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December 2nd, 2009
08:30 AM ET

Republicans in focus group praise Obama's Afghan speech

As one might expect, some Americans who listened to President Obama's Afghanistan speech last night liked it while others didn't. As the president outlined his new war plan at West Point, our Jim Acosta was getting a real-time reaction from a focus group in Virginia that put the speech to a "dial test."

Filed under: Afghanistan • Politics
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Arthur

    LOL!! Its funny how much some of you people don't understand that our former president had the chance to get Bin Laden but when they asked him at the time to bring more troops so they could capture him he declined. All that dummy wanted was revenge for his papa. The head commander over there(General McCrystal-a Bush appointed man) asked Bush and Obama for more troops in order to win the war. Bush said no but fortunately Obama understands what the general needs and is giving it to him. So I support what our president is doing.

    December 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  2. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Someone said it right... Iraq was a knee jerk reaction (a.k.a. a $2T debt+4K dead+30K wounded blunder)! If you voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004, you should blame yourself for being stupid, and for wasting our tax dollars! There are no ties between Iraq & Al Qaeda and there is no WMDs. Stupidity runs amok and you can't just blame Bush/Cheney, suckers! 🙁

    December 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  3. H. Charles

    I would love to know how many of you that say "we should just pull the troops out" have ever put on a military uniform. He's the president and he has more information than you do. Stop acting like you know something when you don't. You are the same people that would blame him if he pulled all the troops and we got attacked again.

    December 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  4. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Let's chill out & let our president do his job. We can't purge every mafia in the U.S. but we keep them at bay. Likewise with Al Qaeda, we want to break their back enough that it'd be much more difficult (never impossible) for them to commit another crime like 9/11.

    If the ocean pirate situation is an indication, we'll sock it to Al Qaeda & the Taliban when the snow melts (summer '10 & '11). Meanwhile, let Pakistan soften them up! Obama put together a well thought out, effective strategy.

    Prediction... we'll see Mullah Omar and/or Osama bin's heads by 9/11/11!

    Let's chill out & watch!

    December 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  5. Dean Kent

    Too bad ideology trumps reason for the vast majority of people who post on these blogs (whether CNN, Fox or elsewhere), regardless of whether Republican or Democrat. It seems that the only qualification most people care about is party affiliation, while making hypocritical comments about the 'other party'. Critical thinking was obviously left out of the 'No Child Left Behind' act...

    December 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  6. Dawn

    I was listening to a news program yesterday and got so furious. People bashing the president for wanting to send more troops. People complaining about the troops in Afganistan. Here is my take on it. I am 43 years old. I am no child. I am wondering how we should define the U.S. Military? To me if you are in the military ,you are getting paid for a service to this country. You go month after month , year after year with no war. You practice.You clean your guns. You train to fight a war. Your family gets paid monthly. You get wonderful benefits. Health,dental. You get clothes. You shop at your own stores. Live free on base housing. Never to to see a war. Practice practice. Never doing really anything but collecting a goverment check for the family. It's like a government welfare check in your hands every month for the family. Your really not doing anything at all for us. NOTHING!!! So along comes some terrorists and kill over 5000 innocent people. In a horror. And we take action for the world. Trying to protect not only ourselves but the people around us. Sending troops,who get paid a monthly check to fight for our country, to war zones. Noone looks at it as it is. It's like going to school for 4 years. Learning and practicing and giving everything youve got towards your education and going to work for Micky D's afterwards. We have men over in regions who need help. Sending a handful of men to do a job that requires many more is suicidal. Get the men over there that is needed. The troops there are afraid. Not sending troops is so unreasonable. Step back and look at the big picture. These service men at home are getting paid to do nothing!!!!!!!They need to be at work. Real work. Fighting to keep the country safe from terrorists. Obeying the High Commander. The U.S. needs to stop dividing itself. Start using the resources we have built up with tax paying dollars to protect our woman and children from these idiots with bombs. And depend on the ones who elect themselves to do the job. Stop holding them back. The President has a job to protect us. When the troops are crying for help. What do you expect him to do in a war. Draw back? Unbelieveable.

    December 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  7. The Guru

    This quote just in from the GOP... "Waaaaaaah." Seriously, who cares what they have to say on this or any other issue? The American people decided how much pull they wanted the GOP to have in todays political arena during the last election cycle and what they decided was "not much". They screwed things up enough for a while.

    December 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  8. wsa

    After more than 8 years of spiraling depression over the lying, incompetent and almost disastrous leadership throughout almost every extremity of the last administration, I go to bed happier and happier every night because of the stability and judgment of Obama as President.

    It's not that I agree with everything he has done: he made a seriously wrong choice for the head of the National Institutes of Health.

    But at least we are tracking back toward rationality.

    What I am looking forward to is that, when things eventually start smelling rosy again - how are the Republicans going to figure out how to claim credit?

    Not all conservatives are idiots. I am becoming a downright fan of David Brooks and Michael Smerkonish. I was also stunned two days ago when I found that for an entire 15 minutes, I fundamentally agreed with something Glen Beck said. And suprise, surprise, Lou Dobbs actually said something reasonable about immigration on Telemundo the other day.

    I wonder if these little zones of rationality could possibly be expanded?


    December 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  9. Dave

    I am just so happy to know that Al Qaeda and the Taliban will give up in a year or two! This is fantastic news! Now there will never be any more wars or threats against the US! President Obama really deserves the Peace Prize now! LOL.

    December 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  10. CSF

    Didn't Obama say during his campaign tht the Iraq was not the battle we should be fighting? Didn't he run on the fact tht he promised to go into Afganistan? Didn't you Democrats and Independents vote for Obama and cheered him every time he made those statements? My question is when Obama is trying to keep his campaign promises, why are the masses all of a sudden disagreeing and not accepting his policies on the war. He said he was going to funish the job. How do you finish the job if you just walk away?

    December 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  11. rico53027

    and you're not shuddering to think that the crazzie Nancy Pelosi could possibly be a heart beat or two away from being Prez?????

    One thing worse is Sara Palin being a heart beat away. Thank God for the intelligence of the American people to recognize two hypocrites when they see them.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  12. Ron

    Of course they like it, its the repubs war.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  13. Benjamin Franklin

    Obama is the best politician-orator that ever was. The cadence in his speaches and rythmic walk are simply and irresistibly numbing. His rhetoric has added unsurpassing treasures to the ongoing scheem of the 100 year old Progressive movement. This impalbable movement that democrats own today to distroy freedoms and personal responsability, the very attributes that created our nations wealth and our very prosperous middle class and replace it with a totalitarian grab from goverment and subsequent oppression. The good news is that I have faith in the American people and their love of freedom.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  14. BillL

    I wouldn't call a largely private health care plan with a government option "socialism". Also, Obama inherited a bankrupt country – it's been in the works since Reagan. I'm not sure about his Afghanistan strategy . . . although I probably would do the same.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  15. JerriT

    Obama is not Bush. The President did what he had to do. I guess we Americans got use to lying, cheating, and torturing. Personally, I believe Obama is doing a great job. He should be encouarge to succeed. when he does a good job, all of us will be rewarded. Look at us now. All this comes from the Bush years. Now the Repulicans are trying to put the mess they made on the Obama Administration, only because the Repulicans can convince some of us of anything. Some people are just plain negative and will not see the good Obama does, even it hit them in the face.

    December 4, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  16. Larry

    The President is just trying to finish what Bush started not only the wars but the economy. We were bankrupt before President Obama took office. If Bush and Cheney would have taken care of business while they were in office we would not be in the situations were are in now. We should have never been in Iraq. If they would have put forth the effort in Afghanistan they did in Iraq (and not been in Iraq) we would not be in Afghanistan now!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  17. Susan Logan

    There is a lot of blame to go around on this one. However, it really goes back to Clinton because he knew there were problems brewing early on and did nothing about it. Instead, he dumped the situation on the next Presidential Administration in an attempt to destroy the Republican Party by letting them take the fall for whatever the terrorists had in mind to destroy us. It is plain and simple.
    The people that we are supporting overseas should be fully
    trained by our troops in a safe offsite location on how to defend themselves and provide them with the means to do so. Then, gradually pull our troops out of there and back home where they belong. It is no wonder why the Republications support this war
    because it generates a lot of money for big business in the U.S.

    December 4, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  18. James

    @Rod in Texas

    The real sad story for America is that we have vestiges of people from the 19th century, who have been against this president since the day he took office. These same people cheered wildly for the former president while he took this country on a nose-dive. That's the sad story here, our serious lack of education, rampant racism, ignorance, and groups of people in AMerica acting like a bunch of spoiled children, who can't see the truth that slaps them in the face.

    December 4, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  19. James

    I don't think the Obama speech is an extension at all of Bush. Bush gave blank checks to war, and nothing to domestic affairs. Obama has put limits on Afghanistan and put them on notice that they shape up or ship out. This is no blank check, and I would think those who are supposedly so fiscally conservative would applaud that.

    December 4, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  20. HJA

    Obama is doing what he said he would. Iraq was Bush's war. Obama said we should concentrate on Afghanistan and now we are.

    December 4, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  21. Joel

    First good move by this president – I agree with Robert Murrell, he panders to everyone.

    Also, where is CNN's coverage of the global warming emails? What's the matter, Ted? Doesn't fit your agenda?

    December 4, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  22. Forist

    We are in another Vietnam however, unlike Nam we cannot afford to walk away and say there are no winners or losers. Failure to put the wars to rest in a manner, that leaves Iraq and Afganhistan secure will only encourage terrorist to continue their cowardly attacks. The issue at hand is how long we can support a war in terms of American lives, cost and public support for a long drawn out battle. The Russians say we cannot win this war. That's only true if we cannot win the cooperation and trust of the people in the region. It will be the people of Iraq and Afganhistan that will determine if the allied forces win and if the price that is paid by ALL involved is/has been worth the justification of going to war. Congress and the Nation must be one in support of our troops and the public must DEMAND that the country keep its promise to those who defend her.

    December 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  23. Rod in Texas

    I have to wonder... Did the Democrats really expect "change" from an idiot that has never accomplished anything? It is a sad time in America.

    December 4, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  24. Drew

    Well, I for one am glad to see a President who actually has a STRATEGY here, unlike the fools that came before him. We NEVER should have gone into Iraq! These ignoramuses didn't even give a CRAP that nearly 3,000 Americans died! It was all about Bush getting revenge for his PA! Screw finding Bin Laden! Obama will finish the job that was abandoned by them and then move on. Period.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  25. Evelyn, St. Louis

    I stand behind my vote for President Obama. I trust his judgement and won't render an opinion until he finishes in 2016!! I like his style. He does not make hasty decisions. He is working with a hostile congress. That has got to be tough.

    December 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  26. Phillip J Fry

    Just read the OpEd by K. Rove in the WSJ. It was the first time KR had anything positive to say about the Obama admin. When Rove has something nice to say about Obama, it either means we are nearing the apocalypse, or Obama is doing something right...

    December 3, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  27. Phillip J Fry

    Dirk Peddler apparently wasn't alive during the 8 years of the bush jr. regime. Amazing in a country where education is compulsory and free that such unfathomable ignorance can still be so pervasive. Sounds like the same fatuity of fear and terror espoused by Fixed News. I totally agree w/Matt.

    December 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  28. Orlando Arkadie


    The decision to send more troops is less about "America defeating the Taliban" we will never ever destroy completely the movement of Al queada or the taliban, it's like trying to kill the idea's of republicanisn and democracy. But what you can do is provide a better alternative for the radical islamic traditions to grab hold of the next generations as well as loosen the grip it has on the current generation.

    I would think we should reclassify the Al Quiada threat from one of military importance to that of a Gang like effort. This way we diminish the importance of the movement while employing proven tactics that work against terroristic problems.
    The Both groups seem to me to have power because they have money....and even in a po-dunk country like afghanistan the rule is still the same "he who has the money makes the rules" so if you provide the government with the will, the means and the manner in which to provide moreso for the country than Al queada or the taliban you will squash the resistance or at the very least provide a more suitable alternative. Burn the poppy fields, provide alternative meathods for the resources on hand and utilize ricoh like tools and other gangland instruments of suppression against them. The military are not police. this requires police rather than military.

    We may be at war with extremists, but using an army to crush an ideal has not worked yet.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  29. Evan

    What Obama has proposed is an exit strategy by another name.

    And that is what is needed.

    We are beginning to realize that 30,000 U.S. troops will not "win" in Afghanistan–neither will 80,000 troops.

    I believe the Petreaus counterinsurgency manual calls for something like 300,000 troops to "win."

    The longer we stay, the more enemies we make. In the end, only Afghans can change things. They need our help, but it can't be "in your face." Then they lose. And so do we.

    Luckily this is NOT an extension of Bush's ineffective, underresourced, unending debacle in Afghanistan.

    This is an exit strategy. Thank god.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  30. Larry Jones

    A lot of morons out there. You cannot change an entire uneducated culture with a few years of war. It take decades and generations and then maintenance forever to achieve these changes. The middle east is not a Bush or Republican problem. It has been a problem since the fifties. Obama needs to be president of all the people, not just the Democrats. You folks are clueless. Once the spending is done, you will finally realize we elected the wrong person. McClain would not have been a good choice either. We need someone that can lead and bring people together. Obama wants a one party system.

    December 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  31. joe J

    This President is leading our country like a blindfolded drunken sailor in the middle of the ocean with no idea which way is north. May God protect our brave military folks because this administration does not have a clue

    December 3, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  32. Mark

    The more Obama acts like a Republican, the better things get. From stimulus money to troop surges, our current President is learning very quickly that President Bush wasn't as stupid as he had accused him of being - and Hillary's "smart" diplomacy is looking and sounding more and more like Mrs. Rice's. Its takes a true blue hypocrite to run against a brilliant administration with negative propaganda, and then adopts its policies once elected. When this happens, politicians should be impeached.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  33. Scott

    Socialism is a word that gets bandied about in the states like it's a bad thing. Democratic socialism is successful in many countries, albeit not the size of the states. As an American who has chosen to live abroad, the democratically "socialist" country I live in provides me excellent health care, excellent education for my children, low violence, almost zero gun crime and does not wage war in the name of natural resources. They look after their own people but there are no free rides. Yes, Obama is a stooge of the democratic party, and the two party system is inherently flawed so long as lobbying is allowed to exist and real political discourse is considered by many to be Fox news. The US could use more socialism and less of the corrupt by-all-means-necessary capitalism which has gotten it where it is and subverted what was originally a great system of government. I will never return to that country.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  34. Harold

    One need not look far to see why the good and decent proposals to get us out of the mess from the Bush administration are in trouble. Ditto this for the shameful state of health care in the USA. After all the American people were dumb enough to relect Bush for a 2nd term.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  35. Rick Jones

    Republican lawmakers need to take a leaf out of the Democrat's playbook...never, ever compliment or agree with what the opposition party is doing. They look like a bunch of wimps which I think they really are.
    Get some spine...get a consistent theme...and quit being a bunch of whiney babies.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  36. Blumpkin Cleveland Steamer

    This speech was simply an extension of Bush's policies. Obama has not made any changes to foreign policy. He even has the same overseas approval ratings as Bush did.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  37. Robert Murrell

    Where are you people from? This POTUS has done nothing but conquer the greatest nation on earth. He panders to whoever is listening. I think Rahm and David are in charge and Obama is operated by strings. To hear Obama tell it, we are responsible for all of the world's woes and he is determined to cut us down to size and make us pay. I can't wait for 2012. Anything will be better than this downward sprial this clown has put us in.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  38. cardog

    For these past nine months, the President has been hounded by the party of "NO" for everything from getting up in the morning to brushing his teeth. Now that the decision has been made to send additional troops the Republicans find something that they can agree with him on???
    While I am a solid supporter of this President, I do not agree with him sending more troops. This region has never been subdued by a foreign power and most likely never will be. Why we should continue to supply fodder ( our young troops ) to die in this god forsaken land is something I cannot understand.
    The Taliban can only be defeated by the people that live there. If the people continue to allow these crazy people to determine their lives, then so be it. Bring our troops home, place them on our southern border and stop the invasion we have here at home.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  39. Chris

    @Dirk Peddler

    So in your mind and the millions of others that think like you, you actually think Obama created this financial mess? I ask because you mention that he has given us a "bankrupt" country.

    Do you even know what socialism means, I hate when the word "socialism" comes out of people's mouth when they have no idea what that means. They'll just repeat because the press of others that think like them say the word "socialist"

    People need to get the facts straight, you can't expect Obama to fix this 8 year mess in a few months.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  40. Matt

    Some on the right are not happy, and some on the left are not happy. Such things are usually good indicators that a President is making the right call.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  41. john

    you guys are killin me.....he said we are coming home. The absolute worst president in my lifetime. Shame on us democrats for not impeaching him now. We voted for him, now, we surely will have a republican next term. What happened to all the promises of change. Food for thought, he has, and will spend more money than the last 4 presidents combined?!?! This is horrendous-

    December 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  42. republicans love war

    I find it strangely amusing that, in general, republicans support war. Like somehow going to war makes us a better country. And of course they will respond, "we are fighting for freedom and liberty", but really... has there ever been a war a republican hasn't supported?

    Having said all that, I (a democrat) actually support this war and the president. We should never have been in Iraq and we were absolutely lied to about the Iraq war (something republicans just can't seem to grasp – or admit to). But Afghanistan is the right war. Well done Mr. Pres.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  43. steve e

    all I heard was blame this blame that. i assume that is what we will hear for the rest of his one term. remember this valued war is what he ran on.
    the economy will improve on its own, give or take a trillion to buy union auto votes. or another trillion for the up and coming cap a trade...but for what. why not be independant in thought, follow the money, and question their motives?

    December 3, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  44. Harald Lund

    I find it amazing that the Republicans scream about the cost of the proposed Health Care bill but say nothing about the cost of the Afghan and Iraq war. They seem more than happy to extend the war and spend more money on a foreign country but cry foul if the same money is spent on American citizens and the taxpayers.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  45. Sherry in SC

    And one more thing – I think that we should bring all of our troops home, warn the innocent, decent people of Afganistan what is about to take place and to get out and take cover and then make a desert out of those mountains where the Taliban and Al-Qaida are hiding. Rid the earth of those monsters once and for all. Get off the ground, into the air and end this thing NOW. No sense in putting more troops in harms way when they could just put an end to it all in one clean swipe. Some day, someone with half a brain will see that you cannot second guess those people and you definitely cannot have tea and cookies and get them to play nice. Wake up people and defend America or you're gonna loose it.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  46. Sherry in SC

    To Terry Brookman – and you're not shuddering to think that the crazzie Nancy Pelosi could possibly be a heart beat or two away from being Prez????? You must be as crazy as she is if that doesn't worry the daylights out of you. Wish you dumbocrats had enough sense to understand that those people over there are not now – or ever – going to be peaceful – it's in their blood. Innocent people have to pay the price for the evil and for other countries just turning their heads to the evil. It the evil succeeds there, it is just a matter of time before it is here. You must not have or either must not care for what your children or grandhildren will have to endure if it is not kept from the US. I really feel sorry for those of you who can't (or won't) understand the dangers. You don't wait until something happens to do something – you PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING. Try to understand.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  47. Elester

    Republicans just showing their true colors. They complain about spending money in America, but they blow money for war. Republicans for the rich and the h- with the poor. What a political party!!!

    December 3, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  48. Pravin Pula

    I think this president inherited some of the biggest problems in recent history – bad economy, health care, environment – to name a few. What's amazing is he's pushing ahead full throttle to handle several crises at once (whether or not he will achieve them, one has to appreciate this drive and determination). It's actually heart-warming that here is one White House being blamed for trying to do too much. The tendency to go after the problem directly, without worrying much about which party thinks what is interesting.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  49. Sean

    We needed a bit more socialism in our capitalism-socialism mix, and Obama gave it to us. He even stated that he would send more troops to Afghanistan in his campaign.

    He should have just pulled out the troops. The Republicans will see this bipartisan action as weakness and continue their "take but no give" tactics.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  50. cecilia lewis

    at long last, the Republicans find something to support in the Obama Administration. As a Democrat, I too, support this President in attempting to clean up the mess left from the Bush Administration, however, it is interesting to note that it takes an esculation of the war to win the Republican support.
    Too bad the Republicans can't understand his efforts toward peace and nation building. I guess that is too much of a stretch for the Republican Party. But we will take whatever support they offer.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:55 am |
  51. Terry Brookman

    They should like him as he is the best person for the job, better than any of the other bunch put together. I shudder to think of McCain and what's her name being in office, we are in a big enough mess as it is. To think of Palin being a heart beat or lack there of being president I would join the Tali-ban myself. Obama at least makes an effort to make since and is coherent in thought and words. He may be the best president we have had since JFK.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:27 am |
  52. Drew

    I liked it, but not as much as I liked The Truth About Wicca and Witchcraft-Finding Your True Power by James Aten. It's a great book!

    December 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  53. Dirk Peddler

    Just more of Bush, I thought Obama was going to give us change. So far the only change he has given us is socialism, a bankrupt country and government control over everything.
    His scare tactics are the same as Bush's

    December 2, 2009 at 9:16 am |