August 21st, 2009
02:25 PM ET
1 year 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. Mark

    How stupid. Whether you like him or not, the guy has been working himself to death...he already looks about 5 years older than when he took office just eight months ago. This is old-politics, and a big reason that conservatives are no longer in power. They can't see the forest for the trees.

    August 21, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. ex-republican

    I will sign-up my family in public option insurance starting january, 2010, and so will many of my co-workers and neighbors. Think about this, "Conservatives for Insurance Rights"! Idiots!!!!

    August 21, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Anonymous

    "Conservatives for Patient's Rights, a group founded earlier this year by former health insurance executive Rick Scott" – does anyone (well in the right state of mind) believe that health insurance executives CARE about patient rights?

    August 21, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. barnes in TN

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

    That's all I have to know about it.

    August 21, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Bob

    Funny how they didn't mock Bush for his lengthy vacations.

    August 21, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Mobile

    That doesn't sound like an advertisement. That sounds like a threat!

    August 21, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Jen B.

    And the money funding that commercial is probably flowing from lobyists' pockets.

    August 21, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Melissa

    Incredibly childish tactic.

    August 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. chichi

    What a waste of money!

    August 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Shari, NY

    Surf's really up! The President is vacationing in a section of the US which is going to feel the effects of Hurrican Bill which is no fun so I think they need to try something else. Many of the fears re his reform proposal are unfounded to the point that the media has already debunked some of the misguided information. These folks need to find something constructive to do if the really love the USA. Selfishness in all forms seems to prevail and this is what is taking the country down – nothing else.

    August 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Anonymous

    You didn't seem to complain when Bush went on Vacation... you hypocrites

    August 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. TonyE

    How soon they forget! W spent more time on vacation than off, particularly in his first term. How many times did we see him chopping down a tree or working on his cattle ranch while "working" as President? This is pathetic.

    August 21, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. wavethatflag

    How dare he take a vacation, this do nothing president. At least, this will give me time to hide my grandmother before he comes for her, and do some more target practice.

    August 21, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. America Shrugged

    I guess what President Obama should do is buy "W" 's old ranch in Crawford, a cowboy hat, a pickup truck and a chainsaw and everything will be alright with the GOP world. Conservatives did nothing for this country for 8 yrs but give us more debt with 2 unpaid for wars and tax cuts for those who didn't need them. They didn't stop the bleeding of jobs being outsourced and did nothing to bring healthcare costs down. Now everyone is so concerned about debt? How about all these Polls being touted? Sorry, I use real politics to get my poll information, and although polls seem to be trending down for Obama, he is still more popular than both parties in congress. I heard an idea the other day, put healthcare reform into 2 bills..One to manage costs with what we have right now, including gov run medicare, medicaid, etc...end preferential patient shopping by excluding those with pre-existing conditions, don't allow anyone with private insurance to go bankrupt and homeless due to catastrophic illness, and then work on a seperate bill to expand medicare for those who want to opt into that program. This is just too large to put into one bill with a tight time frame and too important to be ignored or tabled for some other time.

    August 21, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. tjaman

    The man doesn't get a vacation? If I recall correctly, President Bush conducted two entire wars pretty much entirely while clearing brush in Crawford, TX.

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Gregory, Scottsdale, AZ

    What is wrong w/ theses people. They are not American.......need we remind you that that there are 47 Mil. People w/o Health insurance. Don't give me that crap about Immigrants. I don't buy it. This is a real issue and these people truly don't care.......What is wrong w/ us? This is not the right thing to do……

    August 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Marty

    Bush loved vacationing while sending our kids off to die in two wars. He vacationed much before 9/11.

    August 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Melanie

    Again, this is another weak ad . If we are going to talk about presidential vacation time, lets talk about Bush. According to CBS News:

    "President Bush recently spent his 879th day at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, since the Supreme Court, in all its great wisdom, elevated him to the presidency. This according to NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me," which noted that Bush broke former President Reagan's record for taking vacations from the White House."

    Since I am a Math teacher, let me give you a little lesson:

    8 years x 365 days = 2,920 days as President
    If he took off 879 days (note: he took off the month of August for his entire 8 as President- can we say, avoiding issues)

    That would mean that he spent 30% of his Presidency on vacation, 1/3rd of his time as President was on vacation. For regular people, that means he spent about 2 and 1/2 years relaxing. How many days of vacation hav you taken in last 8 years?

    So do we really need to be concerned about Obama taking vacations? I think he needs it because people are hammering him for trying to fix a system that could have been fixed while we were trying to liberate a country that didn't even want us there in the first place.

    August 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. GOPer

    My party is an embarrassment.

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Kim

    You have got to be kidding. This is stooping to the lowest level yet. I truly believe this group wants Obama to not only fail but to be killed. Will the hate never end?

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Expat American

    The GOP wants one thing. To regain power. Is so they can serve the American people? No. This has never been the agenda of the GOP for the past 25-30 years – that is unless you're rich and white then your pockets will be lined. Sorry, poor whites aren't included, even if you brought your sheets to McCain/Palin rallies and burned a few homemade crosses.

    How does the GOP hope to accomplish their retaking of power? They intend to do it by banking on the simple ignorance of those Americans who will never travel beyond a ten-mile radius of their place of birth. They intend to do it by scaring senior citizens. They intend to do it by inventing foreign bogeymen and creating a Christian crusade against our ‘enemies’ through a propaganda campaign of fear (that's the easiest one that is used to win over the Palin Mob).

    Lastly, they will run ridiculous ads like these and ignore the failed empire of their own leaders and party.

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. gae

    These are the same people that didn't care that Bush spent over two years of his presidency on vacation.

    149 visits to Camp David for a total of 487 days and 77 visits to his ranch for 490 days. That is a grand total of 977 days of vacation. The average American gets about 10 days per year.

    No wonder our country is such a mess.

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. no name calling

    Reminds me of when Bush took August off to remove brush on his Texas ranch, while Huricane Katrina was drowning the folks down in New Orleans.

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Alison

    And where was the outrage when Bush was on vacation during Katrina? SO TIRED OF THE HIPOCRACY!

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. scott

    Nastiness by a health insurance executive out to protect his bonuses, golden parachute and perks . . .

    The four million this health insurance company has spent on negative ads (and yes, it is the insurance company by proxy) – is just a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the nearly million and a half dollars PER DAY being spent by the insurance industry to kill this process and preserve their cash cow. Almost 1.5 million per day – they have to get that back somehow.

    August 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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