DECORAH, Iowa – A tea party activist confronted President Obama at the end of a town hall meeting Monday over whether Vice President Joe Biden called members of the movement "terrorists" late last month.
Ryan Rhodes, a member of the Iowa Tea Party, asked Obama the question and the two had a brief exchange, Fox News reports.
In public, Obama did not directly answer the question but said that knows what it's like to be targeted for his political views and that he didn't want to be lectured.
“Now, in fairness, since I’ve been called a socialist who wasn’t born in this country, who is destroying America and taking away its freedoms because I passed a health care bill, I’m all for lowering the rhetoric," Obama said, and Fox News reported.
After the event, Obama and Rhodes were spotted in an animated conversation. In an interview Fox News, Rhodes said the president denied Biden had made the comment, which was reported to have happened in a private meeting with Democrates during the debt ceiling impasse late last month.
“He just denied it. He said the vice president didn't make any of those assertions,” Rhodes said. “If he doesn’t want to even admit what was on TV nationally -- all over the place -- then how can you have a conversation?”
Rhodes added that Obama brushed him aside. “Then he said, ‘We can't have a conversation because you're saying I called you a terrorist,’” recalled Rhodes. “The fact is it demonstrates the deep divide that he is unwilling to negotiate without going after the other side. The whole day was about going after Republicans and talking about how unreasonable they are.”
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