A top White House aide said Sunday that the thousands of conservative “tea party” demonstrators who marched in Washington on Saturday were “wrong” because they represent only a fringe section of society.
“I don’t think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood,” David Axelrod, the president’s top adviser, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “My message to them is, they’re wrong.”
A major catalyst of the rally — as well as the many protests staged at congressional town hall meetings nationwide last month — was President Obama’s push for health care reform, which conservatives have blasted as an egregious example of government expansion and intrusion.
“I don’t believe that some of the angriest, most strident voices we saw during the summer were representative of the thousands of town hall meetings that went on around the country that came off peacefully, that were constructive,” he said.
Mr. Axelrod vowed that the administration would not be “distracted” by those railing against its health care reform proposal.
He also denied that Mr. Obama has any intention of a government takeover of the health care system.
“The president made it very, very clear that he wants to build on the system that we have,” he said. “We ought to focus on what it’s about and not on distortions of it.”