While President Obama was busy preaching to the choir Wednesday inside the tennis center on the campus of North Carolina State University, a crowd of nearly 100 patriots had a message of their own for a defiant commander-in-chief facing a myriad of challenges at home and abroad.
Following the event I had the opportunity to talk about it with organizer and policy specialist for the North Carolina Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, Donald Bryson.
It was a great day for a protest, sunny and just beautiful for mid-January, which Bryson related with a smile in his voice.
NS: What was your impetus for the protest on Wednesday?
Donald Bryson: We found out last week that the President would be coming to the Raleigh/Durham area to give a speech. Details surrounding the speech were sketchy and slow in coming so we couldn’t really get much information out to our activists very quickly. It was our understanding that Healthcare would be one of the central topics of the speech and that the speech was being billed as a warm-up to the state of the union address. That made us even more eager to let our voices be heard on this subject.
NS: And did he address the Healthcare issue in his speech?
DB: No, he didn’t really say anything about Healthcare at all except to say the economy is improving and part of that is because of affordable health care.
NS: Tell me a little bit more about the organization behind the protest .
DB: Americans for Prosperity is a grass roots organization. We buy television ads, radio ads and things like that. We don’t really exist without our activists and activists need something to be active about. It’s not every day that we get the chance to address the premier issue on everyone’s mind right now which is Healthcare.
His speech yesterday was on jobs and Healthcare affects jobs in almost every sector of the economy. We felt it was time to give our activists something to do and make some noise out there.
NS: Were you pleased with the outcome?
DB: I was very pleased with the outcome. The sheer amount of people, admittedly, it wasn’t thousands, but for being in the mid-day, mid-week, short notice and in an urban area to protest the President, I thought it was very good. We were noticed by the media and all those who drove by and supported us with their honks and waves.
Our job is to hold the president and his cronies such as Senator Hagan accountable. They lied to us. They told us that if we wanted to keep our healthcare and our doctors we could keep them. It’s not just to show up at an event and let them see the signs, I mean that’s one way for them to know people are unhappy, but it’s to let other people know that more than just the people sitting in their homes are unhappy. There is a silent majority in this Country that is unhappy about Obamacare. The latest Rasmussen poll shows the 56% of the people in this country are opposed to the Presidents healthcare law.
NS: Why do you think Senator Kay Hagan chose not to attend the president’s speech in her home state of North Carolina?
DB: Senator Hagan said she had some important votes to make in the Senate that day, which was entirely possible, but at the same time, Congressman Mike McIntyre(D) flew on Air Force One to come down. He made the time to be there… My guess is that she is just trying to distance herself from President and his unpopularity. herself from the At this point the latest poll from Public Policy Polling which is a democratically aligned polling firm in North Carolina said Obama’s approval rating here in North Carolina is at 40%.
NS: As far as future protests or actions by Americans for Prosperity here in North Carolina, what do you see happening?
DB: We will continue to pound on Obamacare. Our long term goal is the total repeal of the law. We are not going to let that one go any time soon. We have television ads running right now with another in the wings later this month.
We will also be launching a massive grass roots effort throughout the state with our activists letting people know the issues surrounding our economic freedom.
NS: Any final words you would like to convey on behalf of Americans for Prosperity regarding the unaffordable care act?
DB: We are going to continue on our mission to hold Senator Hagan and President Obama accountable for their lies. 473,000 from North Carolina lost their plan, that’s nearly half a million people in one state! In California I think it was over a million, and you can just imagine what the number is nation-wide. Those are real people, who were promised by their Senator and their President that they could keep their plan. They couldn’t; and when the plans were reinstated, “fixed” by the President, it will only be for a year and the prices went up by 16 – 24% according to Blue Cross and Blue Shield. They will lose their plan again after the 2014 elections.
That is unacceptable, the people shouldn’t be lied to and those officials should be held accountable.
NS: Any day is a good day to exercise your first amendment rights as Americans. Just like anything you need to keep fit, if you don’t use it, you may lose it.
If you would like more information on Americans for Prosperity and how you can get involved, please contact Donald Bryson at:
Donald Bryson | North Carolina Policy Specialist/Field Coordinator | Americans for Prosperity m: 919.710.0484 | e: DBryson@afphq.org | @donaldbryson