With shouts of “Kill the bill!” and “Thank you, Mr. President!” demonstrators staked out their positions on health care legislation today outside the Arcadia University gymnasium where President Obama urged support for reform.
Tea-party activists who oppose the legislation outnumbered supporters of the president’s efforts with about 200 sign-wielding, slogan-shouting tea partiers attending a morning news conference before the president’s arrival.
“At stake for America is our future, our independence, and our liberty,” said Steve Lonegan, a former New Jersey gubernatorial candidate and the state director for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative public policy group.
Lonegan described the current health care reform proposal as the “cold fingers of government wrapping around the soul.”
The half-hour news conference organized by the Independence Hall Tea Party Association got off to a boisterous start when Cheltenham Township police tried to move the location for safety reasons.
When protestors shouted down the police with yells of “Free Speech” and organizer Don Adams assured police that the group would stay clear of passing traffic, authorities relented.