1:05: And it’s over. Obama is pretty good in these environments. Doubtful that he moved the needle much.
1:02: Would you be willing to debate John Boehner before the election a la Clinton and Newt did back in the day?
1:03: Obama doesn’t answer directly about a debate with Boehner. Talks about how bad things were under the GOP.
1:00: Talking about the yuan, and the advantage the country is making for itself.. there should be an adjustment there according to market conditions.
12:48: Anthony Scaramucci (the hedge fund manager at SkyBridge capital) talking about whacking at the Wall Street pinata, and how we’re going to make the maths more compelling to hiring workers.
Good line: I’ve been amused by the talk abut me beating up on Wall Street.. most folks on Main Street think they’ve been beat up on… a lot of folks think I’ve been too soft on Wall Street.
Defending carried interest tax hike.
As for hiring workers, he discusses the HIRE act, and he says they’ve examined the payroll tax hike.
Our healthcare bill didn’t substantially add to employer healthcare costs.
Defending intervention in the housing market.
12:45: What about the Tea Party’s claims that the constitution has been perverted.
The government is less intrusive now than they have in the past. Taxes are lower than they were under Reagan.
Somethings are more regulated, but.. good think we’re not getting Salmonella and E. Coli thanks to food regulation.
12:41: Georgetown MBA student asks about people who think the government is getting way too large.
Obama on the Tea Party: America has a noble tradition about healthily sceptical about government. That’s in our DNA.
The challenge for the Tea Party movement: Figure out exactly what would you do?
Would you cut veterans and Medicare benefits?
What you can’t do is say: We’re going to pass $4 trillion in tax cuts, and presume magically this is going to work.
12:36: A question from Rick Santelli: If I were to ask an investor, would he an invest in a company that had to borrow $0.42 on the dollar, he’d have to think long and hard. Does it bother you that that’s the situation with our government?
Obama: It bothers me a lot.
There are investments that need to be made, and healthcare is a priority.
12:30: Getting a question from a monogrammed glassware businessman. This is the small businessman’s perspective. Says single greatest issue today is a public that’s fearful and negative. He really likes Obama: “You saved the economy… your critics continue to paint you as dramatically anti-business…” This guy sounds like a plant.
Obama’s not making much of a response, except to reiterate the quesiton, and point out that he’s done a lot.
12:28: What about people who are millionaires only?
Obama: “Here’s what I can’t do… I can’t give tax cuts to the top 2% of Americans… and lower the deficit at the same time.” Doesn’t have the maths.
12:28: On the tax hike for the rich. Jokes about his own wealth “I would be helped by this”
12:25: Talking deficit. Already identified discretionary savings, and loopholes in the tax code.
Harwood asks about Orszag’s call that after a year or two, the tax cuts are unaffordable.
Obama tries to wiggle out of answering Orszag’s question head on.
12:24: Questions about Tim Geithner and Larry Summer…
Obama says they all have decisions to make. Hints they could possibly leave.
12:20: Guy who claims to be 30 says the inspiration of the campaign dead. Talking about ongoing burden of student loans.
Obama: things are still pretty good. Talking about student loans again.
Kind of a wonky answer. Talking about R&D tax credits.
12:18: Do you think that deep down working for profit is morally inferior to what you used to do as a community organiser?
Obama: absolutely not. It’s our free market that makes us successful.
12:16: Quote from Ken Langone in which he’s bashing Obama for talking to business like dogs.
Obama notes that businesses demanded the administration “do something,” and since his administration, those businesses have returned to profitability.
12:10: First question from the crowd:
Frustrated middle class lady says she hasn’t seen the change she expected. Very angry tone.
Obama answers talking about what he’s done for expanding student loans. A direct hit response to one of her frustrations. Explains new regulations, as well, to protect those with credit cards and mortgages.
We’re moving in the right direction.
12:08: Are people fearful of your background?
Obama: As long as the employment rate is high, people are going to be frustrated (pretty good line).
12:05: Q: Why do business people thing you’re anti-business, while average Americans think you’re bailing out Wall Street?
Obama: We had a rough crisis, and it’s been difficult coming out of that. we had to get money flowing again, and we had to stabilise the economy.
Talking up small business tax bills.
12:04: John Harwood: All of our guests have a stake in the American dream.
12:03: The President arrives with John Harwood. Big-time cheering. It must feel nice for him.
12:02: Voiceover: Millions remain out of work!
12:01: It looks set ot begin. CNBC has a really dramatic intro: “The leader of the free world is losing the confidence of free markets.”
Obama is holding a Town Hall on CNBC with the goal of convincing the investor class that he doesn’t hate capitalism.
We’ll be covering it live. It’s set to begin right at 12:00 PM ET.
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