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Blackburn Won’t Condemn ‘Tea Party’ Activists’ Rhetoric

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), an outspoken conservative and member of the House GOP leadership whip team, on Thursday refused to condemn the harsh rhetoric used by conservative “tea party— protesters amid the health care debate.Asked whether she would pledge to no longer endorse the language of protesters who accuse President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats of being “socialist— and “evil— because of their health care reform plan, Blackburn paused before saying, “I’m happy to tell you the American people are very frustrated and what I can speak to is for me. And what I seek to do is represent my constituents in a way that is going to honor the fact that they have elected me and sent me here.—Blackburn, a speaker at the Bloomberg Washington Summit, dodged several questions about whether her support for the rhetoric used by protesters helps or hurts her party. Instead, she called for more bipartisanship in Washington, D.C., the lack of which she said is behind Americans’ frustration with the health care bill.“Many of us would appreciate having a more civil tone here in Washington,— Blackburn said. Members should be “sitting down and working in a bipartisan manner.—

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