President Barack Obama faced questions from an audience consisting of servicemen and women and military family members on Wednesday as part of CNN’s presidential town hall.
The town hall meeting, taped for CNN and moderated by Jake Tapper, covered several pressing issues.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, one of these topics was the controversial debate surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. His protest, which began before NFL preseason games, cites issues relating to racial injustice and police brutality. As of today, the debate has become a subject of discussion and controversy across the country.
“I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody, who for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing,” Obama said. “But I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.”
Answering to a mother who asked my Obama refuses to say “Islamic” terrorism, Obama said there is
“no religious rational that would justify in any way any of the things that [terrorists] do.”
“But what I have been careful about when I describe these issues is to make sure that we do not lump these murderers into the billion Muslims that exist around the world, including in this country, who are peaceful, who are responsible, who, in this country, are fellow troops and police officers and fire fighters and teachers and neighbors and friends,” Obama added.
When asked whether the U.S. is doing anything about “a substantial increase in terror attacks around the world” and within the country, Obama said there have a significant upsurge in the number of attacks “mostly in the Middle East” and Europe, as reported by News Max.
The widow of cancer victim Barry Coates said she did not believe improvements had been made at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Her husband, she said, had waited for more than a year for a colonoscopy before dying of cancer.
To this, Obama said while he had increased the VA budget by a margin of 85 percent – noting that the VA provides as many as 58 million appointments every year – more resources need to be invested in the department. He added more is needed to be done and that it will take a while to see how the improvements already made will be implemented.
Speaking at another event with the troops serving at Fort Lee, he suggested that there are times when the country seems divided. “You remind us we’re one team, we’re one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” Obama said. “That’s what you stand for.”