Plouffe warns of healthcare 'swiftboating'

Republicans will "swiftboat" healthcare reform if Democrats don't stand up and stop them, David Plouffe warned Obama supporters today.

In an email to the Organizing for America email list, Plouffe reminded Obama supporters that the media strategists behind the "swiftboat" attacks on John Kerry in 2004 are heading up a PR blitz against Democrats' preferred healthcare reform.

"As we speak, the same people behind the notorious "swiftboat" ads of 2004 are already pumping millions of dollars into deceptive television ads," Plouffe wrote (emphasis in original). "Their plan is simple: torpedo healthcare reform before it sees the light of day by scaring the public and distorting the President's approach."

Plouffe goes on to ask supporoters for a $5 donation to help beat back the attacks.

The media offensive Plouffe is referring to is headed by Conservatives for Patient Rights. The group is led by Rick Scott, a hospital CEO who was booted from Columbia/HCA during a fraud investigation in the 90s.

Liberals have pointed to Scott's emphasis on the bottom line as evidence that he has an interest in maintaining the status quo. Scott, who points out that he was never convicted of wrongdoing, has hired CRC Public Relations for the PR blitz, the same firm that helped coordinate the swiftboat attacks.

Here's an example ad: