Petri Risks Teabagger Wrath with Opposition to ‘Birthers,’ Support for Public Option

Answers Questions, Offers Opinions Before Town Hall

MADISON, Wis. — U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI6) might find himself the victim of health insurance industry financed “teabagger” protests after video of him supporting a public option for health care reform, and rejecting the argument of so-called “birthers” was released today by One Wisconsin Now.

“We applaud Rep. Tom Petri for standing up against the health care industry-financed mobs and the right-wing fringe that makes up the ‘birther’ movement,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “We need health care reform with a public option to break the monopoly of the health insurance machine and reduce health care costs for Americans.”

Rep. Petri answered video questions before a town hall meeting hosted yesterday in Darboy, Wisconsin.

In the video, Petri is asked whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Unlike the argument of “birthers,” Petri responds “I think the evidence is that he was.”

On the question of a public option and the efforts to reform health care, Petri said, “I do support a public option on a state basis” and cites an amendment by single-payer advocate Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio as a positive development.

“In the face of tens of millions of dollars of corporate-funded smear ads, lobbying and goon squads polluting the health care discussion, Rep. Petri’s stance is honorable,” said Ross. “We need to reduce health care costs and improve access to care – the only way to do this is to free America from the clutches of the health care denial industry.”

Those wishing to send their U.S. Senators and member of Congress a message calling for a public option for health care insurance reform can go to and sign One Wisconsin Now’s petition.

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