Yesterday at Organizing for America's National Health Care Forum, President Obama took questions from supporters and called to action a network of more than 280,000 dedicated volunteers listening by phone and viewing online.
WATCH OFA'S HEALTH CARE FORUM WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdrXh7wunMM
Please see below for wide spread coverage of the President’s call to action during his live strategy meeting:
Politico: “Organizing for America still reigns as the biggest grass-roots movement in the nation — and its supporters are now beginning to outnumber opponents at more town hall meetings. Obama’s call to arms today could accelerate that trend ”: Amid White House concerns that it’s losing the message war on both its left and right fronts, President Obama on Thursday tried to rally his grass-roots army to regain momentum and redefine the battle for health care reform. In a conference call with Organizing For America activists, the 13-million-strong grass-roots wing of his machine, Obama told supporters they must battle misinformation being spread by opponents of his plan, such as claims that the bills in Congress would cover illegal immigrants or amount to a government takeover of health care.Organizing for America still reigns as the biggest grass-roots movement in the nation — and its supporters are now beginning to outnumber opponents at more town hall meetings. Obama’s call to arms today could accelerate that trend. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26277_Page3.html#ixzz0Ol2znRdW
MSNBC’s First Read: “Obama hits stride in interview, at DNC”: Today at the DNC, Obama slammed the media for not correcting -- and even spreading -- the kind of misinformation that has riled up critics, such as promoting the idea of rationed care, death panels, and benefits for illegal immigrants. "We know where these lies are coming from," he said to laughter. "I don't think it's any secret. You know, if you just flick channels you'll -- and then stop on certain ones of them then you'll see, you know, you'll see who's propagating this stuff and so all we can do is just keep on pushing the truth." http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/08/20/2042175.aspx
Roll Call: “Obama Rallies Grass-Roots Supporters”: President Barack Obama on Thursday sought to rally the troops backing him on health care, delivering a call to action to the grass-roots membership of Organizing for America at an event streamed on the Internet from Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. Obama laid out some talking points for his army of volunteers, telling them to focus on those with insurance as well as those without it. The president said he wants to let Senate Finance Committee Democrats continue to try to reach a deal with Republicans on legislation, but he suggested he will not wait indefinitely for a bipartisan plan. “We’re going to get this done one way or another,” Obama said. http://www.rollcall.com/news/37874-1.html
Huffington Post: Obama Confronts Misinformation About Health Care Reform, Back In Campaign Mode”: On Thursday afternoon, when President Barack Obama entered a room of 50 volunteers, with thousands watching via webcast, he was greeted with the campaign cry of "Yes We Can." In a speech and Q&A session that lasted over an hour, Obama spoke to members of Organizing for America (OFA), an almost entirely volunteer organization charged with mobilizing the campaign's grass roots strength into a fighting force for health care reform. Before Obama spoke, the Deputy National Director of OFA rattled off some impressive figures to show just how well they were doing... Perhaps the most impressive statistic, and possibly the one with the greatest long term impact, concerned elected officials: OFA members have made 64,912 visits to their local Congressional offices, far outnumbering the protesters screaming at town hall meetings. In the same calm way that he handled the talk of him palling around with terrorists, the President dispelled the lies one by one. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlene-h-phillips/obama-confronts-misinform_b_264542.html
Politico’s Playbook: “1,500 supporters lined the streets around DNC headquarters”: WHILE THE DNC HAD A GREAT WEEK--President Obama’s webcast yesterday drew 273,000 viewers, and 1,500 supporters lined the streets around DNC headquarters, with nary a protester in sight. The DNC reported out-raising the RNC by $3 million in July, $9.1 million to $6 million. And in the New Jersey governor’s race, Republican Chris Christie has had a bad two weeks of press, tarnishing his story as a candidate who was supposed to a white knight, corruption-busting reformer. http://www.politico.com/playbook/0809/playbook777.html
ABC News: “Obama gave them ammunition and encouraged them to counter fall the ‘misinformation’”: Speaking before “Organizing for America” volunteers at the DNC headquarters this afternoon President Obama told them not to “lose heart” as they prepare to enter into their “toughest fight” yet on health care reform. Obama said the best offense against lies is the truth and prompted his volunteers – what he dubbed “the best ambassadors for true information” – to keep pushing just the facts. Obama gave them ammunition and encouraged them to counter fall the “misinformation” – specifically correcting the record that health are may be available to immigrants, that it's a government takeover of health care, that all of the money is going to be funding abortions, and that he’s in support of death panels. http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/obama-rallies-his-health-care-troops-likening-the-toughest-fight-yet-to-the-08-campaign.html
Boston Globe: “Obama ramps up again on health care”: Later this afternoon, Obama held an online-phone strategy meeting with Organizing for America, the current iteration of his presidential campaign that is armed with 13 million or so email addresses. Obama did the pep rally in a small room at the Democratic National Committee, where about 50 volunteers chanted "Yes, we can," Obama's campaign slogan. According to the press pool report, Obama talked about the hardships of his longshot campaign, and compared them with his push for health care reform. "Now, we all know this has been an emotional debate. We've seen tempers flare. Accusations have been hurled. And sometimes it seems like one loud voice can drown out all the civil, sensible voices out there," Obama said.
TIME’s The Page: “Obama Rallies the Troops”: Uses forum at DNC Thursday to try to re-energize activists, urges them to keep pushing for health care reform. "We're not going to give up now. We're going to get this done and show the American people the government can work for them." http://thepage.time.com/2009/08/20/obamas-online-health-care-meeting/
Associated Press: “Thousands watching online and listening by telephone”: "Winning the election is just the start," he told an audience at the DNC and thousands watching online and listening by telephone. "Victory in an election wasn't the change that we sought." Obama said lies had spread about Democrats' plans, including claims Washington would create "death panels" or pay for health insurance for illegal immigrants. "C'mon," a mocking Obama told the cheering crowd. "We can have a real debate because health care is hard and there are some legitimate issues that have to be sorted through and worked on." http://www.mercurynews.com/politics/ci_13166577
Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp: ""Instead of being preoccupied with the polls and all the cable chatter... we're going to have to cut through a lot of nonsense out there, a lot of absurd claims that have been made about health care,'' said Obama, pointing to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing that most people believe things that aren't true about the plan - such as the notion that it will "pull the plug on Grandma.' Yet it's not only myths that are making things difficult, he suggested -- it's also an obsession with polls and talk radio and a relatively few boisterous town-hall meetings. http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/08/obama_healthcare_rumors.html
Kansas City Star: “Obama went into a passionate monologue about what was at stake”: On Thursday, at the end of his appearance with Organizing for America, Obama went into a passionate monologue about what was at stake. He implored the people at the event to stay involved and to add their voice to the fight for health care. "We are not going to give up now," he signed off. As Obama shook hands on his way out, the crowd began several chants, including a standard: "What do we want? Health care. When do we want it? Now." http://voices.kansascity.com/node/5526
Associated Press: “Obama is embracing a new role of fact checker-in-chief”: On the defensive, Obama is embracing a new role of fact checker-in-chief, trying to correct untrue claims such as that the proposals would provide health care for illegal immigrants, create "death panels" or pay for abortions with taxpayer dollars. Aides say the situation has left Obama exasperated. Obama told his DNC audience — as well as thousands watching online and listening by telephone — that health care was the toughest fight he has faced in office. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hITfom2rwHxvzXH9fMrN4pOUGrqQD9A6SEJO1
Associated Foreign Press: “Obama fires back at political critics”: Obama's counter-punch, delivered at a meeting of his Organizing for America network of supporters, follows a run of town-hall appearances and speeches, which have seen him mount a stern defense of his health care reform plan, which is facing stiff Republican attacks. He told backers not to get obsessed with polls, pundits and "cable chatter" but to take aim at what he described as fabrications drummed up by opponents to doom his top domestic priority. "We are going to have to cut through a lot of nonsense out there," he said. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hYA7DhaZpIz2P6pVSAjmvJBwYU9A
USA Today: “Obama on health care: 'We are not going to give up now'”: The message from a feisty President Obama today on health care is that he's not backing down. After taking questions earlier today from listeners of conservative talk show host Michael Smerconish's program, the president met with some of his most devoted fans -- former campaign volunteers -- at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters on Capitol Hill. "Don't lose heart as we enter into probably our toughest fight," Obama told the volunteers in a question-and-answer session that was webcast over the Internet. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/08/68497448/1
National Public Radio “Grassroots Used to Push Health Care Rx”: With polls showing public support slipping for the White House push to change health care, President Obama reached out to two different audiences Thursday. Obama invited a conservative talk radio show to the White House; then the president visited the Democratic National Committee headquarters where he talked about health care to the audience and to thousands watching online. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112094077
Associated Press “Obama calls for 'real debate' on health care”: President Barack Obama is trying to rally the activists who helped put him in the White House. Obama visited the Democratic National Committee headquarters this afternoon to talk about health care. He told an audience at the DNC and thousands watching online and listening by telephone that "winning the election is just the start." Obama said lies had been spread about Democrats' health care plans, including claims Washington would create "death panels" or pay for health insurance for illegal immigrants. He said there should be "a real debate" because "there are some legitimate issues that have to be sorted through and worked on." Obama says he's still looking for Republican support for a comprehensive health care bill, but Democrats privately are preparing a one-party push. Some Democrats say a strong-arm tactic on Senate health care legislation, one that would negate the need for any GOP votes, might be more effective than previously thought. http://www.kxmd.com/getArticle.asp?ArticleId=423984
Tulsa Today: “Rolling up his shirt sleeves, he stated firmly that Americans should not lose heart.”: During a live press conference this afternoon, hosted by the Organization for America, (OFA) President Barack Obama took to the podium with one intent--to clarify his plans regarding health care reform. After a quick introduction by Beth Kimbriel, an OFA volunteer from Virginia, he addressed the crowd amid applause. Rolling up his shirt sleeves, he stated firmly that Americans should not lose heart. "Look at what we have accomplished so far," he said, detouring into a quick list of successes.
Associated Press “Obama Jabs at Health Care Critics”: President Barack Obama is taking some pre-vacation jabs at those he accuses of spreading misinformation about his health care reform proposal. As he spoke to supporters yesterday at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, the president listed several falsehoods about various proposals. They included one that Washington's looking to create death panels. As he has in the past, Obama insisted no one is going to be "pulling the plug on grandma." He then took on the media, saying there's no question where the lies are being spread. But he says there's a way to counter the misinformation -- by having an honest debate. http://www.wztv.com/template/inews_wire/wires.national/26bf813b-www.fox17.com.shtml