August 18th, 2009
03:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Conservative: Dems looking 'schizophrenic' on reform

Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said Tuesday that Democrats are looking 'schizophrenic' on health care reform.
Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said Tuesday that Democrats are looking 'schizophrenic' on health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The president of a conservative group accused of "astroturfing" the recent protests at congressional town halls suggested Tuesday that a rift is showing in the Democratic Party on health care reform.

A day after Democrats took to the airwaves to push back on recent comments from an Obama cabinet member about the administration's possible willingness to compromise on a public health insurance option and two days after a longtime Clinton ally suggested Democrats should lay the groundwork to blame Republicans during the 2010 mid-term elections if health care reform legislation is not passed by year's end, the president and CEO of conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said the health care reform debate is now "a debate between Democrats in their own party."

"I think you're seeing the White House and Democrats in Congress getting pulled in both directions," Matt Kibbe said. "They look schizophrenic and they are. One day they're for the government-run option and the next day they're for a compromise position."

Related: Sebelius reiterates support for public option

"We are going to stop this process," Kibbe told a gathering of conservative bloggers and online activists, "and we probably won't see any bill this year. When we do that, we need to make sure that we offer a positive alternative." Kibbe described the current health care system as "wildly corrupted" by government regulation. "We have always believed in a system that is focused on what patients need – not what third parties need. . . . We really want to get at an individualized system where patients are in charge of things."

Kibbe denied that FreedomWorks had done anything out of the ordinary to precipitate the sometimes angry protests and confrontations that have occurred recently as members of Congress in both parties hold town hall meetings with their constituents during the August recess.

In an interview with CNN, Kibbe described conservatives who opposed health care reform as "a very loosely associated network of organizations that go all the way to citizens' kitchen tables. No one's being paid. No one's being orchestrated. We just get the word out to people. We've done this for every congressional recess for the last 20 years."

"The thing that's different is the Internet and more people can get more information quickly," said Kibbe. "And so they're able to find out where the town hall meetings are and they're able to find out more about what the issues are."

Related: Health care in America


Filed under: Democrats • Health care
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Kevin Collins

    – When we do that, we need to make sure that we offer a positive alternative. –

    Well, pray tell, what exactly IS that alternative? In sucking up to the insurance companies, the GOP has offered ZERO constructive ideas. That's why they throw out that anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage stuff to keep you uninsured GOPers in line.

    August 18, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Doug, New Jersey

    The lib-bots have lost, they have already started waving around the white flag. The hate-filled dishonest lib-bot admits its defeat when it is left only to accuse all others who don't support the Alinsky disciple in the White House of being a racist. It was beyond funny to hear them talk about the racist red-neck Nazi who took a so called assault rifle to an Obama lie fest, oops he wasn't a white guy? Now watch the hate-filled white guilt lib that lives solely to call others a racist head spin like the exorcist. Be very careful driving home if you live in a blue area, they will be sure to take out this anger on innocent people on the roads tonight, that’s just what libs do.

    August 18, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Melissa

    Actually, its the Republicans that are looking hateful and heartless on health care reform.

    August 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. yuri

    And Kibbe thinks the GOP is brimmin' w/ uncanny smartness and intelligence in their barbaric and belligerent behaviors fannin' the flames of their own feeble foibles. What kind of fantacy world is this bozo livin' in? We did not hear a worthy word about the repubs' rotten rhetoric on private healthcare which has been rampantly rancid so far.

    Kibbe! Go take a hike or get a shrink for your " super-intelligent' " observation. The world can not stand the brightness of your iconic idiocy. We already have a " Sun " in our solar system.

    August 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter

    That's because some dems care about the people and some are in the pockets of lobbyists. It ain't rocket surgery. Have a nice day!

    August 18, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Kibbe is going to stop the process? Is that the whole motivation of the conservative movement, to stop all processes?

    Keep moving USA. We've been stuck in this muck for way too long. Change is scary, but necessary. We're way past due for a heath care overhaul. Stopping is not an option.

    August 18, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Carlos

    Dems being schizo on something, you got to be kidding me, this is newsworthy?

    August 18, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Jules

    At least we are seeing the Democrats try to do something about healthcare, unlike the Republicans who watched as healthcare cost for American citizen skyrocketed along with prescription drug costs.
    How can he say that healthcare always focuses on what the patient needs.....thats only if the patient can afford the high cost of healthcare to begin with.
    I think it is time that our elected officials thought about those people who elected them and trusted them to do what is right for them not for the CEO's who make millions of dollars while millions of people go without healthcare.

    August 18, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Arden Muller

    The only way that we as tax payers will be in charge of our own destiny when it comes to health care is to include a public option. No public option and every democrat will be looking for another job, the republicans will be patting themselves on the back for destroying this president's administration, the republicans will take over both houses again and this is one ugly picture. President Obama will be a one term president.

    August 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Randolph Carter

    "Kibbe described the current health care system as "wildly corrupted" by government regulation. "

    So his answer is deregulation? Gee, that's worked out swell in the past. Have a nice day!

    August 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. mdf

    I like how Kibbe completely ignores the talking-head factor - the Michael Savages, the Glen Becks, the Limbaughs and Coulters and O'Reillys on radio and TV, instead claiming that the anti-Democratic-process buffoons who show up at these town-hall meetings simply read a little something - "information" - Kibbe and his cronies tossed out there on the Web. Again, more spin and half-truth from the Party of Satan - the NeoCons.

    August 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. John Y Des Plaines IL

    No silly. They look stupid because they are actually expecting the rethuglickings to represent their State and work together with the Democrats in an attempt to create a better plan. Unfortunately all the rethugs can do is say no. No plans, no ideas, no help, who cares? Forget the loosers and move forward for the betterment of all of us in the USA and GO IT ALONE! Payback is a bummer but I'd make Newt look like a real conservative with the contract on Amerika they shoved down our thoats a few years back. Grow some nerve and move forward alone Democrats and we will cover your backs in 2010 and 2012. If not it's good by to you all and hello new party who WILL represent our wishes. We are the majority and we expect results NOW!!!! Move forward or go home and get a different job! I will wait no longer for forward progression and reform.

    An average American with no hypen in my heritage or loyalty.

    August 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Mike in MN

    It will be totaly up to the Blue Dogs, their voter base, and how they respond to pressure from liberal Democrats wether or not there will be a public option. Republicans don't have the votes to stop anything the Democrats want to do.
    What is certain is that if a bill is eventually passed it won't be a rush job like Obama tried to do push through in the first attempt.
    And with voters on both sides of the issue fully engaged, congress will not likely be able to slip anything by without the full knowledge of voters.

    August 18, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Mike

    You cannot blame the Republicans when you cannot get your own democrats to agree to this bill. The reason is, they do not want to be sent home after the 2010 elections. pelose is safe in her loony moon bat district but the rest can be fired and I expect alot of them will be anyway after supporting bail outs and obamas tax and spend programs.

    August 18, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Kevin B

    I guess the dems do look pretty schizo right now, however dems are not a bunch goosestepping, slogan parroting, mindless, self rightcheous pious, bigoted zeolots either.

    August 18, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Mr. Kibbe said that the healthcare debate is now “a debate between Democrats in their own party." Mr. Kibbe, I submit to you that in a democracy, we have debates. The best antiseptic is sunshine and the more the issue is discussed, better solutions begin presenting themselves. In the lockstep GOP, we saw Congress give President Bush a rubber stamp for everything from the foolish Bush tax cut, to the Patriot Act to the Iraq War. We saw very little debate, but dramatic and disastrous consequences. I will take so-called “schizophrenic” debate over King George and his band of village idiots any day of the week.

    August 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Rob Johnson

    "We have always believed in a system that is focused on what patients need – not what third parties need"

    What are the insurance companies, if not third parties? They don't serve anyone but their own bottom line, and they certainly aren't focused on what patients need.

    Conservatives love to complain about government bureaucracy, but they seem to think corporate bureaucracy is somehow benevolent. Their position seems to be that red tape and middlemen are okay, as long as somebody is getting rich off of other people's misery.

    I respectfully disagree.

    August 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Julie

    It's interesting too how so many don't want a public insurance plan option and in the next breath scream at the government to keep its hands off their Medicare. I'm sorry but Medicare IS a public insurance plan but it is only available for the elderly. What we want is THAT kind of plan option for the rest of us to be able to choose if we want it or wish to stay with a private insurance company. Maybe we should change Medicare into strictly a plan administered by private insurance companies and see how long the seniors like that program. They like their form of socialized medicine because it's in their best interest and to heck with the rest of us.

    August 18, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. GOP=Got 0 Plans

    "we probably won't see any bill this year. When we do that, we need to make sure that we offer a positive alternative."

    Is there anymore proof that the GOP have no plans but to obstruct everything that helps the American people...all these wingnuts wooping and yelling about Health Care Reform while their leadership has NO plans to address the issue......

    Health Care Reform will pass with the PUBLIC OPTION...let these Repubs think they can win in 2010 with NO IDEAS as their platform

    August 18, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Kevin B

    I have to give the president credit for taking on such a tough nut, after all the cowardly republicans and most senate dems wouldn't have the balls to touch such a burning issue unless it mean't gladly bending over to take it from the insurance lobby

    August 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Kevin B

    I have to give the president credit for taking on such a tough nut.

    After all the cowardly republicans and most senate dems wouldn't have the balls to touch such a burning issue unless it mean't gladly bending over to take it from the insurance lobby

    August 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Thank You President Obama!

    What did the republicans do for you the last 8 years besides destroy our country, bankrupt our economy and start an illegal war? Now they are trying to stop reform because they don't want the insurance companies to lose profits and there are morons actually believing them. Disgusting!

    August 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Haren

    Health care is not commodity.
    Why insurance co. has to make 30% profit? look at their profit in this bad economy.
    What they have done for the health of the people for that kind of profit.
    President we gave up single payer, for public option and if Chuck grasly can not vote and bring some republican vote for Co-Op than forget about their support and pass the public option.
    Republican were never for health reform, otherwise they would have done it in Reagan, and both Bush presidency.

    August 18, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Ignorance is bliss

    Freedomworks huh, what a joke. just another big business propaganda machine used to brainwash dimwits into voting against their own interests. Hitler and Goebels would be proud.

    August 18, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. white female

    Please stop being so selfish, there is people out here hurting for the need of some kind of help for medical needs, and if they have been paying taxes all of their working life for the last 25 to 50 years they now they may be down on their luck for some reason .
    How can you sit in your plush office w/very good gov't ins and say no to these people, you should lose your job this year and see how it feels. I am so glad that the Middle Dems can see what's happening, and is with The President and his Admin, 100% on this , we will just keep on moving to make this happen people (just sit back and watch us work this with President Obama) that's why when you'll keep sitting around fighting and name calling we keep quite and working. Whatch our School's (public and non-profit, along with some private move ahead, when the end of four years comes we will have our ecomoy up and running, our country men home from war and working to build the inner cities and urban city back. We can, we will, yes we can
    President Obama/Biden 2009-2016 ( watch what we can do)

    August 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
1 2 3 4