President Obama Finds Himself In Hot Tea at Iowa Town Hall

Aug 16, 2011 9:48am

DECORAH, IOWA– It’s not just former Gov. Mitt Romney who has been subject to the rough-and-tumble of Iowa politics in the last week. At a bucolic town hall meeting, the founder and chairman of the Iowa Tea Party stood and shouted a question at President Obama Monday.

“I have a question,” Ryan Rhodes said, standing and not having been called on.

“Well, I — hold on a second,” the president said, calling on someone else, “I’m looking over at this — sir — “

“How will we come together when your Vice President is calling Tea Partyers ‘terrorists?’” Rhodes asked, referring to a disputed report that Vice President Biden, at a closed door meeting with House Democrats, used the term.

(You can read more about that HERE.) 

“Sir, hold on a second,” the president told Rhodes. “I know it’s not going to work if you just stand up when I asked everybody to raise their hand.  Okay, so I was about to call on somebody. I didn’t see you.  I wasn’t avoiding you.  Please.  Whose turn?  Is it a — I’m going to call on this young man right here.  And I’ll be happy to talk to you afterwards.  Go ahead.  This young man right here.  We always end with the next generation.”

Rhodes told reporters afterwards that he “wanted to know why he was talking about civility when I’m being accused of being a terrorist.”

On the rope line after the event, the president briefly spoke with Rhodes.

“He just denied it,” Rhodes told Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry. “He said the vice president didn’t make any of those assertions. If he doesn’t want to even admit what was on TV nationally — all over the place — then how can you have a conversation?”

The Biden remarks were not televised.

-Jake Tapper


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