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. a

    i would'nt be surprised.... i just hate the fact GOP doesnt want us to have better life.. All Americans should vote this idiots out of the office

    August 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Melissa

    Thats because thats exactly what they're doing. Republicans sew dissent. They'd rather have war than peace.

    August 5, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    I completely underestimated the fear and ignorance of the right wing stooges under the control of the Republican Party when I celebrated Barack's win back in November. The interesting thing is that only about a quarter of the "Republican base" stands to suffer anything from the new health care program (almost whatever it becomes). The Republican base is about 1/4 rich people (who will see their taxes go up) and 3/4 low to moderate income working folks in the South and West (who will benefit greatly from the cheaper, better healthcare they will no doubt get). I can perfectly well understand why a bunch of insurance execs and lawyers might want to protest (but, of course, they never do, they hire people to do that), but I cannot understand why the average Wal-Mart employee would be against this.

    August 5, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Enough

    Just goes to show how Naive the Democrats are, they can't possibly believe people don't want to pay more taxes to support their out of control spending. Democrats think they know how to spend our hard earned money better than we do. Middle class tax payers are not for this, people who pay little or no taxes are on the freebie band wagon. Those who want the Republicans to go away better watch what you wish for, since we are the ones supporting you!

    August 5, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Terry from Texas

    Conservobots, like zombies rising from the grave summoned by their master, "spontaneously" appear with pre-printed signs, all speaking in the same phrases, chanting "just say no to socialism," etc. No compassion, no concern for their fellow citizens, no sympathy, no empathy, no gratitude for how easy they have it.

    They do not realize that they are being exploited by con-men in two-thousand dollar suits who, when elected, will do everything possible to cut the wages and benefits of those very "protestors." They will outsource jobs, reduce governmental benefits (like police protection, fire protection, environmental protection, workplace safety, schools, etc.), and decrease the quality of those who do their bidding.

    Tom DeLay created this technique during the Florida recount in 2000.

    August 5, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. George

    I'd like to meet Obama so that I could shake his hand, pull him in close, and punch him in the nose.

    This transfer of wealth thing is un-American.

    August 5, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Here is your proof how the GOP is staging these events, go to and search 'conservatives for patients rights'. Only those interested in the truth will look it up.

    August 5, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. MomofFour

    The Democrats are trying to take the news off message. Concentrate on the people protesting instead of focusing on what they're saying. This president and congress are spending this country into debt that has never EVER happened. Our country is bankrupt. Obama is reducing our economy day to day. Do you people want to live in public housing on government assistance??? This is what we're talking about. WE can't sustain this spending out of Washington. PERIOD. Healthcare and Cap and Trade will doom this country. THAT is why people are angry. I am no Republican extremist. I'm an American...who pays attention.

    August 5, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. nea-nea

    It dont matter who stage what if HealthCare Reform goingh to pass its going to and no one can stop it Only God can So if god is for it, it will pass point blank.

    August 5, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Charles

    Just another DNC attempt to put the health care issue in the background. Protests, gathering or mob (pick a word); how about listening to their questions and answering them.

    August 5, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. The Jellyman

    A Blue Dog from Arkansas wins the delay that Republicans were asking for. A perfectly reasonable request. Why not take some time to properly vet this with the American people? How do they thank Rep. Ross? By targeting him in ads saying he wants to kill old people. By disrupting meetings. We had a chance for an open and honest discussion, instead we get distracted by rage, birthers, and God knows what. The Republicans don't want to talk about health care reform. They want to kill health care reform. And that alone makes me support health care reform.

    August 5, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Lisa P

    I figured something like this must be happening when I heard about what's been happening to Rep. Steve Kagen up in northeastern Wisconsin. Disagreement and debate are one thing; shouting down the speaker is quite another. Typical GOP tactics.

    By the way, I challenge the folks who claim that the Democrats do it too to cite a single verifiable incident of a town meeting held by a Republican congressman being shut down by people who were more interested in screaming than in the topic at hand. Remember that the GOP loves to stage-manage its "public" events - tickets distributed to the politically safe, people turned away (or arrested) because they're wearing the wrong t-shirt. Funny that commentators who have nothing to say about propaganda rallies masquerading as public service are so ready to slam the Democrats for opening their meetings to all comers and all points of view. Or maybe not.

    Want to be heard, Health Care Plan opponents? First act like you deserve to be heard.

    August 5, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Fed Up

    What the Democrats don't want Republicans to disrupt their staged town hall meetings. You would think they would want to hear how people really feel about the baloney they are force feeding us, instead of living in their little dream world thinking everyone supports the bankrupting of America!

    August 5, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Ellie, MD

    WHY are we not surprised? Republicans do NOTHING but cause CHAOS and DIVISION. This is WHAT they've been doing for decades. They NEVER offer any solutions or roll up their sleeves. Republicans are nothing but COWARDS in plotting and planning MOB groups to cause havoc on Town Hall Meeting held by Democrats.

    Is THIS WHO Americans want in Control a bunch of "sleazy bullies" who do nothing but cause MOB incited hatred and divisiveness in our country?

    I'm SICK of Republicans trying to DESTROY HEALTHCARE REFORM and BIRTHER MOB GROUPS, etc.

    August 5, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. George

    They sure are. When the can't win fairly, they cheat lie and steal. No wonder the country hates the republicans. They are making their own filthy bed, and soon will have to sleep in it.

    August 5, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Predicta

    This is total propaganda by the DNC. I was at a town hall with my democratic congressman in my 99 percent democratic district in NEW YORK CITY. The sparks flew when the topic of health care reform was brought up. There were no buses of right wing extremists. No representatives from the GOP or insurance or pharma. Just democrats yelling at the top of their lungs at their congressman how inept this health care legislation really is. Many stated that they would vote for the republican challenger in 2010 if he votes to pass this health care reform bill.

    August 5, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Ryan, Omaha

    I wish the Republican party was this organized. This is just the begining I think Americans are starting to realize that all of these "stimulus" and "programs" come at a price. And now with the administration officials even saying a middle class tax increase is possible. Protests and angry voters is just begining.

    I have a friend who works in the Senate. He says that the office he works in gets countless letters, emails, calls, etc from Obama voters who are asking the senator to vote against any health care, stimulus, cap and tax, etc... proposal that is introduced. He says they just want to respond with you voted for him, stupid!

    August 5, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Mike in MN

    Americans are split 50/50 on health care reform. Labeling those opposed as a paid Republican mob is an insult to the 50% of mainstream Americans that are angry and opposed to Obamacare. As the Dems love to point out, the Republican party is almost extint. Not where near 50% of Americans are Republicans. Yet 50% of Americans are opposed to Obamacare. Dems will only harm themselves by insulting 50% of Americans who are angry about a government take over of their health care. The Dems should be listening to the concerns of those opposed instead of demonizing them.

    August 5, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Mich

    Hey i've gone to my congressmen town hall meeting to ask questions. No one paid me to do it at all. I have elected these people I have the right to ask questions on bills that effect my life. If I feel the new health care bill isn't in my families best intrest then I have a right to protest at my congressmen office.

    August 5, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Grace


    This is NOT about HEALTHCARE REFORM. This is Republican GUTTER tactics PLANNED by the Republican Leadership. Bottom line. This proves the GOP is NOT about Healthcare Reform, they are ALL about PROMOTING RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS MOBS!

    It's ALL about how LOW and SLEAZY the Republican Party will stoop by busing people from other states to promote RUDE and MOB OBSTRUCTIONIST behavior.

    The GOP knows this is nothing but GUTTER TACTICS at its best. Republicans are SO SCARED that they have stooped to an all time low. They have resorted to the BULLY TACTIC. BULLY themselves into Town Hall Meetings to cause CHAOS. They don't care that their own stupidity is going to BACKFIRE in their faces big time.


    August 5, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. Steve

    Poor Democrats can't stand it when the Republicans use the Community Organizer-in Chief's own organizing tactics against him! Cry me a river! And wasn't it Obama who told his "fans" to get out there and "argue" and "get in their faces" when debating the election last year? Your thug tactics are coming back to haunt you Obama & DNC!

    August 5, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. S M R

    The Republicans Party is an EMBARRASSMENT to "WE THE PEOPLE".

    August 5, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Becky

    They did it before in 2000 and they will do it again....I wonder what its like being turned into what they said they hated in the 60's? I thought they were the party of moral values and upholding the Republic? What happened? All those Dixiecrats are poisoning the Republican party just like they poisioned the Democratic party....I wonder if there will be factional riots at the 2012 Republican Convention?

    August 5, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. annie for Palin

    Well, here is BIG news flash for cnn and all the far left loonies – I am a democrat, I am not paid to blog, I do not belong to any organization but the democrat party WHICH by the way used acorn during and since the election and black panthers who got away with threatening voters and I still think government rationed health care STINKS!! AND so does CRAP AND TAX!! Now big brother otherwise know as the chicago crooks and croonies wants a police state against anyone who opposes them. Has freedom of speech been stricken from the constitution? Or does it only apply to the current administrations points of few? These are honest hard working AMERICAN CITIZENS voicing their concerns and questions and the senators and rep. cannot answer them because they haven't even read the bill. obama hasn't even read.

    August 5, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. geecee

    Don't these screamers have anything constructive to offer? If not, they should quiet down for a few minutes and let people who know what they are talking about explain things to them. If they have questions, they might learn something. But just shouting people down, regardless of what side you are on, just shows you are a loser and won't allow the other side to offer any rational answers to our obstructionism.

    August 5, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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