In fact, I think you've had groups today, Conservatives for Patients Rights, that have bragged about organizing and manufacturing that anger," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
The debate over President Obama's top domestic priority is escalating as Congress takes a month-long recess. Several lawmakers have been booed, jeered, and occasionally cheered by protesters on their home turfs at town hall meetings on health care reform.
Gibbs singled out Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, as the ringleader.
"I think you've got somebody who's very involved, a leader of that group that's very involved in the status quo, a CEO that used to run a health care company that was fined by the federal government $1.7 billion for fraud. I think that's a lot of what you need to know about the motives of that group."
Here's a feisty video at an event with Minority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Nancy Pelosi also repeated her characterization of these town hall crowds as "astro turf". So it appears the Democrats are determined to keep the town hall confrontations as the dominant news story by trying to marginalize them. Here's the latest DNC ad.
I can't think of anything more politically tone deaf than for politicians to take on a whole set of voters simply because they state an opinion that differs from theirs.
The Democrats refuse to accept that these protestors reflect the feelings and passions of the majority of the populace. They don't like the direction that Obama and the Democrats are taking this country. They don't like the health care bill. They feel that politicians should read the bill before voting for it. They see this for what it is, a government take over of one sixth of our economy by a government that can't manage a one billion dollar program in CARS. They're letting the politicians know how they feel about it.
The Democrats have decided to be the perfect foil by questioning their motives. This the story for the next month. The story will ultimately be about the Democrat's war with the Tea Parties.
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The Democrats appear ready to try and paint citizen protestors with nefarious and dubious labels. This absurd strategy will not only back fire but it will blow up. The more the Democrats make an issue of this, the more it's an excuse for everyone to play a clip like this.
I have characterized this as a Network moment "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore"
That's what's happening in town halls all over the country. Voters are fed up with the spending, the waste, and the corruption. They feel as though this bill is being shoved down their throats. The politicians don't know what's in it. This health care bill will take away freedom, choice, it will make costs more expensive not less, and it isn't even Constitutional and the voters are letting the politicians have it.
I am officially calling this Day 2 of this battle between citizen protestors and the Democratic party. If the Democrats really want to make the month of August a debate over whether we should trust citizen protestors over cynical politicians, that is a debate this latest reincarnation of the Tea Party movement will have all day long. The Tea Party movement should welcome any and all Democratic criticism that it's contrived. I wouldn't want to be the politician that has to explain why they think those that get involved in the political process and attend a town hall are really there for nefarious reasons.
This will soon become a broken record. On the one hand we'll have grainy video of a rowdy town hall debate in which citizens unload on their politicians and on the other hand, politicians will get in front of the camera, armed with little evidence, and question the motivations of those that are criticizing. It's not hard to imagine who will win this debate.