Earlier this month, the White House announced a new effort to respond over email to “fishy” information circulating on the web regarding the health reform plan. Right-wing critics of Obama have interpreted this White House outreach as President Obama’s effort to compile an “enemies list.” Today in his town hall event in New Hampshire, Obama debunked the rumor:
Can I just say this is another example of how the media just ends up completely distorting what’s taking place. What we’ve said is that if somebody has – if you get an email from somebody that says for example ObamaCare is creating a death panel, forward us the email and we will answer the question that is being raised in the email. Suddenly, on some of these news outlets, this is being portrayed as Obama collecting an enemies list. Now, come on guys, here I am trying to be responsive to questions that are being raised out there – and I just want to be clear that all we’re trying to do is answer questions.
During the event, Obama solicited questions from skeptics of his health care plan. “I don’t want people thinking I have a bunch of plants in here,” Obama said. Watch it:
The “enemies list” conspiracy was given greater attention when Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) penned a letter to the White House demanding to know why the they “would want information on opponents of its health care plan.” Cornyn wrote, “I am not aware of any precedent for a president asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed ‘fishy’ or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests.”