NH News
1:32 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

President Obama Mocks Rep. O'Brien Comparing ACA To Fugitive Slave Act

Credit Brady Carlson / NHPR

In a speech in Maryland on Thursday, President Barack Obama defended his health care law by making reference to what he described as outlandish and "desperate" rhetoric.

Among the claims he referenced was that of Republican Rep. Bill O'Brien of Mont Vernon, the former Speaker of the House.

"You had a state representative somewhere say that it's as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act," Obama said. "Think about that."

The crowd of Obama supporters groaned and booed in response.

The video of Obama's comments are posted here. 

Obama was referencing comments O'Brien made nearly two months ago at an Americans for Prosperity Rally in front of the Statehouse.

O'Brien called Obamacare "a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to federal ... to slave states."

A week later, O'Brien defended his remarks in an op-ed.

In an interview today with the New Hampshire Union Leader, O'Brien fired back, calling Obama a "rabble-rouser" who is still engaged in "harsh ridiculing rhetoric." He also continued to defend his comparison of the two laws.