Washington: President Barack Obama dismissed suggestions Monday that his cerebral style and exotic background made it tough for him to empathize with the seething economic fears of heartland Americans.
Obama`s critics have frequently argued that his intellectual and academic leadership style or his upbringing in Hawaii, and for several years as a boy in Indonesia, make it hard for him to connect with everyday citizens.
"I think when the unemployment rate is still high and people are having a tough time, it doesn`t matter if I was green, it doesn`t matter if I was purple. I think people would still be frustrated and understandably so," Obama said in a town-hall style meeting on the economy on CNBC television.
"If you are out of work right now, the only thing you`re going to be hearing is, when do I get a job? If you`re about to lose your home - all you`re thinking about is, when can I get my house?" Obama said he believed that Americans realized that he grew up in a single parent family and had financed his education that culminated at Harvard Law school, with scholarships.
The president, who leads a Democratic Party fearing a beating over the slowly recovering economy in November`s congressional elections, also denied that he was guilty of vilifying the US business community.
"In every speech, every interview that I have made, I have constantly said that what sets America apart is that we have got the most dynamic free market economy in the world and that has to be preserved."