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. Ellid

    Of course the insurance industry doesn't want a public option. They'll make less money and *their* executives won't be able to take a nice vacation on the profits they make from denying coverage.

    August 21, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Dean

    Give me a break Bush used to do it all the time

    August 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    If memory serves me, Bush spent 20% or more of his "presidency" on vacation. A shame these folks can't make their points in a substantive manner.

    August 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Johnny DC

    It's not cool to mock Obama's vacation. It's only cool to mock GWB's vacations.

    Liberals – a great memory, only when it behooves them.

    August 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Randolph Carter the evil Obamabot

    Grow up. All presidents take vacations. Some hang out at their ranch for months at a time. Have a nice day!

    August 21, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. Brandon

    The insurance companies don't want a public option. OMG. I'm sure it has nothing to do with maintining their high profits and big bonuses. Their only concern is for the American people.

    August 21, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. mims

    OMG.. Bush was on vacation 6 out of 8 years he was president..

    August 21, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. geecee

    Obama has got to get out there and refute all the lies being spread by the nutjobs about the health care plan – the paying for all illegal immigrants, the death panels for old people, the payment for abortions, the government getting into your bank accounts, etc. These are all lies conjured up by the right-wing psychobots who want him to fail, and he has got to put a stop to it as soon as possible. The longer he allows these hateful and fearful rumors to stay out there, the harder it is going to be to refute them. People are old, fearful, gullible and scared. He has to do something quick to turn this hatred around and get people to realize that what he wants to for their own good in thelong-run.

    August 21, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Sean from Canada

    If this politics is about strategy – including PR – then I think the Republicans are doing a fairly good job at it. If this politics is about people, then I really think Americans ought to wake up and smell the coffee – For those who want the public option of healthcare, you have to put up a bigger fight. If that means going to townhalls and stirring the pot, then so be it. At this point, democrats are losing the fight handedly and will continue to do so.

    I think it's fair to say now that the debate is about seniors: the 64 yr-old upper class female from Maine who has health insurance is fighting with the 64 yr-old lower class female from Georgia who has no insurance. The exception is that there is seldom any media attention given to the folks who actually want public healthcare. But then again, who can blame the media? They are complacent because they have insurance plans as it stands.

    On a personal level, America's democracy in respect of representation of voices is eroding and consequently the situation is beginning to look like a Republican coup d'etat. My hope is that the Blue Dogs and Red Elephants are not going to ride the donkey on this one. America: You need to FIGHT for WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!

    August 21, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Tracie

    Health care should be a most have, both for the poor and the elite; Conservatives group please do what is right for all Americans

    August 21, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Gerry

    The group has spent 4 million dollars mocking the man that has done more good for our economy in 8 months than their man did in 8 years. All they can do is mock, because they aren't smart enough to engage in an honest debate. President Obama hit the ground running and is leaving the oppostion in his dust. He has tried to keep them on board, they just can't keep up. At least he is taking a family vacation, not using our tax revenue to go piddle on his "ranch".

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

    If more then 80% of people are happy with their health care ......why must obama change it ????

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

    How easily they forget. Their Bush was the King of Vacations!!
    Cannot understand when organizations and people of doubtful character like Scott spend so much to defeat health care reform,
    the people who support them cannot see through their attempts
    to make sure big business retains control of our lives.
    How anyone can listen to and give credibility to their lies, distortions and dishonorable behavior is beyond me.
    We can no longer allow big business, lobbyists, special interests and those who support them run, control our country and make crucial decisions on our welfare.
    Health care reform, public option is our health care survival.
    Open your eyes and realize the republicans, big business and
    the media are out to destroy what we so desperately need.

    August 21, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Dee

    I am so sick of these SO CALLED CONSERVATIVES. these are the ones who are ruining and dividing this country with there lies. He deserves a vacation. No one said anything about any of the other Presidents taking vacation but this President gets KILLED by them all the time. Run your stupid ads. After seeing how the Conservative REPUBLICANS act I wouldn't vote for any of you. Thought about voting for Christie in the November Gov. election BUT KNOW WAY NOW. JUST SICK OF THE REPUBLICANS AND ALL THERE ANTICS. Just remember YOU ARE THE PARTY THAT GOT US TO THIS MESS.

    August 21, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. SlowGun

    So this organization, Conservatives for Patient's Rights, doesn't want a Governemnt run public option....interesting, I wonder why?

    Oh wait...maybe this is why...the group was founded earlier this year by former health insurance executive Rick Scott.

    So is Rick and his group really for Patient's Rights, or our they working for the insurance industry's interest.

    August 21, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Kelby In Houston, Texas

    I like the way these organizations name themselves, like, Conservatives for Patient's Rights. These 'conservatives' don't care about patients rights. The organization itself is a front for insurance companies.
    Where is CNN's Truth Squad? Do a little bit of investigative journalism and tell us who Conservatives for Patient's Rights really is. As a matter of fact, find out who is funding all the ornganizations similar to Conservatives for Patient's Rights and how they lie to people and organize town hall mobs.

    August 21, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Proud Member...Party With No Brain

    He took a vacation? How dare he? Everyone knows you're supposed to take 110 days of vacation your first year in office. Right, Georgie?

    The Republican party seems to operate soley on America's collective amnesia of the last eight years and while President Obama doesn't raise the terror alert every time poll numbers drop, or drape himself in the flag and perpetually use 9/11 an an excuse to abuse executive power, god forbid the man take a vacation.

    Obviously there's going to be some mud slinging from the right, but I would have expected at least ONE alternative to have been presented by now. Still waiting on their economic plan...

    August 21, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. cramit

    If 100% of congress is happy with their health care ...... why should they care what we get stuck with ?

    August 21, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Walter

    At last, CNN is beginning to give its readers some of the vital information that it needs about the "astroturf" organizations that are trying to derail health insurance reform.

    Behind every one of them there is an insurance company executive or lobbyist.

    We need to send all of them on a permanent vacation.

    August 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    It is unfair to mock Obama's vacation.
    As much as I disagree with him about a public option, anybody who works as many hours as he does deserves some time at the beach.

    August 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Menace

    Where were these people when Pres. Bush went golfing when Katrina struck? Mr. Bush spent more time vacationing than any president.

    August 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. Socialist

    This from the same so called consevatives who had nothing to say about the last prez all time record vacation time.

    Obama went earlier to office for the sake of saving the economy and you complained.

    He went to the funeral of his grandma in Hawaii and you complained about it being a vacation.

    Having to listen to your baseless attacks ( it has been proven over and over and over already) I would have gone on vacation allot earlier.

    Lets be honest. Your going to attack this president on everything that he does or is going to do. yes we get it you hate him. You don't like him. Stop putting your hate in new suits like...socialism.....Kenyan........Give back our Country (bizarre where did it go?) ....grandma killer (death panels). Lets be honest we all know why you really don't like him i just want to hear one of the Haters being honest to him or herself and tell us really why they don't like the President of the United States of America President Obama.

    Now let the people with real concern have a civilized discussion.

    August 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. jfs Memhis, Tn

    We see through all that crap. There must be a public option to include all of our American Brothers and Sisters. Just as the constitution is inclusive of all of us , so must a national insurance program and reform.

    August 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Nestor

    Give the man a break. He has to deal with all these stupid Special Interest groups harassing him I doubt he will even have time to look on television none the less vacation. Being Commander in Chief is a full time job.

    August 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. pattyboo

    I am so tired of the americans saying something about pres. obama.
    after eight years of BUSH I dare you.
    pres. obama haven't even been in office a year and every thing he does its look at under magifying glass. PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK

    he can't even go on vacation. please

    August 21, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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