Saturday, August 15, 2009

ATLANTA — A few thousand people gathered Saturday in downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park to protest a health care overhaul led by the president and other Democratic leaders.

The event, sponsored by the conservative Americans for Prosperity Foundation, was hosted by FreedomWorks chairman and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and conservative talk radio hosts Joel Aaron and Herman Cain.

“What we have today is an assault on liberty that is larger than anything we have ever seen,” Armey said, eliciting loud cheers from the crowd.

As a congressman from Texas, Armey opposed health care reform efforts by the Clinton administration. According to news reports, he resigned from the lobbying firm DLA Piper this week because the firm’s drug company clients complained about his efforts against the president’s health care overhaul.

Obama warns of ‘cost of inaction’ on health care
Health insurance heads to court, campaign trail

President Barack Obama was in Montana Saturday holding a town hall meeting to counter intense public skepticism that flared nationwide in recent weeks over Democrats’ plans to overhaul the U.S. health care system. And congressional Democrats have been using the August recess to try to win more public support for Obama’s top domestic priority.

Many town hall meetings have been dominated by high-profile protests that Republicans have seized on as a signal that Democrats lack support for the plan. Democratic leaders say the protests have been ginned up by the Republican Party and national conservative groups.

Saturday’s event also included Republican candidates for governor: Secretary of State Karen Handel, Sen. Eric Johnson and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

From a stage bearing campaign banners for Handel, Johnson and Oxendine, speakers ridiculed the idea that loud protesters were being paid to attend town hall meetings and encouraged to be disruptive. Cain said Democrats were characterizing protesters as a “manufactured mob” and a “bunch of crazies.”

“Oh yeah, we’re crazy,” Cain said. “We are crazy about our liberties and we are crazy about keeping our choices when it comes to health care.”

Despite near 90-degree heat, James Newman, a 49-year-old county government worker from Lawrenceville, wore a colonial costume — complete with tricorn hat and curly white wig. He held a sign that said, “This isn’t about health care reform. It’s about another gov takeover for a socialist agenda.”

“They try to make it look like somebody is forcing us to be here, but this is from the heart, I am a patriot,” he said.

A man dressed in a suit and wearing a rubber Obama face mask held a giant check for $1 trillion payable to “United States of Socialist America” and written on the bank account of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide