Former Bush Staffer: Tea Party Activist Not Respectful
A former member of George W. Bush's senior staff said that the tea party activist who confronted Barack Obama in Iowa was using an inappropriate tactic to try to embarrass the president.
At the town-hall meeting on Monday, founder and chairman of the Iowa Tea Party Ryan Rhodes interrupted and confronted Obama about a disputed report that during a closed-door meeting with House Democrats, Vice President Joe Biden called tea party activists “terrorists” for holding the debt-ceiling negotiations "hostage."
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“I think they came to the event to disrupt and to put the president in a ‘gotcha’ situation. Certainly the president wouldn't have had a Perry Mason moment and said, ‘Yes, of course we think you're terrorists; of course we think you're bad for America. That wasn't going to happen,” Brad Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to Bush for appointments and scheduling, said on Fox News on Tuesday. “To go there with a mission to embarrass the president and have a ‘gotcha’ moment for your own purposes I don't think is respectful to the office of the president."
After the event, Rhodes confronted Obama on the rope line. The president denied that Biden called the tea party activists terrorists, saying the vice president said that "to be willing to take the economy to the brink was irresponsible. And it was.”
Blakeman said the latter was the appropriate venue for such a discussion. “I don't think [Rhodes] was respectful in the confrontation that he had with the president during the event itself. I think he had a respectful exchange with the president on the rope line, which was the appropriate place to confront the president if you are going to do it.”