President Barack Obama allegedly told a Texas schoolteacher in a handwritten note that pursuing the Affordable Care Act was not “politically” smart, but that it was the “right” thing to do.
The president also defended the rights of so-called “tea baggers,” a derogatory term used against supporters of the Tea Party, to protest his signature health care law.
Obama’s note on official White House stationery was made in response to a letter from Thomas J. Ritter, a fifth-grade teacher at Sally B. Elliott Elementary in Irving, Texas, according to the New York Post. Ritter bemoaned the “toxic” political environment surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
“This bill has caused such a divisive, derisive and toxic environment,” Ritter wrote, according to the Post. “The reality is that any citizen that disagrees with your administration is targeted and ridiculed.”
“I hesitated to write for fear of some kind of retribution,” he added. “I watched you make fun of tea baggers and your press secretary make fun of Ms. [Sarah] Palin which was especially beneath the dignity of the White House … Do the right thing not the political thing. Suggest a bill that Americans can support.”
Much to Ritter’s surprise, he received what appeared to be a genuine response from the president.
“I … appreciate your concern about the toxic political environment right now. I do have to challenge you, though, on the notion that any citizen that disagrees with me has been ‘targeted and ridiculed’ or that I have ‘made fun’ of tea baggers … [I] defend strongly the right of everyone to speak their mind — including those who call me ‘socialist’ or worse,” Obama wrote.
“I believe that health care reform will be the right thing for the country … It certainly wasn’t the smart ‘political’ thing! And I hope that in the months to come, you will keep an open mind and evaluate it based not on the political attacks but on what it does or doesn’t do to improve people’s lives,” he added.
Ritter has since put the president’s note up for sale on momentsintime.com.
“I am selling the letter because I am just so disappointed, and this Obamacare bill is wrong,” Ritter said, according to the Post. “The president told me what he thought I wanted to hear. The letter is just words on a paper. It doesn’t mean anything to me because Obama doesn’t mean any of it.”
You can see a copy of Obama’s letter here:
When TheBlaze contacted momentsintime.com to verify the authenticity of the letter, we were told it was “absolutely” real.
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