President Barack Obama’s former “green jobs czar,” Van Jones, currently a staffer at the left-wing Center for American Progress, used and defended the term “Obamacare” Wednesday evening on Twitter. Jones said that “Obamacare is WORKING,” when retweeting a House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi comment – she claimed that “being a woman” is no longer considered a pre-existing condition because of the president’s health care overhaul.
In a follow-up tweet, Jones defended his use of the term saying he “never condemned it,” that “normal folks don’t know what ‘#ACA’ [the Affordable Care Act] is,” and that “Obama’s good” and “care’s good,” so, “why run from the term? Luv it!”
Use of the word “Obamacare” has caused rifts between the left and the right in Congress and in the media – and some news organization, like ABC News, stopped using it after complaints. ABC News’s White House Correspondent Jake Tapper told The Daily Caller he chose not to use “Obamacare” because it had a sort of negative connotation attached to it. “I generally try to avoid using terms that are considered pejorative and distract from the information I’m reporting,” Tapper said in an e-mail to TheDC.
Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently said using the word “Obamacare” on the House floor was a violation of House rules because it is “disparaging” of the president.
Through a spokesman, Wasserman Schultz refused to comment when TheDC asked if Jones’s use of “Obamacare” validates the term.
Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, said “teabaggers” who have signs with the word “Obamacare” indicate whether they are racist or not. In a media appearance on the left-wing Bill Press Radio Show, Waters called on journalists to “be all over” Tea Party rallies to look for racism.
“What I’m looking for is the very people who carry the signs who are referring to the policies in very, very strange ways like ‘Obamacare’ and ‘Barry Obamacare with Kennedy,’” she said.
A spokesman for Waters did not immediately respond to TheDC’s request for comment as to whether Jones, who is black, was a racist for using the term, “Obamacare,” and whether the term’s usage is now acceptable.
A spokeswoman for the left-wing Center for American Progress told TheDC the think tank doesn’t take a position one way or the other regarding the use of the term, “Obamacare.”
A spokeswoman for the left-wing advocacy blog Media Matters for America, which has suggested using “Obamacare” is an attack on the president’s healthcare overhaul, did not return TheDC’s requests for comment.