

And they think that Sarah Palin, and not John McCain, lost the Presidential election to Barack Obama.

It's interesting that the first person Brown will talk to in Washington is John McCain.

John McCain who came from a privileged background (his father was the commander the Pacific fleet during the Vietnam war), ran with Sarah Palin for populist ballast, against two populists but his political ship careened off course badly.

American politics is still about advertising and the marketing of images, not about substantive issues. It is still controlled by corporate interests and, even so, is in gridlock all over the country, at the local, state and federal level.

As a result we have an enormous number of pretty, ex-football players and beauty queen Republican and Democrat actors in office. Their ambition seems to be to retire from politics wealthy, and to build political dynasties

It's odd that the populists either can't, or don't want to, preserve America as a country of equality of opportunity, the very thing that made it possible for them to succeed.
Jan 21, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
Obama is KILLING business! The stock market is crashing right now on this idiots policies. Obama is anti business, anti profit, anti capital. Obama stinks! puke on Obama!
Jan 21, 2010 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSell Short
By: James_Quinn

What we've got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can't reach...
So, you get what we had here last week,
Which is the way he wants it !
Well, he gets it !

Jan 21, 2010 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Populism is a political philosophy urging social and political system change that favors "the people" ( the majority) over "the elites" ( the minority), or favors the common people over the rich and wealthy corporations.

John McCain was no Populist, he was in the pocket of the banksters long before his service to our nation as a member of the Keating 5.

We would like to preserve America as a country of equality of opportunity, but it is next to impossible to break the elite herds, and the true majority seem to be uninterested in their nation through their disinterest in things as simple as voting. It will have to get a lot worse before the majority will awaken.

Brown is meeting with McCain for one reason, he must get saddled up to the feed trough fast, for his next election is right around the corner.

Brown is a message to Washinton for sure, but he is no savior, the game is still played by the same rules as before.
Jan 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Obama has already proven himself to be a lying piece of shit over & over again, so the question then becomes; why even bother listening to this dirtbag and who gives a flying f%ck about ANYTHING he has to say?
Jan 21, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRecoverylessRecovery
I never heard Brown say...Yes We Can. Brown's supporters might have shouted that but hey, can you blame them.

Obama believes Brown won for the same reasons he won. Was that the blame Bush message or the change we can believe in message? I didn’t see Oprah crying.
Jan 21, 2010 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergobias
So much for Brown sending a message to Washington.. The Thune amendment, which would have stopped the Treasury from extending the TARP program, was rejected today. 13 Ds joined the 40 Rs to end the TARP bailout, but it needed 60. It was the usual suspects who voted to keep the rotating slush fund for bank bailouts...

Jan 21, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterallie
james H wrote:

This is why I'm totally skeptical of anything significant happening. I couldn't believe that they would suddenly decide to actually do something in the way of regulation as a knee-jerk response to Brown's victory -- WITHOUT filling the banks in first.

This dinner meeting would not have been enough time to help the banks prepare for the coming announcement, so I assume it was just a nice little dinner to say, "Hey guys, don't worry. This is just campaign rhetoric. You know, like Canada and the trade agreements."


and it looks like someone who was there is leaking tim's thoughts to the media...read this...


Geithner aired concern on bank limits-sources
Jan 22, 2010 at 2:57 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
important link, allie...i had missed that...


Senate rejects GOP bid to end TARP payments
Jan 22, 2010 at 3:01 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
These deficits and debts are now so gargantuan that they have become surreal abstractions impossible even for sophisticated financiers to begin to comprehend. The common citizen has absolutely no idea what these numbers mean, or imply for his or her future. The people have been deluded into thinking that America’s arrogant, egomaniacal, always-wrong-but-never-in-doubt fiscal witch doctors and charlatans, including Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Geithner and Ponce de Bernanke, have discovered a Monetary Fountain of Youth that endlessly spits up free money from the center of earth, in a geyser of good will toward the United States. Unfortunately, this delusion is false: there is no Monetary Fountain of Youth, and contrary to the apparent beliefs of the self-deified man-gods in Washington, D.C., the debt and deficits are real, completely out of control, and 100% guaranteed to create catastrophic consequences for the nation and its people.

When government “representatives” deliberately sell into slavery the citizens of a so-called free Republic, they have committed treason against those people. This is exactly what has happened in the United States: the citizens have been sold into debt slavery that they and their descendants can never escape, because the debts piled onto their backs can never, ever be paid. Despite expensive and sophisticated brainwashing campaigns emanating from Washington, claiming that America can “grow” out of its deficits and debt, it is arithmetically impossible for the country to do so. The government’s statements that it can dig the nation out of its fiscal hole by digging an even deeper chasm have become parodies and perversions of even totally discredited and morally disgusting Keynesianism.

The people no longer have elected representatives; they have elected traitors.

Jan 22, 2010 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Good to see you are still well Ken, I was beginning to think Gobias pulled the old "et to Brute" on you to be General.
Jan 22, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

I am in India...................


Goldman under investigation for its securities dealings
Jan 22, 2010 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen

Are you kidding, I have watched enough movies to know that the guys in the front always get shot. Besides, I am more Machiavellian for Ken. He wouldn't be able to carry out my orders.
Jan 23, 2010 at 12:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergobias
nice mcclatchy link...ken...
Jan 23, 2010 at 1:28 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Enjoy your trip Ken.
Jan 23, 2010 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
"Are you kidding, I have watched enough movies to know that the guys in the front always get shot."

But the guys out front receive all the glory, til the guys hiding under the beds steal it from them.
Jan 23, 2010 at 7:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

Yesterdays Supreme Court Ruling that allows Corporations to spend freely and use unlimited amount of money to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress is the death knell of our democracy and is a "War on Democracy".

The five conservative justices on the supreme court by their ruling, have enabled foreign countries through the shares they can buy AND OWN in US companies can now influence our American elections.

To me this is tantamount to Treason. Many are already saying the five justices of the Supreme court who ruled in favor should be prosecuted for Treason. Treason as defined by Article III of our constitution : "Betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power"

Treason. A breach of allegiance to one's government, usually committed through levying war against such government or by giving aid or comfort to the enemy. The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power. . Art. III, Sec. 3, U.S. Constitution.

This is no longer the United State of America but The United States of Corporations. It is no longer "We the People" but "We the Corporations".

I am sickened and in shocked that this could have happened. I believe any one supporting this will be sending their sons and daughters into a lifetime of Corporate Slavery not unlike Serfdom in Medieval times.

This ruling snuck up on all of us and smacks of the treachery not unlike what happened when the Federal Reserve was secretly created in the cover of darkness in 1910 on Jekyll Island GA. by JP Morgan et all Bankers ot the time.

This is a fight against Corporate Communism. We must come together ,as this is no longer about left or right ,conservative or democrat but about preserving democracy for us the American citizens and against the Corporate Special Interest take over of our country.

I am sickened as a son of the Greatest Generation that the Americans who died on the beaches of Normandy or Iwo Jima, saving democracy for we the people of this country could may have died in vain for the special interests of corporations.

We owe it to all who went before and after us who made ultimate sacrifice to preserve democracy for the citizens of this country . I myself have been lazy and too comfortable when it came to any sacrifice for this country, but this is one I am willing to give my all to, as we owe to all that went before us.

Here are Dwight D. Eisenhour's, a conservative and republican president, in his own words of his farewell speech upon leaving office after serving this country first as one of our greatest generals in WWII and then president. When he refers to military industrial complex he is referring to the military "corporation "complex

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

I have some ideas on how we may kill this ruling. There are some short term tactical actions we can take well which I will post on at a later time. Any other ideas on stopping this would be more than welcome.

Jan 24, 2010 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Celente on 2010: Wave of Terror, Internet revolt & War on migration
Jan 24, 2010 at 1:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Ken, please get a checkup man, you are on the edge. The drama queening about the Supreme Court's 1st A. ruling is driving a massive about of angst, wonder why? Is this ruling causing all the Goran voters from 2000 to experience flashbacks, even though later analysis confirmed that GWB won that election no matter what the hystericals may think? Time to deal with more reality is it not?
Jan 26, 2010 at 6:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterWestWright

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