August 21st, 2009
02:25 PM ET
8 months ago

Conservative group targets Obama's vacation

A new ad is directed at Obama while he vacations on Martha's Vineyard.
A new ad is directed at Obama while he vacations on Martha's Vineyard.

(CNN) – If President Obama wants to catch the White Sox-Red Sox games next week while he vacations in Martha's Vineyard, he'll probably see the latest ad to attack his health care reform proposals.

Conservatives for Patient's Rights, a group founded earlier this year by former health insurance executive Rick Scott, says it will spend close to $150,000 next week to air a 30-second television spot in the Boston media market coinciding with Obama's vacation in the area.

Video: Rick Scott wades into health care debate

Among the stations the group plans to air the ad on is NESN, the network that will broadcast the four-game series next week between Obama's Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox.

Called "Surf's Up," the ad's narrator appears to mock Obama's beach vacation "while concerns mount about his health care plan."

"The beach is nice this time of year," says the female narrator. "But while president Obama vacations, concerns mount about his health care plan. Mr. President, when you go back to D.C., drop your government-run public option plan."

The group has spent upwards of $4 million on combating the Democrats health care proposals this year.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs brushed aside the ad at Friday's daily briefing.

"I don't think the American people begrudge the president taking some time with his family that's well earned and well deserved for a few days to see and spend time with them," said Gibbs.

(Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET with Gibbs response)


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. Will

    I don't understand. Aren't the House and the Senate already out for the month? What could he possibly do anyway? This is a ridiculous ad. What were they saying when bush left for THREE MONTHS?! Obama will be gone, what, a week? CPR seriously needs to shut up. This matter is too important and deserves REAL DEBATE, not this kind of nonsense. It's bad enough with all the lies being spread around making it harder to have a serious back and forth.

    August 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. blueNC

    Hey GOP, let's talk again when Obama's vacation days while in office equals your Howdy Doody president's record breaking number of vacation days while in office.

    August 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Crazy Cat Lady

    How classy. Not.

    August 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. andrea

    Look at who founded this group! What a farce; an insurance executive championing patients' rights? That is like a wolf guarding the sheep.

    August 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    There is one sector of the work force that has job security for at least four years: political action/obbying groups and talk show hosts who vehemently oppose Obama and the Democrats. Seems presidential campaigns begin the day after inauguration.

    August 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Leonard

    I guess they forgot all the vacations that thier precious President Bush took. Oh how quick they forget.

    Please get a life.

    August 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. David

    Bush spent more time on vacation than any president in history and the conservatives mock Obama for taking some time off. That's just priceless.

    In case anyone hasn't noticed, concern about health care reform has risen because people are willing to believe the lies being told about it. Got Death Squads?

    August 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Paula

    Amazing how insurance companies have all this money to pay for ad campaigns...but yet they are constantly telling the people they insure...that you can't have this procedure or you can't get this med..because it's to expensive. The insurance companies are supposedly barely keeping afloat. The fact that they can spend all this money on ad campaigns...kinda makes them seem like LIARS. The money has to be coming from somewhere. Oh...from the PREMIUMS..the peole you insure pay. Evidently my life isn't worth an 86 dollar a month hypertension med...but ad campaigns are worth millions. Insurance companies and the special interest that support them are just a bunch of HYPOCRITES.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA....I'M WITH YOU. YOU GO BOY!!

    August 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Portland, Maine

    are you serious? Wasn't Bush on vacation for about half of his 8 years in office? If anything Obama deserves a mini-vacation with his family. These tactics will just backfire anyway.

    Playing these ads on NESN will reach a lot of viewers....unfortunately for Rick Scott and his health insurance cronies, people in New England will see right through them.

    August 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. lucyna

    Give me a break. This men and his staff work like a dog. While we are relaxing on the weekends, what does Obama do? Work, work, work!!!! He DOES NOT have weekends like the rest of us. So get off his back.

    August 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. DX in TX

    The Republicans have always been good at one thing and one thing only...selling fear, hate and lies. Republicans have made it perfectly clear they don't care about the American people they only care about destroying the Obama Administration.

    August 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. pat todd

    What about GWB's approximately 450 days of vacation over an eight-year reign of terror?

    Has anyone read the bi-partisan senate committee's assessment of pre-Iraq war intelligence? Entry into a war based on false, exaggerated, or non-existent intlligence, and yet, no qualms about escaping responsibility for mounting casualties and ever-increasing terrorist threats to the U.S. ( since a lot of people aren't fond of having their countries invaded, particularly when handled so sloppily). And yet, W was off relaxing at the ranch, his VP was busy shooting his friend in the face, etc.

    August 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. icharliem

    The "swift boat" tactic ... Will we now dishonor ourselves as a people by accepting such misleading tactics in regard to our president? ... How can anyone who calls themselves an American use the sort of tactics that demeans the service of a president or hero, as they did with John Kerry, a veteran who put his life on the line in service to this country, our country? ... Isn't time that we stop accepting this? Is it any better than when a foreigner disses Americans? I hope one day we can stand up and say "enough ... it's NOT acceptable" ...

    August 21, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Derek from Medford, MA

    The way Liberals harped on Bush's vacations, I guess this is only fair...

    August 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Idiot_Pelosi

    SNO-bama is a liar just like Bill Clintion. I can't believe the things he explicitly says are not true, and then you read the House Bill and find out they are.

    SNO-bama is the ultimate car salesman.

    August 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Alverant

    Shall we talk of how often Bush went on vacation during emergencies? He said he wouldn't rest until Osamma bin Laden was captured or killed. Since then he's taken more than a year's worth of vacation time.

    August 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. J

    Rick Scott is a criminal,
    He was involved with the largest health care fraud in US history and he was guilty.
    The man has no creidiability, who cares about him.
    All he wants it to make sure that the money continues to to to Private insurance. Americans people be dam!

    August 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. gl, From Pittsburgh

    GOP have been so sicking it not funny. GOP where is your plans for the American people? Oh, I forget you don't have one other then trying to WATERLOO this President? GOP – you ad are very irrelavent!

    August 21, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. The GOP Reaper

    Perhaps the key statement in the story here:

    "Conservatives for Patient's Rights, a group founded earlier this year by former health insurance executive Rick Scott..."

    Who stands to gain if this bill fails? INSURANCE COMPANIES AND EXECUTIVES.

    Who gains if this succeeds? Customers.

    The only shocker is how brazenly overt these people have become.

    August 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. 2010 - The People Speak

    Where are those 4 million jobs Obama promised by the end of summer?

    August 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    Spending money from special interests is a very easy thing to do.But sustaining lies is more difficult.
    While the rest of the world looks up to the US for inspiration it's really dishearting to see how a few million dollars can get crazy fringe blind public opinion on the real merits of universal healthcare.
    When it comes to wars,please don't talk about a generational theft.

    SHAME ON YOU RIGHT WINGERS!

    August 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. wcf630

    Do people even remember how many vacations Bush took? 1/3 of his time in office...

    Obama's working hard. Give him a break, will ya?

    August 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. michael

    It's a sad commentary they someone would begrudge a man's family vacation regardless of the man's stature. To spend $4 million dollars and to come from a corporate reprehensive (considering corporations have a reputation for luxury, greed and waste as highlighted by our current economic and healthcare crisis) is utterly absurd. Republicans and the healthcare corporations they represent should be part of the solution and not just making useless noise.

    August 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Dave from CO

    “Former health insurance executive Rick Scott” sounds like he is making money as an independent contractor. It makes me wonder how much of the whole protest is sponsored by health insurance companies. When 74% wanted healthcare reform before this, how do that many minds change? I think they may want to regulate some of the insurance companies out of writing our laws. They seem to be using that 33% overhead in ways that don’t support the public interest. Go fig companies that are all about profit are upset that they may have to be about healthcare instead.

    August 21, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Brian

    4 million? There must be a lot of money to be made in the health care private insurance industry! Not quite sure they are looking out for the american people.

    August 21, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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