July 23rd, 2009
03:15 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama rips GOP in health care forum

President Obama again Thursday accused top Republicans of playing politics with health care reform.

President Obama again Thursday accused top Republicans of playing politics with health care reform.

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (CNN) - President Barack Obama took his health care offensive on the road Thursday, ripping top Republicans for playing politics with his top domestic legislative priority.

"We have never been closer to achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans," Obama said in a packed town hall meeting outside Cleveland, Ohio.

"But at the same time, there are those that would seek to delay and defeat reform. ... We had one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.'"

Another Republican senator, the president said, had argued "that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me - when it's really the American people who are being broken by rising health care costs and declining coverage."

The president also set his sights on Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

Steele, Obama said, is "seeking to stall our efforts" and "recently went so far as to say that health insurance reform was happening 'too soon.' ... I think that's a little odd. We've been talking about health reform since the days of Harry Truman."

Obama concluded that "reform may be coming too soon for some in Washington, but it's not soon enough for the American people."

Top Republican strategist Bill Kristol recently wrote on a conservative Web site that for the GOP "this is no time to pull punches. Go for the kill."

Last week, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina was quoted as telling the group Conservatives for Patients Rights, which opposes Obama's health care plan, that "if we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Eddie

    This "Freebee" Obama health careless plan is a sham! All you mindless Obamaites are simply following someone who doesn't know how to lead! This plan will mean a loss of 1.5 million jobs. In accordance with CBO estimates it would cause a deficit of 1.5 Trillion dollars. It would NOT cover all Americans. It would NOT guarantee that you could keep your existing insurance even if you want to. There would be NO tort reform as promised by Obama earlier. There will be one czar that will decide what is necessary and things like if abortion will be covered, which it currently is. Furthermore; the GOP offered an amendment to exclude abortions, it was voted down. THIS BILL MUST BE STOPPED IN ITS CURRENT FORM.

    July 23, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. ben

    it is a sad time in America right now, people need help. but it will never happen because faux news and right wing radio are whipping people into a misinformed hysteria. i am from eastern kentucky and am pretty centrist when it comes to politics, so don't call me a liberal. i am ashamed that those on the far right would sacrifice the well being of our country by trying to undermine every word or action that comes from obama. people need to listen and watch both left and right leaning programs and decide for themselves. just remember that people like hannity think healthcare is good like it is, well his probably is great considering his muti-million dollar radio and tv deal. i am truly disappointed that in a time of crisis, some people are only thinking about elections and party loyalty. another thing that bothers me is that there are those in the republican party who do want to help and are trying to compromise on things but they can't because they might be villified by the far right wing radio and tv personalities.

    July 23, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Kevin B

    The GOP is out of step with most americans, It is obvious that they want a cheap political win at the expense of the american people who are paying gads of money to cover thier families health care needs.

    Once and for all we must put American families over powerful special interest groups; i.e. big pharma and insurance companies.

    Do not let fear win again !

    July 23, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. James A. Schmitz

    The President is right. We need health care reform with a full public option now; we have delayed far too long. And cutting costs through reform and raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 will more than raise the funds needed to pay for this essential program. The Republicans and the Blue Tick Corporate Democrats either need to get on board or stand aside and get out of the way of inevitable historical progress. We don't need to "go slow;" we need to speed up and makes this necessity a reality now.

    July 23, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. George in AZ.

    It's time for Obama to correct the irresponsible political remarks of the Republican Party. Their efforts to stall and say "no" to everything that he proposes has one purpose. The stiff arm on Health Reform is because the GOP knows that if the bill passes, they will not see the White House for at least another 15-1/2 years. Period. It will be the end of the GOP political disaster started by John McCain. Can you just imagine McCain presiding over last nights press conference? Think about it.

    July 23, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Ethan

    President Obama is absolutely right as usual.

    This is NOT the time for the political games that have come to symbolize the GOP brand.



    July 23, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. BanPoliticalParties

    No offense to his supporters, but Obama is the LAST person who needs to be pointing the finger and accusing people of "playing politics" because that has been all Obama has done since he started his presidential bid. Primarily identity politics to be specific. His recent commenting on the Gates case, admittedly before he knew the facts, is a very fresh example of this. If you can't detect the game he is playing then I can only hope that you do not ever vote because it is obvious that you are not capable of figuring out what is happening in politics. Man.. such HUGE amounts of change... the freshest thing Obama has offered is a recycled version of hillarycare from 1994.

    July 23, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Kevin B

    Americans, do not let fear rule, once again

    The GOP is out of step with most americans, It is obvious that they want a cheap political win at the expense of the american people, who are paying gads of money to cover thier families health care needs and receiving less and less for thier contributions.

    For once, put American families over powerful special interest groups; i.e. big pharma and insurance companies.

    July 23, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Obama Victim

    this boy should worry about his own party.........he has all the votes he needs.....if he could get them......does not need a single repub............that he can't get the support of his own party speaks volumes................blaming repubs..............laughable.....lies and spin............what he does best

    July 23, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Marty, Grand Rapids Mi

    Single payer is the only system that will truly reduce cost. What we have proposed will at least fix our moral issue. Maybe we will work on cost another year.

    July 23, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Terri

    I have never seen a bunch of elected officials that so desparately won't our country to fail as do the Republicans. It is a shame that they hate President Obama so much that they would sacrifice health care for those who really need it.

    I sure wish they would have been this loud when George Bush was running this country in the ground.

    July 23, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Maximus

    Republican is not a political party but rather a "cult" A bunch of wicked and selfish individuals who group themselves as a political party to acquire power and authority to better serve their purpose, that of oppressing, exploiting, and killing people and their dreams. Therefore, they can't afford to defend the people who has nothing to offer them but complaints, and issues to solve. They rather support the rich and capitalist who will provide them with fund to live large and let them in return violate the people's last contitutional right, exploit the people in high insurance costs, credit card interest, scamful contracts and agreements and unjust bad debt prosecution. Yes they are not politicians, but cultists.

    July 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Ryan Indy

    Kinda how you VOTED against every single BILL that Bush supported when you were a senator. YOu will be treated with the same respect that you showed or I guess didnt show Presdient Bush. Isnt Karma a ____?

    July 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Willa

    Republicans suck...most of them that is, especially the lunatic types, the hypocrites and shameless aldulterors...who preach and push morals and religion during their elections. They are NOT for the mainstream Americans.

    July 23, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Rhonda

    Why doesn't the president stop worrying about Republicans? The Democrats control government and could pass any legislation without a single Republican vote.

    July 23, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. PFFT

    The Dems have the majority in the House and the Senate. If they can't muster the votes to pass the obamanation that the Obamanation wants for health care, the Dems only have themselves to blame. They have the Presidency, and the Congress. They should be able to pass whatever monstrosity their little socialist hearts' desire.

    July 23, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Nick

    Laughable. He has the White House, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, strong majority in the House, and it's the REPUBLICANS fault? Get real.

    CBO panned the plan saying savings weren't real and costs would increase.

    Several Democrat governors oppose the plan.

    Blue Dogs oppose the plan.

    Newsflash, most Americans don't understand the plan, haven't been given the facts, and don't want the plan either.

    Start blaming yourself, Barry, and update your resume because you'll need to find your first real job pretty soon.

    July 23, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    That's right. Get out that paddle and make their butts hurt. Repeat after me GOPers: "Thank you, Sir, may I have another?"

    July 23, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Joe Six

    And last night President Obama was so conciliatory towards the Republicans. Obama was so, well, so Presidential.

    July 23, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Zaley

    The GOP only looks for their own political gains.

    July 23, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. dan, MI

    CNN, Mind you language when you give such headline. Obama has no right to take away my health care. He wants to do the rationing and then American people will suffer. Do you understand it? Barack Obama does not understand but at least media has to understand it. Wew nee dour freedom even in health-care. If we follow his plan, all private insurance company will go take away our current coverage and it will be a disaster.

    July 23, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Proud Member..Party of No

    lolol...what a clown Obama is. Just last night during his horrendous press conference he so piously stated that he wasn't putting blame on the republicans. What a two-faced, lying sad sack this guy is.

    July 23, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. soulstar

    "conservatives for patients rights," LOL...is that an oxymoron??
    i cannot, for the life of me, understand how the party of morals and family values can oppose health care for all (families) and are instead acting on industry intrests and more concered about "breaking" obama than helping americans. and yet somehow, they will fool about half of americans (especially low income religious zealots) to vote for them again and again...in the name of religion.
    bizarre-o world indeed.

    July 23, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. rob


    The Dems in Congress are the ONLY ones holding this up. They have the #'s in both houses to rap it up and send it to Obama. What the Republicans say or do doesn't make any difference at all!!!!!

    The more we find out about this thing the less the public will want it. Slow down and let the public look at it in its entirety, then let it come up for an up or down vote. Then we'll see.

    Nov. 2010 can't come fast enough.

    July 23, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Grrr-awful-o

    LOL! I thought it wasn't about Obama. Sounds like it's his plan or the highway to me.

    July 23, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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