Senators Urge Progressives To Keep Targeting Dems On Health Care

"We should encourage people to participate in the process."

Two Democrats in the Senate said on Tuesday that they disagreed with President Obama's backchannel complaints that progressive advocacy groups ought to stop targeting Democrats on health care.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has been a target of the ads himself, said he was perfectly fine with progressive organizations airing television spots critical of him in his own state.

"Folks are using that wonderful First Amendment to be heard," said the Oregon Democrat, whose refusal to commit to voting for a public health insurance option has caused great frustration among health care reform advocates.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose progressive tilt has made him a champion of many such activists, was much harsher. Asked about Obama's remarks, in which the president reportedly bemoaned the ads run by a variety of left-leaning organizations, Sanders whacked the president for trying to stifle the same groups that got him elected.


Sam Stein is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C.