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August 16, 2009
White House says no increase in threats as a result of town hall protests
This is not what the left wants to hear. It destroys one of their pet theories about the "rage" being shown at town hall meetings - that the backlash could put ideas in people's minds who might do harm to the president.
Sam Youngman of The Hill has the story:
There has been no increase in the number of security threats to President Barack Obama despite the contentious town hall meetings taking place around the country, according to the White House. Yes, Democrats are known for teeth gnashing over every little thing, wailing like little girls when something doesn't go there way or anyone tries to stand up to them. And branding town hall protestors as a dangerous mob because they can't answer on the merits of the the case only brings more of this drama queen angst to the forefront.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also said Friday there has been no change in the security precautions.
We haven't viewed any increase in threats, and there's been no change in any of that," Gibbs said.
Earlier this week, at a town hall in Maryland, a man was detained by the Secret Service for carrying a sign that read "Death to Obama." At the president's town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday, another man was spotted carrying a gun outside the venue.
Obama will leave Friday for a four-state Western swing that includes town halls in Montana Friday afternoon and Saturday in Colorado.
Gibbs, noting he's "not necessarily in the audience prediction business," declined to say whether the White House is anticipating a tougher reception at the Montana town hall given the state's heavy Republican registration.
"I don't doubt that there will be people that will disagree with him," Gibbs said. He added: "I hope by answering concerns, he changes minds."
With the healthcare debate heating up, Gibbs cautioned Democrats to be patient, noting that "teeth gnashing is what the Democratic Party has done well ... for the last several decades."
Surely, we should hope the Secret Service remains vigilant and take nothing for granted when it comes to the president's security. But worrying about town hall protestors or other health care opponents would seem to be pretty far down the priority list.