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Barack Obama vs. Bill O'Brien?

The President referenced an Aug. 1 comment by the former New Hampshire House Speaker in a speech on Thursday.

Barack Obama and Bill O'Brien. Photo illustration.
Barack Obama and Bill O'Brien. Photo illustration.
In a speech on Thursday, President Barack Obama referenced a state representative "somewhere" who said Obamacare was "as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act.

"Think about that," Obama said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Affordable health care is worse than a law that lets slave owners get their runaway slaves back... I mean, these are quotes. I’m not making this stuff up."

The "somewhere" Obama referenced was, in fact, New Hampshire, and the state lawmaker in question was former House Speaker Bill O'Brien (R-Mont Vernon).

The remark was made back on Aug. 1, when O'Brien spoke at an Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire picnic at the Statehouse in Concord.

"It’s a law as destructive to personal freedom and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” O’Brien said, “that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African-Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to slave states.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley sent out a fundraising email hours after Obama's speech, asking for donations.

"The President has had it with out of touch Republicans and their shockingly inappropriate rhetoric and so have I," Buckley said. "For too long New Hampshire Republicans have been making national news for their embarrassing and extreme positions and it's time for us to once and for all to put a stop to it."

[To watch a video of O'Brien's Aug. 1 speech, click on this link.]
Keith F Thompson September 26, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I'm thankful the President didn't mention the name or location of the fringe person he was quoting. I know he did that because calling out O'Brien by name would be beneath the dignity of the Presidency, but I think O'Brien and the rest of the neanderthal right have embarassed NH enough.
David Pittelli September 27, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Clownish statements from the right will always be picked up and run with by the left and its media allies. So conservatives should avoid voting for gaffe-prone politicians like O'Brien, even for relatively low-profile positions like state representative. Occasionally the media will cover a stupid statement made by a liberal. But they play them down, and never use them to generalize about liberals. Where is their attention and generalization when liberals say stupid things like that Chicago police will shoot legally armed citizens, Africans discovered America before Columbus, the 3/5ths rule means we should decry Constitutional originalism, "I've now been in 57 states," "Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs," "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color," "My fear is that the whole island (of Guam) will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize," "African Americans watch the same news at night that ordinary Americans do," or "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.' " ?
Tony Schinella (Editor) September 27, 2013 at 04:04 PM
The former House Speaker also offered these comments on Facebook yesterday: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCNH/permalink/10151867824625865/

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