August 19th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
9 years ago

DeMint blasts Obama's 'false promises'

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said Wednesday that 'there is no free lunch' when it comes to Democratic efforts on health care reform.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said Wednesday that 'there is no free lunch' when it comes to Democratic efforts on health care reform.

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint on Wednesday urged opponents of health care reform to stand up to the White House and "stop them cold" before they can pass a government-run health insurance option.

"The only compromise they're interested in is what type of government run type of plan," the conservative Republican said of the Obama administration. "What we know we have to do is stop them cold with a government plan so that they'll sit down and talk with the American people about how to get Americans insured."

DeMint made the comments while speaking to reporters after holding a town hall meeting in Myrtle Beach, where the senator was on friendly turf as he laid out his critique of the reform plans currently being worked out in the House and Senate. More than 400 people jammed into a Brazilian steakhouse to see the senator, and most cheered him on as he pummeled the president's plans.

Citing a CNN poll released earlier this month, DeMint said that more than 80 percent of Americans are satisfied with their health care. That same poll found that about half of Americans favor the President's health care reform agenda.

He said a government-run plan would drive private insurers out of business and reduce the quality of care and access around the country. One his primary concerns, shared by many in the crowd, was the cost of the Democratic plan. He said the president has been on a liberal "rampage" since taking office in January.

"There is no free lunch here," DeMint said. "These big promises are false promises."

After the event, DeMint told CNN that Democrats will pay a serious political price in 2010 if the White House tries to push their plan through the Senate using "reconciliation" – a maneuver that would require just 51 votes instead of a filibuster-proof supermajority.

"They are talking about changing the rules of the Senate in order to pass something they cannot pass their own way," DeMint said of the White House threat, which was floated by administration officials late Tuesday. "I think if they do that they are going to feel the wrath of the American people as no party has seen before, and I think you'll see Democrats falling in droves in the next election."

DeMint added: "I hope anyone who votes for a government takeover of health care, whether they're Republican or Democrat, loses the next election."

At a town hall near Charleston on Monday, DeMint avoided a question from an audience-member who asked if he was planning to run for president himself in 2012. On Wednesday, he made clear that he was was not. "No, I am not thinking about running for president," he told CNN.

A group of about a dozen local Democrats gathered peacefully outside the town hall to demonstrate in support of the president's plan. Some carried signs provided by Health Care for America Now, a national coalition of labor unions and liberal groups urging Congress to pass health care reform.

Jamie Sanderson, a local Democratic activists who organized the demonstration, said that if Democrats in Washington fail to pass reform, they might never have another chance to do so.

"It's about what this country is founded on, people take care of people, whether in this country or abroad," he said. "If we lose that message now, we're never going to get it back."

Filed under: Health care • Jim DeMint • President Obama
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. sharon

    is Demint also a member of C-Street?

    That would explain his attitude.

    August 19, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Boot the racist party OUT!

    August 19, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. g

    A politician lying? Never......By "Change" he meant a liberal in the White House. That's "Change", is it not? The guy is trying and though he may be fighting a losing battle ( Afghanistan, anyone?) at least he is trying.

    August 19, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    Wow, CNN, you sure closed comments on your Truth Squad article fast! Truth is that, without tort reform, any government attempt at controlling prices (and they most certainly WILL attempt that) will squeeze doctors who have to pay for malpractice insurance. This will further erode the supply side...result: rationing.

    And DeMint is 100% correct. if dems pass this by procedural tricks such as reconciliation, they will most definitely pay a heavy price...if not in 2010, surely at some point. Obamacare is designed to be IRREVERSIBLE! We will be stuck with it forever.

    August 19, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. dustin

    why can't there be private and public just like with our mail, and our education, If fed ex and harvard could manage, why can't private insurance?

    August 19, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Gpenn

    Demint needs to just close his mouth. Half his electorate in SC have no healthcare, not that seems to bother him. The education system in SC is a mess and he wants to tell anyone how to run anything.

    August 19, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. jfs Memhis, Tn

    How's about less time blasting the President and more time solving the significant problems in your state. That's what you need to do...I suggest that you start with giving your Gov. some GOOD advice....resign. So .Carolina is in the TOP 3 for unemployment . I'm sure all of those desperate folks love to hear you blasting Obama when they and their families need to get some constructive direction from their Senator.

    August 19, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Tom

    Jim DeMint is one of those deadenders who has his health care all taken care of by the government but can't abide having the government do the same for his constituents. Next!

    August 19, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. J

    GOP is showing their "True Color"

    Obviously Jim DeMint doesn't care about 45 million Americans people who have no healthcare. or those who denied health care because of their preexisting condition or Americans who go broke and bankrupt because of their illness.
    Jim DeMint seems concern about Private Insurance , which it didnt' come as a surprises since Private Insurances are a big GOP campaign fun contributor

    August 19, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Mason, CT

    I'd like to blast DeMint for impersonating a Senator.

    August 19, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Gpenn

    The GOP had no problem using the same reconciliation to pass three different tax plans during the Bush years and now Demint wants to whine about the procedure. Hypocrite much?

    August 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    They went the Stimulus pretty much alone. Big success there!
    They went the automaker bailouts pretty much alone. Another doozie! In case some of you Democrats weren't paying attention, GM and Chrysler did both go into bankruptcy. That's what Obama was trying to buy our way out of. No jobs saved there, either.

    What do you think we will end up with as a government health care program crafted by these same people? I worry.

    August 19, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. tjaman

    Now I remember this show, "Cecil B. DeMinted" - John Waters, I think it was, about some senator who never learned how to count. It was a fun flick with a satisfying twist at the end. 🙂

    August 19, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. pat c

    THIS MAN IS A TERRORIST TO OUR COUNTRY! he is the opitamyof what is wrong with the republican party. he is a racist and and all of the GOP is nothing but old white men thinking they can run our lives. i say down with all of them on the next election!!!

    August 19, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Sharon

    Coming from a crooked Republican – Boy does that carry weight!!!!

    August 19, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. S M R

    Mr.DeMint has this all wrong. You are the one in the Minority Sir and this kind of obstruction will put you out of your self inflicked misery.The more you fight the bigger our majority will be come 2010. YOUR CHOICE.

    August 19, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Karl in SLC

    Jim DeMint is demented. Just another from the handful of regressive Senators from far right .

    He doesn't give one bit of crap about our country. This is all party politics to him.

    August 19, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. economist

    The only word to describe conservatives: worthless. They sell us on wars we don't need while refusing to help solve any real problems we have. Market based solutions to climate change and health care are possible, but they are a lot less likely to occur if conservatives don't step up.

    August 19, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Trilla

    Yet another Republican nitwit from South Carolina opens up his big mouth. Shut up already!!

    August 19, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. J.P.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. You cannot soak the rich without feeling it, yourself, someplace else.

    Want to soak the rich... fine. All it will cost you is your job.... remember, poor people don't hire you, rich people do.

    Go ahead. Bite the hand...

    August 19, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Dal Californian

    How much money did DeMint get from the Insurance companies is the question. If they gave money to his election campaign or anything else he is not qualified to talk about the loss the Insurance companies will suffer at all.

    August 19, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Who in the world is DeMint? He's never wnat progress. So who cares what the hell he thinks.

    August 19, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Claudia in Houson

    DeMint doesn't want to give up all that insurance lobbyist money that he enjoys along with the excellent healthcare he and his family enjoy. Remember, these people we send to Washingtons are all millionaires who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and can't relate to most Americans. Where's your silver spoon.

    August 19, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. DianeR PC FL

    Jim DeMint is why I've stopped calling them Republicans and started calling them the Blubbering Conservidiot Sniveling Morons (BCSM). Thugs, liars and gun-toting racists is what they've become. I would also point out that the base of the BCSMs are definitely ambidexterous – they can thump their bibles in one hand while simultaneously pulling the trigger on their AK-47s in the other!

    August 19, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Allison

    Eight years of "false promises" were made by the Republicans.

    August 19, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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