.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.'"

His question referred to media reports that Vice President Joe Biden made such a remark in a private meeting with House of Representatives Democrats at the height of a debt showdown earlier this month.


How Presidential of him, "THEY called ME a socialist".