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Exhausted' Supporters Confront Obama in Town Hall


"Is the American dream dead for me?”


"We are still the country that billions of people look to and aspire to, and I want everyone to always remember that," President Obama told a Washington, D.C., town hall audience this morning. The president's positive words about the current state of America, however, may have fallen on some deaf ears this morning as a number of former Obama supporters questioned the direction in which he's steered the country since taking office.

During a one-hour televised town hall dubbed "Investing in America" on CNBC, Obama fielded a number of questions from concerned Americans, a few of them seemingly rethinking their 2008 support of his candidacy.

The first question put to the president was from an African-American woman who identified herself as a chief financial officer, a mother, a military veteran and a middle-class American. “I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for,” she said. “I’ve been told that I voted for a man who was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class, and I’m waiting, sir, I’m waiting. I still don’t feel it yet. And I thought that — while it wouldn’t be in great measure — I would feel it in some small measure.”

I have two children in private school, and the financial recession has taken an enormous toll on my family. My husband and I joked that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans era of our lives. And quite frankly, it’s starting to knock on our door and ring through that that might be where we’re headed.  And quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer honestly, is this my new reality?

Another pointed question came from Ted Brassfield, a 30-year-old recent law school graduate, who said while the president inspired him and others his age, his outlook for living the American Dream is looking dismal these days:

“I was really inspired by you and your campaign and the message you brought, and that inspiration is dying away... What I really want to know is: Is the American dream dead for me?”

As Obama leads his party into a midterm election, the president faces overwhelming skepticism and downright opposition from many Americans, some who were among the very constituencies that propelled him into office two years ago. The latest evidence in the president's eroding support can be seen in recent public opinion dynamics polls. According to a recent poll from The New York Times, a clear majority of Americans have serious doubts the president has a clear plan to aid the country's struggling economy.

When asked how they felt about President Obama's job performance, only 26 percent of likely voters give him strong approval, while 45 percent strong disapprove. In addition, the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports finds that 61 percent of likely voters favor the complete repeal of the president's signature health care overhaul.

From Wall Street -- where one hedge fund manager asked Obama why he insisted on "whacking" investors like "a pinata" -- to Main Street, the president worked to persuade the audience that the country's heading in the right direction.

“I know how frustrated people are. I know in some cases how desperate people are,” he said, later adding, “I am confident that if we stay on a course that gets us back to old-fashioned values of hard work and responsibility and looking out for one another, that America will thrive.”


For more video from today's town hall, click here.

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