September 21, 2009

Obama: People ‘turned off by shouting’

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday people get very riled up during times of change but Americans are turned off by the shouting and the yelling.

In an appearance on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman, Obama was asked about outbursts by political opponents at town hall meetings this summer.

One of the things you sign up for in politics is folks yell at you, he said.

The overwhelming majority of people, Republican or Democrat, I think they just want to see some common sense, the president said. They want to see some honesty and integrity in Washington. I think they're turned off by the shouting and the yelling and they expect more from their public elected officials.

Obama drew laughter when Letterman asked him about an assertion by former President Jimmy Carter that much of the rhetoric directed at him is based on racism.

Well first of all I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election, he said.

Obama said the election of an African-American as president tells you, I think, a lot about where the country's at on race.

I actually think that what's happened is that whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes, particularly during times of economic unease, then there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up.