August 5th, 2009
11:59 AM ET
5 years ago

Democrats say Republicans staging town hall protests

(CNN) – Democrats are accusing Republicans of organizing "angry mobs" to disrupt town hall meetings across the country, but conservatives say the protests are a sign of the opposition to President Obama's health care plans.

The Democratic National Committee released a Web video Wednesday charging that Republican operatives "have no plan for moving our country forward, so they've called out the mob."

The video shows footage of angry constituents and protesters at recent events and then flashes pictures of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, and even conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh on the screen.

The ad says "desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies" are trying to "destroy President Obama."

Obama had originally asked Congress to send him health care legislation before the August recess, but lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a plan. The House of Representatives recessed last week, and the Senate heads
home at the end of this week.

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soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Gus

    Can you believe it? The president and no. 1 community organizer complains that conservatives and (evil) insurance companies are organizing "angry mobs" against his programs. I suppose only liberals are allowed to organize.

    August 5, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Jack in Florida

    It is the right wing nuts that are destroying this country.....we had 8 years of them and since they have been out of office, they are creating these crazy protests. It is great we have free speech in this country, but take it for what it is worth.....they are nuts.

    August 5, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. ron

    An overwhelming majority of AMERICANS voted Obama into office because WE AMERICANS understand the we need to CHANGE the healthcare indudsty if we plan to make America prosporous once again. Like in the 90's when we had another GREAT AMERICAN PRESIDENT in office.

    August 5, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Babaganusch

    I would have thought the Democrats would be happy that people decided to take a bus to the meetings. Afterall, it will help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and reverse the effects of global warming!

    August 5, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Paul from Kissimmee

    And who exactly does moveon.org and code pink represent? The dems need to understand that the American people don't want this. All they want to do is stick their head in the sand, say the protests aren't really happening, and shove socialism down our throat.

    August 5, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Mike in SA

    No, these protests were staged by the Ways and Means Committee...and the Energy and Commerce Committee...and the Education and Labor Committee. People are just responding to the junk that is trying to be shoved down our throats by those committees.

    August 5, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Darko

    Or maaaaaybe it's just a bunch of ticked off citizens who hear what Obama's promising but are reading the EXACT OPPOSITE in the bill!!!

    You will EVENTUALLY lose your private insurance...it's in the bill.

    August 5, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Jay Schweikert

    I just don't understand the nature of this criticism. I mean, it doesn't seem to amount to more than "Republicans are organizing citizens to oppose legislation they think should be defeated–how dare they!" Even if you like the health care legislation and think Republicans are wrong on policy, this is hardly a class of activity that you can oppose. I mean, I'll grant the Democrats that "desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies are trying to destroy President Obama." Isn't that just what politics is? Mobilizing resources to accomplish your political goals?

    August 5, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Peter

    The hecklers needs the healthcare reforms most! next time they shout just check on their rotten teeth!. How far can special interest groups and lobbyist go? They can tear the Nation down to keep their loot. Talk about burning the house to cook an egg. Wake-up America and ask yourself if our healthcare is so great as the Republicans claim then why is it ranked # 37 by WHO?. The answer is simple here! the healthcare is great for those few with money like the lobbyists. You Dean, Jean, Pedro, and others are being used by the corporate America. Next time they pay you to go heckle, first heckle them down to bring back home those jobs they have offshored. Please remember you have time to attend tea parties because those same companies using you now offshored or outsourced your jobs in Asia!!!

    August 5, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Operation Crush Rush

    Yes they are staging it,and some of them have told my reporters they were paid.It will come out soon.In the meantime keep up the great work crushers,Rushs blood pressure will soon cause him to blow a fuse and we can laugh at him.

    August 5, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. They call me "tater salad"!

    Republican's have no clue, nor do they have the collective mental capacity to get one any time soon! Nuff said................NEXT!

    August 5, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. ref

    i am so sick of that bunch in washington did not obama make a living as a community organizer why is it that the left is always so angry about ordinary people saying their mind. i appluad the people who are confronting the lying elitest of washington i went to the tea party in augusta ga it was very well attended and we criticized both sides for lying about and mismanaging our tax money wake up a govt that is big enough to promise you everything can also take away everything we demand our freedoms from a oppressive govt

    August 5, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Vick

    Listed below are some of the elected officials in Washington taking money from the health care industry:

    Sen. Thune of South Dakota – $1,206,176
    Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite – $369,000,255 over the years
    Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee – $1,173,000

    Sen. Max Baucus of Montana – $414,000 in donations from Hospitals. About $667,000 from the insurance companies and just over a million from Big Pharma. There was a $1,300,000 from other health professional and $237,000 from Nursing Homes.

    Congressman, John Tanner of Tennessee – $215,000 from hospitals
    Sen. Hagan of North Dakota – $628.000
    Congressman Pomeroy of North Dakota – $628,000

    August 5, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Hypocrisy

    For all you people that are whining about the "evil" Republicans for sending these "right wing crazies" out to these town hall meetings…
    Where were you when Left-Wing groups like Code Pink, EMILY's LIST, and the like heckeled Bush and his admin officials at town halls, speeches, and congressional hearings? Where was your disdain for these tatics when Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales were physcially attacked on stage by these left-wing wackos? Did I hear anything about "stifiling dissent"? What about giving people a chance to express opposing views?
    You people are all hypocrites. It's alright when YOUR people do stuff like that; you just quietly sit back in silence, or at best you'll just say "well, it's just a few people" doing it. But when the shoe's on the other foot, you dismiss the ENTIRE party as full of hate-mongers and nutjobs. Your hypocrisy makes me want to vomit.

    August 5, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Dean

    Of course its a handfull of right wing nut cases stired into a frenzy by people like Rush Linbaugh, Hannity, Glen Beck etc. who have told them they will kill off all the old people. Have you seen the footage of the meetings they must have gone around to nursing homes to recruit them.

    August 5, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Chrissy, TX

    Yeah just like MoveOn.org and all the other thugs that were for Obama! The last time I checked this country had what is called freedom of speech! If you can't take it democrats then don't dish it out! Oh and by the way, I'm a Christian but I'm not perfect!

    August 5, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Considering that most of these "angry mob-bers" are either old or overweight or both, one would caution them to less screaming and shouting. All their antics only increases their own health risks - you know, high blood pressure and such . . .

    Will this hurt President Obama? No more than it did during the primaries or presidential campaigning last year.

    Watching these GOP fools is rather amusing though. One would think these paid protestors would rather spend their time debating the issues. Perhaps because they have no health care solutions to debate, they have no recourse but to do the next best thing - act out, stomp their feet, and throw tantrums. Nothing new there.

    Get job Boehner. You picked a fine group of people to represent your lobbying initiatives.

    August 5, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. BJC

    If buses were being used don't you people think they would be showing it all over the news? It wouldn't be hard to find out if these are local people? I guess when you have no proof it just makes you feel better to make things up. NO! Government Death Care

    August 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Pepou

    I find it deeply ironical that these people who are shutting down the debate are always voting against their best economical interests. Meanwhile the billionnaires whom they support laugh all the way to the bank, along with the profit-driven insurance companies which spend 1.4 million A DAY to keep the status quo on health care and make sure that health care reform never succeeds.

    August 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Indigo4

    A protester yesterday actually called on Dodd to commit suicide as a way of "curing" his cancer.

    This is absolutely disgusting. I don't even agree with Dodd and yet would never ever say anything like that to anyone. How evil are you to say something like that?

    How does anyone support protests like that?

    August 5, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Aaron Bishop

    I think that both parties should put healthcare reform over politics for the good of American people and the country. We don't need division, we need unity. President Obama is working to unite the country towards the solution of American problems and the enhancement of our collective and individual quality of life.

    August 5, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Pat F

    Democraps just LOVE the First Amendment – unless they disagree with the speech!

    Sorry, morons. Non-violent protest of government policies is fully protected speech. Read a book once in a while instead of read off the MoveOn.org talking points.

    August 5, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. inat

    what? no one is inciting me to protest? teh democrat strongarming and forcing this down my throat is what incites me...

    August 5, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Bev

    Oh...you mean like the news media giving CODE PINK press passes during the Republican Convention so they could stage disruptions??? The Democrats can't answer our questions. If they had answers they wouldn't be blaming the Republicans. It's the PEOPLE who are mad. We're tired of our tax dollars going out the window for Obama's pet projects for his far-left friends. At least George Bush had class and gave a nod to the freedoms of individuals who want to protest...whether he agreed with them or not he at least acknowledged their right to protest. Obama and his goons don't think we have that right and dismiss the taxpayer's concerns outright. That's pathetic.

    August 5, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Drooling Liberal

    One word liberal drones...................PROOF!!

    Quite an allegation you libs throw out, where is your proof? I guess little things like "facts" don't matter in your fantasy world, do they libs?

    August 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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