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. Operation Crush Rush

    Hes the Leader of the Corporate Fascists.

    August 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. bush VICTIM

    What is the republican plan?

    August 18, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Independent, NC

    CNN will you please do an investigation and let us know anyone in the House Or Senate that receives money from the Health Care Industry. I feel as if the Media is letting down the American people. Our local newspaper listed every member of the House and Senate last week in NC that has received money and the amount. Senator Richard Burr-Republican has received over 2 Million dollars and Congresswoman Sue Myrick-Republican over 1 Million dollars during the past few years. Of course they are against HCR. I think people need to know why some of the people representing us are against HCR. I think there are also Democrats that are against HCR because they are receiving money. My family and I have excellent health care. I wish everyone had the same as we do. I am a retired government employee.

    August 18, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Pepou

    The only thing that stuck in my mind yesterday was the insurance companies getting a WINDFALL on Wall Street. Do you know why ? Because they think that reform has been killed. Well, they are wrong!

    August 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. chill

    Unfortunately, most of the information that people are getting is wildly exaggerated if not outright lies. The Dems appear split because they allow people of varying ideologies in their party; something the Repub Party did before Gingrich. I've been supportive of the Bauccus compromise attempts to date, but given the scant interest most of the GOP seems to have in that approach, maybe we should just go to reconciliation and pass the House bill. Can't see why you guys are so totally beholden to the insurance companies that ration our healthcare decisions today.

    August 18, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. bob in LA

    Wouldn't LOVE to see the book the Republican have for names to call the Democrats?
    Liberals, Socialists, Nazis, FLip-Floppers, Elitists, and now Schizophrenics. At what point do they start SAYING something of substance and stop name calling?
    And by the way- politians dont work FOR us, they REPRESENT us. We are gettign what we asked for.

    August 18, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Haren

    Pelosi is true and compassionate Christian and not other guy who ruled us for last 8 years.
    Pelosi we are counting on you just ignore all corrupt colleague of yours and pass public option.

    August 18, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. William in San Jose

    Democrats? You've got to be kidding me! It's the Republicans who look like a mentally challenged lynch mob. Hello? DeMint, Grassley, Virgina Foxx? Birthers, Tea-baggers (lol)? Those people all need government health care so they can be put on Haldol 2mg/3x daily! This "debate" is laughable. The entire "debate" is about race, you know it and I know it.

    August 18, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. tjaman

    Hmm. So ... that's what the face of evil looks like. Intriguing.

    August 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Eugene

    And you expected an intelligent perspective from this guy? Guess again.

    August 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. DJ

    lie, lies, lies, misinformation, fear-mongering...is that all he has to offer?

    August 18, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black. Schizophrenia is a RethugliKlan's middle name (see Sarah Pailin's "turn up the volume at town halls, turn down the volume at town halls).

    Schizophrenia: ...mental llness that is characterized by a distorted view of the real world...and by abnormal ways of thinking...and behaving. (Webster's)

    Now if THAT doesn't describe some of our fellow RethugliKlan bloggers on this site I don't know what does. Additonally it also explains why RethugliKlans have an inability to tell the truth, lack empathy, and want to basically see our country fail. Schizophrenics, now I get it.

    August 18, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Zion

    See, Democrats have something Republicans do not have and that's diversity of thought. Therefore, Democrats will be slower in getting legislation passed versus just signing everything into law the way it was done the last eight years.

    August 18, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Informed voter

    This guy is advocating LESS regulation of insurance companies??? Does he really believe that the profit driven insurance companies will self regulate, and cover people with pre-existing conditions? Just like Wall Street self regulated this whole country into a huge recession... When will people realize the only way this country will have a humane and strong work force is to make sure every American has health care coverage. The insurance companies only make their obscene profits by denying Americans coverage.

    August 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Face reader

    Just look at this guy and you can see hes a smacked bottom.

    August 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Consider the source...

    Possibly, it could be that the Democrats look split (not schizophrenic - he definitely doesn't know what that term really means) because there are two bills, the House bill and the Senate bill, and they have not yet gone to a joint committee for compromise and resolution. Since neither bill has even made it to the floor of their respective houses of Congress, we don't even know what the final bills from each house will look like, much less the one that finally comes out of the Joint Committee.

    Perhaps we look split because our minds are still open, and we are still debating the real issues, not picking choice little lies to spout?

    August 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. daisy

    I think what we're seeing here is the ability to compromise. Compromise. That may be a new and big, scary word to some NeoCons out there...but it's not schizophrenia.

    August 18, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. GOPer

    The irony from far right FreedomWorks. While lying over involvement, their "leader" Dick Army just had to resign from his law firm over conflicts of interests with FreedomsWorks' unruly fringes at town halls. Schizophrenic, indeed.

    August 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Lori in St Pete

    Does anyone know what percentage of those with insurance actually purchased their own policies, and how many Americans are provided insurance by their employer (who picks the majority of the cost)?

    August 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Lori in St Pete

    The blue dogs need to stop worrying so much about their chances for reelection and vote for a public option. If not, 2010 will to be 1994 redux. They were cowed into voting no then, and lost their majority in the house and senate. The screamers at the town hall meetings didn't vote for them, and they aren't going to vote for them in 2010, so they might as well take one for the team and do the right thing by those who DID vote for them.

    August 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    I'll take schizophrenia over the lying, deceitful, fear-mongering, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homphobic theocracy-leaning misinformation-campaigning party-before-country sociopathy of the GOP any day.

    August 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Dennis

    There's not enough Republicans in Congress to affect the outcome of the legislation you're still saying that it's the Republicans fault? Looks to me like the Democrats can't get their act together, and that is a GOOD thing.

    August 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    They look absolutely flabbergasted. Remember this is the same group that defamed and dismissed the TEA parties as the work of FOX news. They and the rest of the state run media are far out of touch with the american people.

    August 18, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. SD, Michigan

    Dick Armey, the boss of FreedomWorks, called Medicare "tyranny" and wants to do away with it, because it's a Government-run program.
    Social Security is naturally the next target.
    Instead of opening up Medicare to other people of all ages if they chose to pay for it and be part of it, they want it gone...
    We'll see about that, FreedomWorks!

    August 18, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. sharon

    did anyone read the e-mail that went out from the "go disrupt the town hall meetings" group?

    It has been on the news.

    did everyone miss the gun packing folks in crowds that also contained children? Safe ? not.

    planned? of course.
    did it work? nope.

    August 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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