August 21st, 2009
02:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Conservative group targets Obama's vacation

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. rice, bryan

    let's just jam this thing down the repukes throat, like we had the war in iraq jammed down our throats.

    August 21, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. R Wolf

    Yes, a great productive way to spend money when this money could have gone to help fix this huge health care crisis. What are you people fighting? Do none of you have pre existing illnesses? Do none of you have a chance of getting fired or changing jobs, thus leaving your health insurance behind? Do none of you care that your premiums go up each and every year? Are you all so wealthy that you don't care about the care of health costs? What a bunch of uninformed, uncaring, unethical people.

    August 21, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Pepou

    Pitiful and lamentable. Spending $$ on this ! Pleaaaaase.

    August 21, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Mike S.

    Is it really a surprise that an insurance executive would spend money for attack ads aimed at Obama? This is the same executive who endorses a system where families can be bankrupted for having cancer, denied coverage for having been sick, and has to pay fifty bucks for an aspirin when hospitalized. Do these neocons have anything to offer other than fear, rumors, hatred, and attacks?

    August 21, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. WisconsinEric

    Notice who is funding this ad – a former health insurance exec. 'Nuff said? The approach of opponents of health care reform seems to be that if you can't beat a proposal on its merits, just lie long enough and loud enough and sprinkle the result with innuendo and you'll defeat health care reform. BTW, I've already got government health care – Medicare – and it's great, a literal life-saver. I have had far fewer problems with it than the various private health plans during my working life. I've often felt guilty because I have close relations who aren't Medicare-eligible and are really stuck for health care.

    August 21, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Richard L

    This is typical of the incredible HYPOCRISY of many Republicans. President Obama is out working hard to push a program that he thinks will be extremely important to Americans.

    What was George W. Bush doing 8 years ago on this day in the first year of his presidency? He was on a ONE-MONTH vacation in Crawford. He never contacted the head of the CIA while vacationing. He had no concerns that terrorists were making their final plans to attack our nation the next month.

    August 21, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. velcro

    so, no mention on how rick scott is a crook? and how he defrauded Medicare for a ton of money? interesting...

    August 21, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. MLH

    Really? I can't imagine that any conservative wants to get into a snarky argument over whether this President takes a quick vacation! I mean it isn't like he has been at his ranch clearing brush.

    Mr. Obama, I'm a patient who has rights. Please keep that public option. And enjoy your vacation. You have certainly earned it.

    August 21, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. R Wolf

    It's interesting that no one complained when Bush spent more time at his ranch than any other president has spent away from the White House. Where were you mockers then? President Obama has done more positive things in his short time as President than Bush ever did. More legal, productive, important and ethical things, anyway!!!!!!

    August 21, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Misa

    Now I find that ad to be hilarious! Particularly when the previous president was pretty much always on vacation...during a time of war. Hmmm...let's think about that for a second. People are so forgetful.

    August 21, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Beka

    Bush spent 2 years out of his 8 years in office on vacation.

    August 21, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Arno

    Martha's Vineyard.... isn't that where the last president spent about sixty percent of his term?
    You remember, the one who was supposedly looking after all the soldiers he had sent to two foreign countries to get blown up.
    I recall him spending almost every other week there.

    August 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    And of course the media will pick up on it and spread the word. What about the other side. What about the fact that this man needs a well earned break. Congress takes 6 weeks off, but the President isn't allowed. What about Bush. Didn't he spend 1/3 of his time in office in Crawford clearing brush? CNN, stop spreading right wing talking points, please. You're not acting like a responsible news organization, you're acting like a propoganda machine for wingnuts.

    August 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. Joe

    mocking the president. what great americans (not).

    August 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Ron

    Isn't it amazing what Radio, T.V., and the republican party will do or say for money?????

    August 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    CNN, You didn't mention that Rick Scott is a criminal, and of course he is going to be against a Public Option, He is a former insurance executive and lobbies for these insurance companies to keep the status quo and rip off the american people. They don't want a public Option because their profits will be decreased because they will have true competition and have to lower their high priced insurance that not many people can afford. Do your Job CNN, We all know what these companies stand for. They like those big huge profits they are making off the backs of the american people, all the while denying coverage when people get sick, and not covering because of supposed pre-existing conditions. It's time to stop these greedy corporations. They like making their multi-million dollar salaries. If you back CPR, you will need CPR, because they are killing americans right now. Insurance rates just keep skyrocketing, but you are getting less and less coverage for your money. Stop these Insurance companies and the minions like CPR. I support a Public Option because I believe it is the only way to keep these liars honest. They will rip you off and lie to your face to keep your money. Greed has gotten way out of hand, and its time to put a stop to it.

    August 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Didn't W take more vacation time than any other president?

    August 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. unshrub

    Republicans have become slime. They don't even care if people know they are lying, as long as they can convince their base of something. And their base do not care, as long as Democrats and being critisized. Give a reason for a republican to laugh at a Democrat (regardless if it is true) and they are happy. Republicans only goal is to destroy Obama, it doesn't matter if they hurt the country, and it looks like there are enough people in this country that are dumb enough to fall for it.

    August 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Ashley

    People tend to forget that the Obamas are millionaires in their own right. They don't need the people's money to do anything. Our president should enjoy a vacation whenever he feels as if he needs one. Where were you guys when dub-ya was golfing during the devastation that is known as hurricane Katrina? Anyone? Anyone?

    August 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Jackie in Dallas

    Ah, geez. The man is taking his first true time off since his election, and all the GOP can do is to mock him? Where were they when President Bush ferried three planesful of press, staff and family to Crawford every month? When President Bush was so busy with a barbeque, he didn't have time to even visit New Orleans after Katrina? Oh, that's right, they were out the barbeque! Bush was fiddling while Rome burned, and the economy was crashing. [For the ignorant, that is an allusion to the myth that Nero was playing his fiddle while the fire burned that he ORDERED set to clear out the poor in Rome. Since the violin or fiddle wasn't really invented yet, it is more likely he was playing a lyre - a harp.]

    And all the GOP can do about health care is to smugly be happy that they have the best insurance the taxpayers can buy for them, and obstruct true debate on the real issues.

    It is amazing to bill has even made it to the floor of the Congress in either house. All we have are the bills coming out of committee. There has been no debate in the whole House or the Senate, much less a joint committee to reconcile the two eventual bills. THERE ISN'T A BILL YET, ONLY SEVERAL DRAFTS. Can we get our undies out of a wad and work with our duly elected officials in order to get a decent bill? Can we stop the fear mongering and actually come up with something constructive?

    August 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. G NO P

    Rick Scott is the Bernie Madoff of health care. His company was forced to pay a $1.7 billion fraud settlement, the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, for systematically stealing from taxpayers. A real upstanding guy,.

    August 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Anthony, Reno

    Right...because the President never takes a working vacation...

    August 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Matt

    Right. I personally think a president should spend most/all of the time in the Oval Office, it's what they signed up for. But conservative groups blasting Obama for this? Did they forget that George W. Bush took far more vacation time than any president before him, and way too much time was spent in Texas rather than Washington? I don't agree with a lot of what Obama's doing, but at least he's trying.

    August 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Greenwood,IN

    NO-Mr President do NOT drop your government run public option-it is one of the reasons you were elected -to stand for the ordinary American and against the Republican big business stand.

    August 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Smile

    I wonder where the rich conservatives who funded this add are vacationing this year?

    August 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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