Obama Makes Debt Case At College Park Town Hall

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)–President Barack Obama comes to Maryland to make his case to raise the debt limit. WJZ has complete coverage of the president’s visit.

Vic Carter spent the day in College Park. He has the president’s message as the deadline for a deal creeps closer.

The president came to College Park with a lot on his plate already. He’s managing wars and conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And here at home, he’s locked into the battle over the debt ceiling and trying to reduce the budget.

He came to hear directly from voters about their concerns and how they run their daily lives.

Obama received a warm welcome at Ritchie Coliseum, acknowledging that even the president is affected by the heat.

“I see some smart folks up there wore shorts,” Obama said. “My team said I should not wear shorts. My legs aren’t good enough to wear shorts.”

But then it was down to business as the president talked about the looming financial crisis facing the country.

“The first I thing I think about when I wake up in the morning is the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. And I won’t be satisfied until every American who wants a job can find one, and until workers are getting paychecks that actually pay the bills,” the president said.

Then came the questions, ranging from issues of jobs, education, strengthening neighborhoods to the anger of politicians on Capitol Hill, some who refused to compromise on a deal to reduce deficits.

“Do we not use compromise anymore?” asked one attendee. “And what should I teach my students about how our government works? If people are saying out loud, ‘We’re not going to compromise with the other party.’”

“I think you should keep on teaching your students to compromise because that’s not just how government works, that’s how life works,” Obama said.

Just as the president was leaving, WJZ asked students whether they thought the president gave answers to questions that affect them.

“He’s really inspired me,” said one student. “He showed me that something good is going to happen in the world.”

“Obviously, with the debt crisis, it’s easy to get cynical and kind of down about the future of America, but hearing him speak today, I’m very inspired, very hope- filled.”

Obama wasn’t able to address all of the questions out there, but he did get to quite a few. And there was no shortage of reaction to the president’s visit.

Jessica Kartalija talked with a number of students and others who were watching.

WJZ spoke to so many who said they were just excited to hear him speak and hear what he had to say, regardless of how they felt about his policies.

The line stretched outside the Ritchie Coliseum, as folks eagerly awaited the arrival of the president.

“Well, it’s really special. You don’t get to see the president of the United States every day. So I’m proud to be on campus and see our president of the United States,” said one student.

“Any time you get to see the opportunity to see the first African-American president, it’s amazing. I can’t pass up the opportunity,” said another student.

The president arrived at 11 a.m. to talk to an intimate group of 1,000.

“I liked his plan on the debt ceiling. I think he’s got a good strategy moving forward, and I hope it works,” said one attendee.

“I thought it was very interesting the viewpoint that he had to realize that things were already shut down, so the economy can be rebuilt,” said a student.

“I thought he did really well. I haven’t been the biggest supporter of Obama, but everything he said made a lot of sense,” said a student.

“I don’t always agree with what Obama tries to do,” said a student. “But I think he’s a very smart man. And he’s almost always on the right track with these local issues, definitely.”

Obama spoke for just over an hour, And everyone WJZ spoke with afterwards said they were so pleased by just how personal he was, how he really seemed to take an interest in the local issues.

More from Vic Carter

    VOTE the BUM out in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BaltimoreDirty

      you know we will too. down with n’OBudget!

  • Alan

    Failure to raise the debt ceiling won’t keep te government from paying bills. It will keep the government from adding more bills.

  • Charley

    Where is his plan!!! He has no plan except to run the country into the ditch. He is not a leader and is in way over his head and the country is suffering because of it

  • Herman Glimsher




  • bmoregyrl

    Its all of them together not just one person. Stop pointing all fingers to Obama look at everyone else as well and make them accountable as well.

  • KottaMan

    This Pretender and Failure-in-Chief has done immeasurable damage to this country. He is UNQUALIFIED to speak before the U of MD on anything as he KNOWS NOTHING. History will come to judge this buffoon as the worst prez in history. He makes Jimmy Carter look great by comparison.

  • Student of Tomorrow

    It is amazing that a house full of Republicans has failed to take the necessary action forward to resolve this economy. As much as we are at differences politically many are focused on pushing THEIR agenda rather than considering a compromise. If we MUST be historically accurate then we must also acknowledge that our country was built upon values and beliefs of EQUAL representation. It is not just the debt crisis that we must consider it is the job crisis. Republicans are not showing that they are going to be that compromising party rather they are divided within’ themselves (The TEA PARTY v. The CONSERVATIVES) & refuse to progress at all.

    • libertarianswillfixthecountry

      Conservatives majority in the house tried to pass dramatic cuts, and the liberal controlled Senate would not pass it. You need both house and senate to pass a bill for the President to sign. I do not know where you learned politics and how American Government works, but my 13 year old knows more than you. Want real change, have Washington READ and follow the US Constitution.

  • JohnQPublic

    How can the House or Senate say they represent the people? All they care about is the higher income families, because that’s who is influencing them. That’s who would be taxed higher, so an agreement won’t happen even if it would lower the debt. If the people in Congress voted in favor of lower to middle income families they could never face their friends, neighbors, or family again without being seen as a “traitor to their class”. They would be voting to give themselves, and people like them, a tax increase. This is the same reason that we will never lower our dependence on fossil fuels, because too many people in Congress have money tied up in foreign oil. If the economy and government didn’t make it hard for a lower to middle income person to run for office we would have people in Congress that could represent us.

    I agree with bmoregyrl that there is more to government than just one person. The people saying “impeach him” are no different than the accusers of the Mccarthyism or the Salem witch trial days who want to blame someone for their problems, thinking removing them will solve everything. I say fix the problem, not the blame and the problem is that rich people shouldn’t be able to make decisions in a government that is supposed to represent all the people.

    To the people that are saying “where is his plan?” I have two things to say. He has said what his plan was but that would take too much away from high income executives, companies, and families that have enjoyed tax loopholes for years. He also shouldn’t have to come up with a plan because that isn’t his job. All he has to do is sign it when it comes across his desk and it hasn’t even gotten to him yet for two reasons, because Congress can’t agree on anything and because it’s not fair for lower to middle income families.

    Now to the people who will comment on this post: I am not having this notify me via email and I’m not checking this feed again so anyone that wants to say something against this knock yourself out, but I won’t hear it or see it so telling my I’m dumb or leaving an unintelligent/hurtful response will fall on deaf ears.

    • libertarianswillfixthecountry

      The so called wealthy pay 90 percent of the taxes in this country. How about cutting funds to lazy people who refuse to work and collect a free check off the hard working American’s back. Want real job creation, do what JFK did, cut taxes. Cut more taxes and cut taxes to the higher earners that hire workers. Companies will not hire now because this economy is less than certain. The more taxes imposed on the employer affects his/her bottom line which causes lay offs and hiring freezes. JFK and Reagan proved cutting taxes worked for job creation, and it worked before it can work again.

    • Steven Cville

      The bottom 50% of tax payers in this country in the year of 2008 paid 2.7 percent of total taxes collected! The top 10% paid 69.94% taxes collected!
      The top 10% are the people that create jobs, go after more of there money they create less jobs.
      In 2008 Md. passed a millionaire penalty tax to get more of their money an now the State has lost 30% of such tax payers to moving out of State. Pa. and Va. gained millionaires.

    • BlueBlues

      this guy goes on a rant and then says he wont come back to check responses.
      why? because this ideologue cant stand to be questioned or consider the alternative, typical democrat if you ask me.

      enjoy your ignorance democrat this is why this state is over taxed and still NOT representing the people.

  • libertarianswillfixthecountry

    If I were to rob my neighbor then wlak up the street and hand it to another neighbor that is called theft. The Government takes from one group and gives it to another group. They call it progress. i call it theft.

  • NoClueOMalley

    the dems couldnt pass a budget they need to get out of the way and let the republicans do it. dems go back to doing something you are good at, like raising money for the chesapeake bay that does nothing but continue to get worse each year. you take that money right to your dem political action committee instead of cleaning the bay after 20-30 years of a so called environmental loving party has control of this state the bay is still a sewer. admit you fail at everything from bay clean up to budgets. have a nice day

  • Joe

    End George Bush tax breaks for the rich ! The oil companies , banks and corporate American and those who killed the housing market under George Bush watch are to blame. Their greed and lies to feel their pockets while the Americaqn people suffer because of lost of jobs and high prices of fuel which made everything go up to wear people cant afford and return more jobs lost. It George who blew the billiobs of surplus money when he was elected President then left office and America in a depression state .

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