August 7th, 2009
06:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama political arm goes on offense

Obama's political operation is responding to health care protesters.
Obama's political operation is responding to health care protesters.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama's political operation is signaling a new call to arms, and is urging supporters to push back against vocal opponents who have dominated the recent congressional town hall meetings on health care.

"The same angry groups and right wing extremists we saw at rallies during last year's election are at it again," Mitch Stewart, director of Organizing for America, says in a nearly two-minute long video that will be emailed Friday afternoon to Obama supporters.

"They are spreading lies about the president's plan and with the encouragement of Republican leaders, and funding from their special interest allies they are disrupting pubic events. They are trying to drown out public discourse and legitimate conversation on this issue in communities all across America."

The video shows Stewart sitting in an office and cuts to images of protesters disrupting town halls. Stewart goes on to instruct supporters to visit a Web site to "sign up for events in your community and contact your representatives."

At the conclusion of the 2008 election, Obama transitioned his presidential campaign into OFA, which is now a project of the Democratic National Committee.


Filed under: Health care • OFA • President Obama
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. sunshine

    it's time to support our President, nothing good can come from all these hate filled screams.

    August 7, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. jon

    The Dems are sounding more and more like communists/fascists every day. Anyone who disagrees with them is treated like a hostile enemy and defined as radical. People are wise to this tactic now, it is caricaturish.

    August 7, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  3. mjm

    Big mistake for Obama to go this route.

    They have no way of knowing whether these people are Republicans, Democrats or independents. It's not like they register to be there.

    Why have town hall meetings if you refuse to listen?

    People have legitimate concerns and they are speaking out, and Obama isn't listening.

    Let's see how that works out for him and the Democrats.

    August 7, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. Rose

    Why was there no outrage from the Dems when ACORN made such a scene on the streets. I saw that clip today, where is the difference. The American people have a mind of their own, we have a perfect right to say what we want to. Polls show more people do NOT want their reform package. Sure health care is in a mess but do it right, read the bill correct what is wrong and there are plenty of wrongs in this bill especially for seniors.

    August 7, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  5. 60's survivor

    stand up!!

    August 7, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  6. Sue

    In a week which saw the jobless numbers finally come down, the stock market higher than it's been in months, two journalists released unharmed from N. Korea due to DIPLOMACY not threats, the top Taliban leader killed, and AIG starting to repay TARP funds, why is the President still under siege by Republicans? He has done more good in these few months than Bush managed in 8 years. If this smear campaign is not racist, what would you call it, Republicans? You are lying about the health care plan, just as you lied about him during the campaign. You are in the pocket of the insurance companies, who certainly don't want to lose their power over prices. At least be man enough to tell the truth, you know, "quit making things up!"

    August 7, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  7. bsmith171

    ACORN and union thugs?

    each american needs a governemnt paid security guard.

    August 7, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. mike,Texas

    If you like your health plan you get to keep it,if not you get an option.How could someone complain about that. Thats like complaining about an option to pay less taxes. Corporate america and the republicans will talk the dumb into jumping off cliffs.They impeach politicians when they cheat on their spouse but high five when they do it.They try to convince you that voting against your own best interest is best . just say no to the party of no. The party of hypocracy must go.

    August 7, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  9. mother and sister of a soldier

    CNN...will you print this???

    Read the plan. You may be surprised that these are not lies. Why would obama be in such a hurry to push this through? He wants to keep you all ignorant. Reform is necessary but this isn't it.

    August 7, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. alvino

    The Brown Shirts of the GOP really need to start dealing in truth instead of their own fantasy, lies and distortion.

    August 7, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Is it a lie to say we will end up spending our tax dollars giving illegal aliens free health care? No it's not; it's in the bill.
    Is it a lie to say we have to raise taxes to pay for it? No the GAO has said as much.
    There's no lies, just a bad bill and lots of questions.

    August 7, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Larry

    Fighting ignorance is always a tough battle

    And ignorance is the core of the Republican party ...

    August 7, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. Getting Ridiculous

    So, apparently on the left wing extremists have the right to have their voices heard?

    Newsflash! The people showing up at town hall meetings around the country that aren't happy with the healthcare bill and the way Washington is running the country aren't just right wing extremests. They are people all across the spectrum and of all ages. How dare our President tell us to shut up.

    August 7, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. JS007

    Good. The GOP should not have started this game, because once Obama shows the American people how the GOP (and some Democrats) have sold out to the insurance industry health care will pass, just as the stimulus did, and the GOP will be banished into the wilderness for a long time to come, having no achievement to which they could point other than saying NO to everything.

    August 7, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. db

    The protesters are doing what the democrats have not done...motivated me to donate money for the first time ever to stop this disgrace. Health care is a luxury only for those who can afford it. For the rest of us, its a matter of life and death.

    For the first time ever, I will do without to donate to any cause to stop this slander and lies about healthcare reform. And if it requires it, I will be on the streets to add my voice in support of affordable healthcare for all.

    Hardworking, poor people need doctors too. Shame on you all!!

    August 7, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. Ancient Texan

    So? There have protests of different bills or agendas from both sides of the aisle for as long as I can remember. Then add partisan anti-war demonstrations, civil rights marches, and Cindy Sheehan's antics. so this is nothing new. But the Liberals think since the election they have sole possession of free speech. But the People are fed up with their Reps not listening to them, and are rising up to be heard.

    August 7, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. Alan

    Isn't it funny that when the angry "mobs" were attacking the Bush adm all of the dems (including the media) all said that the American people were just "passionate" about the issues. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it's not the American people anymore it's just the evil old Republicans.

    Why are the Dems so upset. They have clear majorities in both houses, why not just pass the bill and let Obama sign it into law. It doesn't matter really what the American people want, it only matters what the elite wants for us peasants. (Isn't it interesting that the members of Congress are not willing to approve an amendment that would require them to participate in the plan.)

    The economy only lost 320,000 more jobs last month so Obama is fired up now. Look out!!!

    August 7, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. alvino

    Tough week for the sorry republicans. Market up over 1200 points since Obama took over, Sotomayor confirmed despite threats by the anti hispanics and the NRA, fewer jobs lost, housing sales up, two journalists released from North Korea, people buying cars and a leader of the Taliban was eliminated.

    We are fortunate to have elected an intelligent man as president. All the republicans have is the huge amounts of money the health care industry is paying them to say "No!" and lie about reform.

    August 7, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  19. Paul from KC, MO

    Mitch Stewart and the Obama administration are out of touch if they believe these town halls are filled with "extremists" "funded by special intrests." Here in the midwest we are concerned about the democrats rushing reform and just because we do not agree with the administration does not mean that we are right-winged extremists.

    August 7, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  20. New Yorker

    OFA (Organizing for America) should stop spreading lies about ordinary Americans who want to express their opposition to the government takeover of private enterprise and the eroding our freedom. There is still a very large percentage of Americans who want to "organize" their own lives and will not abrogate that constitutional right to the extremely liberal "Organizer" that sits in the White House at taxpayer expense.

    Obama's directive to "flag" comments made by those opposing his health care takeover, I believe, is illegal.

    August 7, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. rob

    Calling people names and trying to lumping regular Americans into these hyperbolic categories is an attempt to stiffle debate. The only debate allowed under the new "regime" is for the supporters to have their talking points and to spew them without any questions so they can be played on the MSM sound-bite reports every evening. If anyone dares to question the specifics, they will be labeled and marginalized by the "regime" and by the same MSM.

    August 7, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. AJ

    The right wingers are like mafia. They are not really opposed to the healthcare reform; they are mad that Obama became President and they can't handle it or stand it. I am sure that 90% of these protesters do not know much about the proposed healthcare changes. Many of them are being fed bad information by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, many conservative radio talk show hosts. They have no idea how many more jobs will be lost if the insurance premium rates and deductibles rise at twice the rate that they did in last 10 years. They are giving lies about small business being affected by public option or coop insurance plans. The truth is small businesses will be offer HC to their employees at a much cheaper rate and retain their employees and even expand their numbers.

    August 7, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. Tee

    Ooooooh the DRAMA! Not everyone who thinks this Obamacare is worthless is part of the GOP. Come on DNC and Obama we have a right to disagree and protest a half wit plan.

    Get over yourselves. Address the concerns and tell us what the plan is, how the program will work, the price tag...we WANT DETAILS!!

    August 7, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. old timer

    tell obama to quit being a dictator and start listening to the American public

    August 7, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. Scott, Tucson

    What a pack of lies coming for a Socilist who is now attacking ordinary Americans voicing their rights. Shame on Obama and his cronies.

    August 7, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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