Asserting that "[w]hen somebody wants something, they fill the streets of Washington," Hardball host Chris Matthews falsely claimed that "[t]here's no public demonstration of support for health care" since President Obama was elected. In fact, thousands of supporters of health care reform reportedly rallied in Washington, D.C., on June 25.
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Matthews claimed supporters of health care reform are not "marching in the streets"
From the July 31 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: August is nearly here, and there's still no health care bill. President Obama acts like there's an urgency to getting this done, but why isn't anybody else acting that way? Where are the people marching in the streets? The streets are empty in this town. If they really want it, where are they?
Ron Brownstein's political director for Atlantic Media and Susan Page is the Washington bureau chief for USA Today.
I do not want to knock health care. I believe this country needs a health care plan for everybody, especially the uninsured, but the streets are empty. People have disabled people come here; gay rights people come here; antiwar people come here; pro-life people come here. When somebody wants something, they fill the streets of Washington.
Susan Page, the streets are empty.
PAGE: Well, but, you know, the August deadline was a political deadline for Barack Obama.
MATTHEWS: But where are the people since January, since this president was elected? There's no public demonstration of support for health care.
HCAN health care rally on June 25 reportedly drew "thousands"
HCAN hosted a rally at the Capitol on June 25 "in support of quality, affordable health care for all." According to the event schedule, the Health Care for America Now rally featured several speakers, including actress "Edie Falco, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), HCAN Campaign Manager Richard Kirsch, CWA President Larry Cohen, AFSCME President Jerry McEntee, SEIU Secretary Treasurer Anna Burger, Governor Howard Dean, Congressman [Xavier] Becerra (D-CA), National Physicians Alliance President-Elect Valerie Arkoosh and other leading Members of Congress and Senators." HCAN estimated that more than 10,000 people came to the rally.
New York Times and McClatchy reported that "thousands" attended the HCAN rally.
The New York Times reported on June 25:
While senators haggled over the intricacies of policy, thousands of people held a rally in a park nearby demanding "health care reform now." The crowd included doctors, nurses, labor union leaders and people without insurance. Many urged Congress to create a public health insurance plan, as a possible alternative to private insurance.
McClatchy reported on June 25:
Thousands of their constituents rallied outside the Capitol to show their support for change, and the Obama administration called for action.
In a lively rally in a park one block from the Capitol, unions, community groups and liberal organizations rallied behind the White House effort.
They weren't talking specifics, just change.
"I traveled through the health care system, and there are some holes," said actress Edie Falco, a breast cancer survivor. "My hope is this country can finally provide affordable health care."
HCAN documented the event with photos posted online.
From HCAN's Flickr photostream: