Obama Takes on Disgruntled Wall Streeters

Says 'big chunk of country thinks I've been too soft on you'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2010 1:44 PM CDT
President Barack Obama is displayed on a large video screen at the Newseum in Washington, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010, where he discussed jobs and the economy.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – President Obama insisted he was not “anti-business” today, as he was confronted with several angry businesspeople in a town hall-style event on CNBC. “I have been amused over the last couple of years by this sense of me beating up on Wall Street,” Obama said. “Most folks on Main Street feel like they got beat up on. There's a big chunk of the country that thinks I've been too soft on Wall Street.”

Asked if he would consider changing his economic team, particularly Larry Summers or Tim Geithner, Obama evaded, replying, “I have not made any decisions about personnel.” Asked by Rick Santelli—he of the original tea party tirade—how long the country could deficit spend, Obama replied that he’d like to reduce it by eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the rich. He also added that tea partiers needed to put forward real ideas for spending cuts. “We're not going to solve this problem by just yelling at each other.”

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