. . .. . . . . . . ..Obama clashes with Tea Party member President Obama came face-to-face with the Tea Party last night in Iowa, clashing with a member during and after a town hall last night. Ryan Rhodes, a group leader in the Hawkeye State, stood up and shouted a question during a town hall, asking the president how he can call for more civility when "your vice president is calling people like me, a Tea Party member, a 'terrorist.'" Obama, who had not called on the man, said the town hall wouldn't work "if you just stand up when I asked everybody to raise their hand. ... I didn't see you. I wasn't avoiding you. ... Please." After calling another person, Obama circled back to address Rhodes' question: "First of all, in fairness to this gentleman who raised a question, I absolutely agree that everybody needs to try to tone down the rhetoric. "Now, in fairness, since I've been called a socialist who wasn't born in this country, who is destroying America and taking away its freedoms because I passed a health care bill, I'm all for lowering the rhetoric." After the event, Obama came up to speak with Rhodes. It's hard to quote their conversation exactly because of the music, but Rhodes again raised "the terrorist" comment and Obama defended his vice president, Joe Biden. Biden has denied calling the Tea Party terrorists. A House Democrat used the term during a group meeting with Biden over the debt ceiling debate, but the vice president denied news reports that he echoed the comment. US President Barack Obama went head-to-head with a prominent conservative Tea Party activist, in a microcosm of a political clash that will play out in the 2012 election. Ryan Rhodes, a leader of the group in Iowa, took on Obama during an open-air town hall meeting, which marked a moment of new intensity in the president's campaign for a second term. Rhodes shouted out that the president's calls for more civility in politics had little chance of coming to pass after "your vice president is calling people like me, a Tea Party member, a 'terrorist.'"