Obama Urges Activists to Retake Health Care Debate

White House struggles to regain message control
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 4:51 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks during the Organizing for America National Health Care Forum at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – President Obama urged the grassroots activists who helped him so much in the presidential campaign to do the same in the health care debate, Politico reports. “Now come on," the president told members of Organizing for America in a conference call today. "The best ambassadors for true information, is all of you. You have more credibility than anybody on television when it comes to your friends and your neighbors.”

Democratic activists said today’s call was the push they’d been waiting for, after weeks in which opponents of reform have had the upper hand. The group's deputy national director expressed regret that “we didn’t tell that story very well” and that foes have “won the media.” That victory has been no accident, said a member of the conservative Freedom Works: “We were good students of his campaign, and we are using those tactics against him.”