Friday, May 29, 2009

Plouffe warns of 'swiftboat' attacks on health

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By Sam Youngman

Days after President Obama and members of Congress said they were confident they can pass health care reform this year, Obama's former campaign manager warned supporters Saturday that opposing forces are lining up to "torpedo" the plan.

David Plouffe, the man who ran Obama's historic and ultimately successful run for the White House, wrote in a fundraising e-mail to Obama's massive supporter e-mail list that the same operatives behind the swiftboat campaign that helped end Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) quest to unseat President George W. Bush are regrouping to target Obama's healthcare efforts.

Rick Scott, who helped fund the swiftboat ads during Kerry's run, is helping to fund a new group that is targeting what he and some Republicans consider an effort by Obama to socialize medicine.

"As we speak, the same people behind the notorious 'swiftboat' ads of 2004 are already pumping millions of dollars into deceptive television ads," Plouffe wrote. "Their plan is simple: torpedo healthcare reform before it sees the light of day by scaring the public and distorting the president's approach."

In his e-mail through Organizing for American, Obama's semi-dormant campaign operation at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Plouffe asked supporters to donate money and organize to urge Congress to act on legislation.

"The swiftboaters are once again trying to sell the American people short," Plouffe wrote. "As during the election, we deserve a serious conversation -- not fear-mongering and deceit. You and I see the importance of healthcare reform every day."

Plouffe was spotted recently at the White House when his beloved Philadelphia Phillies were honored by the president for winning the World Series last year.

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