American Morning

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November 18th, 2009
11:54 AM ET

Follow-up: Patriots or Extremists?

By Jim Acosta

The question comes up time and again: Why is President Obama the target of so much fury from self-described "patriots," tea partiers, and other libertarians in America? Is it racial as former President Carter suggested earlier this year? Sadly, for some Americans, that is the case.

Militias and extremist groups are on the rise in this country, but who is joining these groups and why?

Militias and extremist groups are on the rise in this country, but who is joining these groups and why?

But in the growing "patriot movement" in America, there are other factors. For starters, the leaders and many members of both the militia in Michigan and the "Oath Keepers" vehemently deny race is their cause for alarm.

In fact, one militia member told us he was proud to see the first African-American become President of the United States. He just doesn't like where Mr. Obama stands on the issues.

A good many of the self-described patriots say their beef boils down to some of the issues President Obama inherited from the Bush administration.

Libertarians detest a whole host of Bush-era policies from the Patriot Act to the indefinite detention of enemy combatants during the "War on Terror."

Gun enthusiasts abhor the brief confiscation of firearms that happened in the City of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – another Bush legacy.

Then came the Bush bailout of 2008. For many libertarians and self-described "patriots," the financial rescue of the banks remains an outrage.

So when President Obama continued the bailout with a taxpayer lifeline to the car companies, many on the right saw a further erosion of what they believe is the American way.

The Obama administration argues it was facing a potential Great Depression II, and had no choice but to carry on with the bailout.

White House officials also say they are trying to reverse several Bush war on terror policies right now but caution those changes won't happen overnight.

All of this begs the question: Why didn't these libertarians and self-styled patriots speak out more forcefully when Bush was in charge?

To answer that, you can google Ron Paul. Unfortunately for President Obama, many Americans don't point fingers at former presidents. When things are going downhill, they blame the people in charge.


Filed under: Controversy • Follow-up • Patriots or Extremists
November 11th, 2009
10:09 AM ET

Close call on the tracks

A few good Samaritans and the quick reflexes of Charice Lewis, the train operator, saved a life on the Boston subway. Lewis was able to pull the emergency brake just before hitting a woman who had fallen on the tracks. She spoke to our Kiran Chetry on CNN's American Morning Wednesday.

Video: Woman falls onto subway tracks Video


Filed under: Follow-up