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Before Friendly Crowd, Obama Urges Civility

President Obama just wrapped up a town hall in Portsmouth, N.H., on his health care plan. It seems that the president found a pretty friendly crowd, and despite his exhortations for tough questions from skeptical citizens, handled mostly softballs.

As he finished his opening remarks, Obama addressed the rowdy scenes across the country by praising the "vigorous debate" but calling for greater civility in that discussion.

"That's what America's about, is we have a vigorous debate. That's why we have a democracy," he said. "But i do hope that we will talk with each other and not over each other. Because one of the objectives of democracy and debate is that we start refining our own views because maybe other people have different perspectives, things we didn't think of. Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real -- not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed."

The statement was met by huge applause from the high school crowd. Later, a campaign "Yes we can!" chant. "I remember that," he said.

Launching into a Q-and-A, the president appealed for tough questions. "If i hear only from people who agree with me, I'm going to actively ask some folks who are concerned about health care, give them a chance to ask their questions." When he wasn't facing any, he openly admitted concern that viewers will think the town hall was full of "plants."

Based on some of the Twitter reaction, it seems many conservatives think that's just what happened.