Nightly News | September 20, 2010
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: CNBC 's John Harwood moderated today's town hall event. He's with us now from the site, the Newseum in Washington . And, John , give us a sense of the room, sense of the president. By that, I mean all this talk about him connecting or not with people. Today some of the people with you there decided they needed to be heard.
JOHN HARWOOD reporting: Exactly, Brian. And, you know, the president faces this remarkable squeeze play. People on Wall Street , people in the business community say he's hostile, say he's anti-business. And yet if you look at this poll we did, CNBC poll for the town hall today, most Americans say the president's policies are helping big business and Wall Street , not them. So he had to address both audiences, assure business that -- who he wants to take some of those billions and billions of dollars and begin investing them, that he's not going to make their lives more difficult;, but also tell the average Americans like Velma Hart , that exhausted woman whose sound bite you played a moment ago, that he's on the case and he's trying. She just has to have a little bit more patience before the results come.
WILLIAMS: And it's more, of course, than just him. He's defending, in many ways, an entire party with these elections coming.
HARWOOD: He's defending the entire party and trying to do two things, go on the attack and make the case that his policies have made life better from losing 700,000 jobs a month, as was happening when he took office, to gaining private sector jobs now, but also create a contrast with the Bush administration and Republican rule before that. It's very critical for Democrats to have someone to run against, not to make it a referendum on the present and on the performance of the Obama administration, because if that's what it is, they're not going to do well at all. Brian :
WILLIAMS: All right, John Harwood in Washington today. John , thanks for