An Obama letter seems to admit what his landmark health care legislation was not the wisest political move, but stands up for those who are ready to criticize his efforts.
President Obama made the revelations in a handwritten note to Thomas J. Ritter, a school teacher from Texas who had written to the president about his worries over Obamacare. Ritter said the legislation created an atmosphere where people were shot down simply for disagreeing.
Ritter wrote: "This bill has caused such a divisive, derisive and toxic environment. . . The reality is that any citizen that disagrees with your administration is targeted and ridiculed."
Ritter added that Obama went on the offensive against critics, especially Sarah Palin and Tea Party activists.
"I hesitated to write for fear of some kind of retribution. . . I watched you make fun of tea baggers and your press secretary make fun of Ms. [Sarah] Palin which was especially beneath the dignity of the White House. . . Do the right thing not the political thing. Suggest a bill that Americans can support," Ritter wrote.
Ritter said he wasn't expecting a reply, and was shocked when Obama sent a handwritten letter on official White House stationary.
In the letter Obama defended his position, saying that Obamacare may not have been the most popular decision but it was the right one. He also challenged Ritter's assertion that he wanted to cut short any debate on the issue.
Obama wrote: "I. . . appreciate your concern about the toxic political environment right now. I do have to challenge you, though, on the notion that any citizen that disagrees with me has been 'targeted and ridiculed' or that I have 'made fun' of tea baggers. . . [I] defend strongly the right of everyone to speak their mind — including those who call me 'socialist' or worse."
Ritter is now hoping the Obama letter can make him rich. He has listed it for sale on the website momentsintime.com for a reserve price of $24,000.
This is not the first Obama letter shed light on the behind-the-scenes batter to implement health care reform, and also raised some money as well. In August, a letter written to someone named Lynne defending health care reform was put up for sale through Goodwill's auction site,ShopGoodwill.com. Bidding started at $6 but quickly surpassed $5,000.