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Obama's MTV town hall: Highlights

President Obama held a town hall with MTV, BET and CMT on Thursday afternoon to reach out to young voters. Thousands of people participated in the event via Twitter, submitting questions with the hashtag #ask.

Pressed by an audience member on why he hasn't ended the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, Obama said that his hands were tied until the Senate acts: "This is not a situation in which, with the stroke of a pen, I can end the policy." He added, "I think people are born with a certain make-up and that we're all children of God. We don't make determinations about who we love."

Asked about racism, he said that bad economic times led to a "tribal attitude" where people worry more about what other people are doing. At the same time, he said, the audience he's speaking to is more diverse than it would have been twenty years ago. He encouraged young people to talk to their parents and grandparents about race: "As you get older, your mind gets a little more set ... You guys are gonna be the messengers."

MTV said that of the thousands of questions submitted via Twitter, many were about Sudan. Obama gave a brief summary of the situation there and said it was something they're "paying a lot of attention to."

Asked about the incarceration rates for black males, Obama responded, "African American boys often times fall behind in school early, start feeling discouraged, check out, drop out, end up on the streets and then get into trouble."

Before the event, a writer for the gay advocacy blog AMERICAblog Gay says that when he applied to be a participant, MTV representatives asked him for a "lighter question."

After asking what topics I was personally interested in, they asked what question I'd want to ask President Obama if I were in a room with him. I gave a sample question to give them a sense of where I'd go, but not anything specific (something about the role that federal policy plays in preventing bullying in light of the recent attention to suicide). The next question was: What lighter question would I ask the President -- something related to pop culture perhaps. I hadn't given any thought to this because, really, what moron blows this opportunity by asking the President "Mac or PC?" I gave them some light question and it was the one note that was made during the interview. I was not invited to attend.

Asked about the incident Thursday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that in hundreds of town halls, the president has always gotten questions that weren't "easy." And the questions Obama was asked during the town hall were by and large very substantive.

Here are some of the questions Obama was asked on Twitter:

On Twitter at least, MTV is soliciting serious queries, asking people to send in their questions with hashtags like #askjobs and #asklgbt. Obama also cut an ad appearing on BET and MSNBC urging young voters to "make history again."

By Rachel Weiner  | October 14, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: AU Forum: Young people say U.S. needs a third party, study finds
Next: Paladino: 'We're not talking about it anymore'

Comments

So to all of you who have no idea what you're talking about...

I was an audience member at this event.

There were no teleprompters involved, except for the hosts' introductions at the beginning.

The article implies that the one boy being interviewed had too serious of a question. This is entirely false. If you watch the whole interview you will see that Obama was asked exactly the question that this person would have asked.

Each person who was interviewed for a spot in the audience was asked for the political issues that are most important to them, and a fun question they would ask Obama if they could. However, no fun questions were asked.

You can watch it for yourself here:
http://www.mtv.com/videos/news/582038/a-conversation-with-obama-begins-with-a-question-on-healthcare.jhtml

Posted by: kate1150 | October 17, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Before election American people should know Obama’s true name or biography and should find out why he win Hillary or MC Cain? Obama is a worst criminal in American history. he is a liar and cheated us out of our votes by hiding his true name or biography.
In 2008 if he was declared his true name as Barack Hussein Obama, can he win Hillary or MC Cain ? In 2008 whole year he hid his true name and biography but after being elected on January 20, 2009 he took the oath using the name of Barack Hussein Obama and withdraw from Christine church’s community then went to Middle East and he himself declared as an Islam. But still he wasn’t allow medias to publish his true name or biography to the American people and trying to hide for next term victory. .
According to the American constitution a president or presidential candidate who hide his true name or biography would be a criminal. Obama occupied the White House by many illegal or unconstitutional ways.
The president's or the presidential candidate name is an important political matter. A county or a nation can dance with milk and honey only when it's ruling by own religious or same blood which is also the natural science of human being theory. In Islamic world they never allowed their country to rule a different race or religious. That's absolutely right according to the theory a different religious leadership can't lead to a nation with high profile or change to any good direction.
Undeniable since 2009 the historic White House image is already damaged and the American politic itself unsteady and shaky. Current America is loosing its superpower and heading to the worst by and because of his childish fool idealism and policy.
He can change his name or religion but he can't change his blood from his body since before election he is just voicing for America but after being elected undeniable his every word or action is showing that he his working for his own blood. and indirectly destroying the America and its superpower.
He can't love America more than G.W Bush or any other White president or Martin Luther King. Obama's senate seat back round investigation is needed and that would be an important political matter in America.
Most of the medias are still in Obama's pocket but if the supreme Court wasn't in his pocket it is time to bring him to justice or must remove him from the White House as soon as possible betterment of America and Islamic world. He is the one who indirectly creating more racial tension between Islamic world and America also very near future the US military inner conflict may occur by and because of Obama policy.
The American constitution allowed to rule the nation by any race or religion but not allowed to rule the nation by a childish fool or a communist.
Obama can't lead to this superpower nation with high profile or can't change to any good direction.All American people feel free and vote for Obama but near future please Don't Cry For America.

Posted by: BellaLiberty | October 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone support Obama besides blacks and homosexuals?

Posted by: numbersch13 | October 14, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I am registered independant. To bring god into the situation is a political move that should not be in any campaign to get votes. Religion has no place in politics. Accept of coarse if you are trying to court a certain religious sect.

Posted by: leobrignac | October 14, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I am registered independant. To bring god into the situation is a political move that should not be in any campaign to get votes. Religion has no place in politics. Accept of coarse if you are trying to court a certain religious sect.

Posted by: leobrignac | October 14, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama gay?

Posted by: Kansasgirl | October 14, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

You know I notice that there are never Senior Citizens in Obama's "Town Hall" meetings. And I also notice that everyone loves him in these things. And I also notice that there are unions present.


Are these scripted events? Propagandistic photo ops?

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | October 14, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey, AngryDumbVoter, is there a new shtick for you imbeciles to use? The teleprompter president crap just makes you sound like a wingnut tool...

Posted by: LABC | October 14, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Another ad hoc performance before a wide open audience of........hand picked folks who applied and were selected by an impartial panel of white house staffers and broadcast by selected media.

How much more impartial can you get?

Posted by: GordonShumway | October 14, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Where is the video for the townhall online, or was it live only?

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | October 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

And this notion that Obama cannot speak without a teleprompter is pure psychosis. Obviously wingnuts cannot recognize proper English when they hear it. Their president couldn't construct a proper sentence even with the help of a ventiloquist. Is our wingnuts learning????

Posted by: raqualung | October 14, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Birthers really need to find a new schtik. Imbecility is amusing only for so long.

Posted by: raqualung | October 14, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

What band opened for him? :/

Posted by: njtou | October 14, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure this was all just a 'misunderstanding'

Posted by: maddogjts | October 14, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama, “The Teleprompter President” is and has always been in campaign mode. This Administration and Congress need to get out of campaign mode and start working for the American people.

As long as our government continues the reckless spending and unprecedented meddling with businesses, we cannot expect real long term growth.

The Congress and current Administration have put the country on a course of reckless government spending that has mortgaged the future of all Americans especially future generations. The only way to fix this long term structural problem is to create a pro-growth atmosphere for business. To do this we must reduce taxes NOW. How many different taxes does a business or individual pay on a regular basis? We must eliminate number and complexity of all these taxes and reduce the tax burden.

We also need to end the micro-management of business and the economy. Until we GREATLY reduce the tax burden on business and consumers and remove the senseless regulations that accomplish little in relation to the cost they impose, our future is bleak.

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER...VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | October 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama, “The Teleprompter President” is and has always been in campaign mode. This Administration and Congress need to get out of campaign mode and start working for the American people.

As long as our government continues the reckless spending and unprecedented meddling with businesses, we cannot expect real long term growth.

The Congress and current Administration have put the country on a course of reckless government spending that has mortgaged the future of all Americans especially future generations. The only way to fix this long term structural problem is to create a pro-growth atmosphere for business. To do this we must reduce taxes NOW. How many different taxes does a business or individual pay on a regular basis? We must eliminate number and complexity of all these taxes and reduce the tax burden.

We also need to end the micro-management of business and the economy. Until we GREATLY reduce the tax burden on business and consumers and remove the senseless regulations that accomplish little in relation to the cost they impose, our future is bleak.

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER...VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | October 14, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Stacked audience with libt@ard supporters, it's nothing more than a shameless propaganda love-fest. Call it Obamastock.

Posted by: freepost | October 14, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

don't you think the other side should get the same special treatment..?
you being all for things out in the open and FAIR...
oops..sorry..
your NOT about open & fair..
your about taking whats mine..
nevermind...let the lovefest commence..

Rika

Posted by: Rika2 | October 14, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Why haven't you produced your original birth certificate Mr. President?

Posted by: Bubbette1 | October 14, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I am totally shocked.

Posted by: docwhocuts | October 14, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

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