August 5th, 2009
11:59 AM ET
12 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. susie

    How many Democrats in Congress and Senate have read the health bill?

    August 5, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Lori in St Pete

    Back when the GOP was in the majority, dems behaving this way would have been attacked and beaten by the thugs in the audience, then arrested for inciting violence. In fact, those things happened to dems for just quietly holding protest signs.

    August 5, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    I've seen the instructions being sent out on "How to Disrupt" these meetings. It's all over the place.

    The Republicans sent a copy to my sister's friend and she got the copy from him and forwarded it to me. It's disgusting.

    August 5, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    The new imaginary healthcare system will be great for imaginary people.

    August 5, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Keeth in California

    The GOP have nothing left to run on, so they prey on the ignorance of some of their base - the "birthers"; those who oppose "socialism" (and yet they don't realize Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, the GI Bill, big agribusiness subsidies, auto and bank bailouts, and the federal employee health insurance plan that includes all members of Congress is all "socialism"); those who think he is a muslim; those who think he was sworn in as POTUS on the Quran; those who think he is going to let the elderly die without treatment or force them to die through euthanasia. These people are crazy with fear, and the GOP are counting on them to disrupt town hall meetings and the Obama presidency as much as possible without regard for the well-being of our country and society. It's all politics to the GOP, even when it involves our very survival.

    August 5, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. sms29s

    You know, I used to merely disagree with Republican principles. Now I'm beginning to loathe Republicans themselves.

    August 5, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    Imaginary healthcare for imaginary people!

    August 5, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. keith A. sillsbury

    These people have got to be the dumbest of the dumb. they either don't have a job so they have the time to go protest which they'll get paid for by the rethugs, insurance, medical and pham companies but they need the reform to get the insurance coverage they need, or they've been duped into believing that they make over 250,000 a year in which they'll be taxed and additional 2% to pay for the changes in health care that will benefit 96% of Americans. The facts are that the industry makes billions a year ripping off hard working middle class Americans and they don't want that to change. Who are they? their the ones making over 250,000 a year. their the ones buying air time against the change. Their the ones paying bribes to congress to stop this bill from getting passes. WAKE UP and read the different bills and then write to your congressmen with a version you want to see. Stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.

    August 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. What's the real issue?

    Why to dems resort to making unfounded claims against republicans instead of DEFENDING their healthcare plan and ANSWERING questions? The reason is that they know they don't have most of America's support and quite frankly, can't "honestly" answer many of the questions, especially if a TV camera is in front of them.

    If Healthcare is the issue, the I encourage the Dems to stop blaming and changing the subject and instead put out an ad the defends their healthcare proposal. Can they even do it with an ounce of honesty? Doubt it....

    Oh, yeah. Please PROVE that the republicans are inciting mob mentality. Anyone can throw together an add making it look like a mob. Why don't you attend the town halls and stop cancelling them!!!! You're AFRAID, aren't you? The American people know the truth.

    August 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. LacrosseMom

    We all have the Right to protest, to Speak Freely. However, what really angers me is that the SAME people who condemned the Left, calling us,
    Anti-American and Un-Patriotic......... are the SAME people who are now wanting...... Obama destroyed, Obama to fail......... and spewing LIES.


    August 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Jake

    I guess they could act like Liberals and trash peoples property and yell racial slurs at the Police.

    August 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Lori in St Pete

    Bluebonnet, perhaps if the disruptors would respect the elected officials enough to stop shouting over them, you would hear their answers. They answer, problem is you and a small minority don't like the anwsers.

    August 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. S R Bricco

    People :

    It's not Government run !!

    Its government funded

    very huge differance. The govenment will be eliminating the high cost to use your insurance ie: co pays, prem. prescip meds. It will reduce the outragious bills for doctor visits. Some of the plans will have free check up for preventative care. Why is eveyone against this without reading the facts. It's NOT Government RUN. Its medicare and medicade but better. You'll still have your same doctors but at a lower rate. Its taking the hugh profit out of the medical filed and make adgusments so its affordable to ALL.

    August 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Some republican guy

    I just heard on Fox news how the healthcare plan is going to force old people to commit suicide. Then ACORN and the narcissistic obamabots are going to process their bodies into meatloaf to serve in the school lunch program! Have a nice day!

    August 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Kate in SW Fla

    It is wrong to allow this very rude and obnoxious bunch of hooligans to drown out all other conversation. There should be either some time alloted for them to do their hollaring, or else a separate area set aside for protesting, out of earshot of those who actually want to have some quality discussion time with their elected reps and senators. Everyone has rights here, not just the lunatic right.

    August 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. lynn in NM

    Why is it that if someone disagrees with the President (of any party), the reason is because someone else is "inciting" them? Do you not think that the majority of voters actually have a brain, and can use it to form opinions? Or, do you think we have to be lead around by the nose in order to get through life? I feel very sorry for anyone that has to live in DC. Obviously, that place sucks the brain and common sense out of everyone that steps foot there. Of course, it could be that it is only the politicians that lose their brains. They are so used to being lead around by their handlers, and being told what to say, that they think the rest of us are brainless also. Sad way to live!

    August 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Stan

    The only thing Conservatives haven't done is call outright for Obama's assassination, but there have been thinly veiled hints in that direction, most notably Glenn Beck's telling O'Reilly yesterday that Obama "is a threat to the Republic." Bottom line is the party of astroturf Tea Parties, secession (read: treason), loony Birthers, Palin, Coulter, Limbaugh, Rove, Delay, Gingrich, and Cheney lost an election and they don't like it. Just imagine how they'd feel if Obama had won the way Bush did in 2000, having lost the popular vote. Their response then? "Sore Loserman." They better get used to it. The Republicans have won the popular vote only once since 1988, and if they keep it up it could stay that way for a good while longer.

    August 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It isn't that hard to see that conservative groups are protesting various things at these town hall meetings like the proposed reforms of health care and insurance. At least could they be civil about it? I don't mind people speaking their mind, but they must respect other people to say their peace as well as being respectful of the member of Congress speaking and answering the questions asked.

    These disruptive activities only show that people are like Limbaugh – questionable in civility and understanding of the issues and how complex they are. If these people act like Limbaugh would at a town hall meeting, then they need to grow up just a bit and be civil!

    August 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. JV

    Deflection play right out of the Emmanuel/Obama playbook. So free speech is not allowed anymore? The right to assemble? Pretty soon this government is going to tell us how and when to take a crap and how much toilet paper to use afterwards. Our founders are rolling over in their graves.

    If the dems control just about everything in Washington DC, why can't they get this and the rest of their socialist agenda passed at the lightning speed the president is demanding?

    August 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Bill in CA

    Grass roots with a Rovian twist and corporate sponsorship....That's why it's called an "Astroturf".

    August 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Ron In California

    I've listend to the media reports and seen video tape of these meetings. Of course you have focus on the extremist point of view. However, most are just saying slow down, READ the details of what is being proposed and have time for debate on the most effective way to reform healthcare. Personally, I don't see a problem with that. Those in Congress are supposed to represent us. It is their duty to listen to us. So.....listen!

    August 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. katiec

    The people stating these are grass root protests must only watch FOX (course CNN is getting as bad) and listen to Limbaugh etc.
    There are copies of memos, letters out there that are being issued by right wing support groups, lobbyist related groups, extremists, advising your so called grass root radicals how to destroy meetings, gatherings.
    How anyone can say a medical system run by big business is better is beyond me. Look at the diasters they have created over the years.
    Their bottom line is greed and power.
    Wake up people. There will be many revisions to health care reform before the final version. We desperate need health care reform and public option, disallowing big business to make crucial decisions for us.

    August 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Carl from MI

    It's true. Of course, back when Dubya was in office... anything that was said that wasn't in agreement with the President back then was TREASON and un-patriotic.

    Now that Republicans got the boot from office and control, now it IS patriotic to disagree with the President. Republicans have become a hypocritical joke and cater to their lunatic fringe.

    To have a blogger on here say, "who cares?? if it helps destroy Obama, it is a good thing" and NOT say that to Dubya when he was destroying our country and irresponsibly spending American tax-dollars on people on the other side of the planet is just complete hypocrisy.

    Wake up, America!!! Make sure you don't vote Republican next election!!! Republicans = Hypocrisy First!!!

    August 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Paul, CA

    Anything that speeds up the end of this socialist administration is ok with the majority of the American people. I, a Democrat, will support any oppositon to the Obama/Pelosi dictatorship. America's future is at stake. This is no longer a Democratic or a Republican issue. It is an American issue and one we must all stand against. This is socialism and let there be no doubt about it. Just say "No" America!!!

    August 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Tracy

    You guy are crazy. It has been proven that those so called "law makers" who opposite health care reform are on the take. Before most of you open your mouth, do some research. These individuals have a reason, I mean a couple million reason why they are taking their stance. I want to know why do a disruptive group get to stop others who want some honest answer about the health care policy? I am thinking that the true answers will surface. Anyone who makes erroneous statements never wants the true to come out, so why not make loud noises so that the answers cannot be heard. I mean, the policy will kill the old people, or the policy encourge sex change; give me a break. I mean, if you believe those lies then you really need to seek higher education because if you believe everything, you will fall for anything.

    August 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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