Life on the road isn't always easy for a president.
Out on his Midwestern bus tour to talk about the economy, President Obama met some resistance from tea partiers at a town-hall event in Decorah, Iowa, Monday evening, where he was confronted by prominent activist Ryan Rhodes.
Rhodes, who serves* as a state-level coordinator for the national coalition Tea Party Patriots, demanded that Obama explain why Vice President Biden compared tea partiers to "terrorists." Obama denied that the VP had said those words.
"He did not call you guys terrorists," Obama said. "What he said was that for us to be willing to take the economy to the brink was irresponsible, and it was. Now the truth of the matter is, what is said of me consistently --"
Another activist interrupted Obama to insist that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had called tea partiers "terrorists" too -- perhaps meaning to cite the April, 2009, Department of Homeland Security report that examined right-wing extremism.
Biden allegedly made the "terrorists" remark at a closed-door meeting with congressional Democrats, though the account is disputed. On Aug. 1, as Biden was trying to sell a debt-limit deal to House Democrats, Politico reported based on unnamed sources that Biden had said during a Capitol Hill meeting, "They have acted like terrorists," in response to a complaint by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), who used the word first. That same day, Biden told CBS, "I did not use the terrorism word" and called the report "absolutely not true."
Video credit: Fox News, via smdagupan/YouTube
Update: An earlier version of this post stated that Rhodes had "at one point" served as a state coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. He still serves in that role.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.