President Barack Obama told his most loyal supporters Tuesday night that he relies on them to break through widespread media criticism of his policies.
“Information is so contested, and people are separated from how they get news, that oftentimes to break through, what’s necessary is the validation of a neighbor or a friend, or a coworker, or a family member,” he told roughly 60 leaders of his on-the-ground group, Organizing for Action.
“It doesn’t work if we don’t have folks on the ground who are speaking out on behalf of these issues and these values… [but OFA members can] reach people where they live — at the kitchen table and at the water cooler at work,” he told his followers, during a 7:20 p.m. dinner speech at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington D.C.
The complaints matched comments he made in an earlier 6:18 p.m. speech to OFA volunteers at the hotel.
When pitching Obamacare, “you’re able to say, hey, here check it out, take a look on the website — if you reach out to your Republican friend who can’t stand Obama, but is basically a nice person… but they watch the wrong newscast,” Obama said in his pep talk to the volunteers.
Obama’s complaint about the media comes as some establishment media outlets produce skeptical reports about his Obamacare network, and as the new mainstream online media continue to investigate and highlight failed and unpopular aspects of his agenda.
“Politics has become so toxic,” he complained, giving his volunteers something to oppose.
His policies, he said, are being blocked by “an implacable opposition that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, spreading misinformation.”
Obama’s comments were mostly defensive, but he tried to rally his supporters to help him in the fall election.
His top two goals, he said, are boosting the minimum wage and getting people to sign up for his Obamcare network.
“Nowhere has there been more misinformation; nowhere are just basic facts more contested” than in healthcare, said Obama, whose public support crashed when the public realized that he had lied repeatedly when he claimed from 2010 to late 2013 that people would be able to keep their health-insurance if they wished.
But because ”of some of the folks that have been doing this work on the ground, as of today, we’ve signed up more than 4 million people through the [Obamacare] exchanges…in many cases for the very first time,” he said, prompting applause from the crowd.
“The work you’re doing is God’s work,” said Obama.
Up to 5 million people have lost their insurance plans following the start of Obamacare, so experts and insurance companies do not know yet how many of the 4 million people are getting insurance for the first time.
“I never promised you it was going to be easy. I never did. And I always have to remind people that,” he said at the end os his speech to the volunteers. “But progress is possible, and it’s possible because of you. And that’s why I couldn’t be prouder of you. All right?”