June 7th, 2009
02:42 PM ET
9 years ago

Republican: The Obama 'experiment is beginning to scare people'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the heels of Congressional Democrats rolling out a draft of their health care reform proposal, a Republican strategist said Sunday that President Obama’s ambitious plans to remake the nation’s health care system are part of a larger pattern of government spending and intervention that should be cause for concern.

“The Barack Obama experiment is beginning to scare people,” Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said on State of the Union before he cataloged the hundreds of billions the new administration has spent helping General Motors and putting in place an economic stimulus package.

“When we’re talking about 17 percent of our gross national product - on health care, that’s what we spend. But, if that Barack Obama experiment with our health care, if that doesn’t work, we’re also talking about human lives. We’re also talking about the quality of our health care.”

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile sees the Obama administration’s unprecedented intervention in the economy and private industry very differently.

“We’re in this position because we’re in a deep recession and the financial markets collapsed and credit dried up and the government has intervened,” Brazile said Sunday in response to comments by persistent Obama critic Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.

“I don’t think this is a long term solution but I think we’re taking the necessary steps as a country to ensure that we rebuild the private sector so that every American can enjoy the benefits of living in this wonderful and prosperous country.”

As for the impending fight on Capitol Hill over health care, the Democratic strategist was blunt.

“This is going to be a long, hot summer . . .,” Brazile told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Related: Dems mount grass-roots effort on health care reform

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. JT

    John King is biased to the right. What kind of ticker item is this, CNN? Is the entire network becoming Fox-Lite?

    The overwhelming majority of the country is in support of Obama's policies. "The Obama Experiment"??????? Get real, CNN. Obama is our country's REAL PRESIDENT. This is not a test, this is not an experiment, yet John King's show is REALLY bad no matter how you spin it.

    This ticker item is way off base.

    June 7, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Charlie in Maine

    List of people it should scare:

    Right wing Republicans
    For profit health insurance companies
    Big time polluters
    Anyone who lives off Middle East instability

    List of people the agenda should not scare:
    Pretty near everyone else.

    June 7, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Pat in Melbourne

    You mean the Obama experiment is scaring Republicans. Because maybe that have nothing new to say about anything??

    June 7, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. tjaman

    Rs should've helped fix healthcare in 1994 instead of streaming in with their Contract on America and blocking everything President Clinton was trying to do. Then that would be one less problem President Obama would have to try to solve on top of every-freeqin'-thing else.

    In that it's now gotten about 15 years more expensive and out of hand, perhaps we could have less dismissiveness about "experimentation" and more input, decision-making and problem-solving?

    Healthcare in this nation is a huge problem affecting potentially every American - certainly the most vulnerable Americans - and no one will be more welcoming of a workable solution to our problems, be it from Rs or Ds, than the president himself, and that's the truth.

    June 7, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. GOPer

    Can we the GOP stop running on fear? I need health care, not more missiles, bullets and war!

    June 7, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. OIf Vet

    not quite as scary as the GOP back in power.

    June 7, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Paul

    Don't suppose Castellanos provided any evidence that people are 'scared'? You know, polls and such like? Of course not, because he's a bag of hot air afflicted with the common Republican disease of thinking the whole country thinks like he does. The election last November proved how wring he is. Healthcare reform was a big part of President Obama's platform, and he won comfortably. As Republicans were once so fond of pointing out, elections have consequences.

    June 7, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Linda iowa

    Till you have lived without insurance and had health care issues, you do not know what you are talking about. It frightens me much more to not be able to afford medical care because of not having insurance. My husband lost his job last year. His new employer does not offer health care, because of pre-existing conditions we can not touch any insurance. Maybe we could afford a better programs if so much pork did not go directly to congessmen and women. They do not need their salaries for life. Most are wealthy going in and if not they are by the time they leave. Once they leave office thier salary should not continue, neither should any health care benefits. I do not know anyone who gets to keep a lifetime salary and benefits when they leave a job. This is an affront to the average working person.

    June 7, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Had It

    More fear-mongering and paranoia from "the other side".

    If nothing is tried, nothing gets done – like the last 8 years.


    June 7, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Jen B

    Spend spend and spend and take over private industry ! That's Fascism folks....am so glad did not go along with his crap as he's heading us to "down under". Obama is a good teleprompter reader, but naive, inexperienced and lives in a world of his Dad.
    Jen B

    June 7, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Mitch

    Alex means that it's beginning to scare the far right of the GOP. I haven't heard one person complain that the government wants to fix this mess. So I guess if the right wing nut jobs like Palin, Alex, Rush and friends are so upset, I guess it means Obama is doing the right thing.

    June 7, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Henry Miller

    “I don’t think this is a long term solution..." Donna Brazile says about "the Obama administration’s unprecedented intervention in the economy and private industry."

    Yeah, right!

    When has the US government ever surrendered a power once it has been seized? We're saddled with an enormous, intrusive, insanely expensive, government because Washington has repeatedly usurped powers "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people" by the Constitution and never surrenders them.

    The only thing I distrust more than Big Business is Big Government. At least Big Business can't throw you in jail for refusing to cooperate with them.

    June 7, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Had It

    It's better to fail when trying to something than it is to succeed at doing nothing.

    June 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Jack C

    46% of our debt will be interest only, 25% owed to China – Obama is an idiot.
    Jack C

    June 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Keith in Austin

    The Sheep are stirring as Obama's Chickens are coming home to roost.

    Wake up America!

    June 7, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. judesuper

    Scare whom? The repubs? Why because the repubs don't have a clue? Why does the public option on health care scare the repubs so much? I would wager that a lot of people are out of work, regardless of their political party affiliation, and without health care. What actually did 8 years of stupid do for us that you are so proud of?

    June 7, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Andi

    Ok, and the alternative idea was...what? We're waiting.

    June 7, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Hey Alex (the dummy),

    You want us to stick with what has been working the past 8 years?

    And yes, our government has intervened. But have you questioned why? Would our government intervene, had our economy been humming due to the brilliant Republican plans of the past 8 years?

    Stop criticizing others from trying something new, especially when what you (and the loony, gun/religion clinging Republicans) have done to our country the past 8 years!

    - from someone who voted for Reagan!

    June 7, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Claudia in Houson

    Alex Castellanos has never been right about anything and I don't see why CNN ever ask him questions. I thought they had finally dumped him.

    June 7, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    BEGINNING to scare people ? Those of us who voted for McCain, voted less for McCain, than against the very scary Democrat party. We've been scared of the Democrat leadership for a long time, and our fears are spreading.

    June 7, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Pat, CA

    The impending fight on Capitol Hill over health care had BETTER be long and hard! NO MORE shoving things down our throats because "the president" has set an arbitrary date by which HE wants something done (like the Porkulus). We do not have to serve HIM! He has to serve US!

    June 7, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. gl, Pittsburgh

    No the Republicans are the scary ones. The love to put fear and us Americans but we are to smart for thier old tricks. RAPUBICANS ARE THE TALIBAN OF THE USA.

    June 7, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Eugene

    The only people getting scared are Republicans looking at their bleaker than ever prospects for 2010 and the forseeable future.

    June 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. gl, Pittsburgh

    The republicans rather spend billions of dollars on war and war only. Repubicans all expense, if they were still in charge, would only be on war defense and will cut all other programs for the people of the USA. Republicans hate American people and love WAR!

    June 7, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Amanda

    Scare who exactly ? Your right extremist base ? I feel very safe and happy with President Obama, thank you.

    June 7, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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