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. Shellie/NE

    Just another disgruntled Republican full of complaints, but yet, has NOTHING to offer himself.

    August 19, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. MMhmm

    JP, idiots like you WOULD believe that...without people who spend money (the middle class) these companies WOULDN'T there fore, i won't buy ANY of their services or goods! so there, they can penny pinch too rather than taking million dollar parachutes while YOUR taxes, and YOUR healthcare, and YOUR price of goods going up and up and up...idiot!

    August 19, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. S M R

    I wonder how much Mr. DeMint got paid by the Insurance Companies and Special Interest Groups for this little LIE FEST.

    August 19, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. cspurgeon

    Thats what we need..more lunatics like you. Go away idiot...A totally politicalm pig with non thought except lining his own pockets.

    August 19, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |

    Insurance lobbists donated big bucks to DemInts campaign fund. Now do you understand why he's sooooo against health reform? (duh!)

    August 19, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Kevin B

    Mr De-mint ought to just say what is really on his mind and that is;

    No way is the GOP going to allow this biracial president to do anything to save the nation from a sure fiscal nightmare, by reigning in health care cost and forcing insurance companies to compete

    Republicans are a paper tiger, just blow through these nut cakes and do what is right for the majority of americans already.

    August 19, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Deuce

    He didn't make faulse promises. He lied everytime during the election. He has no idea how to run a country.

    August 19, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Carlos

    For all you dems who think your numbers are going to increase in 2010 you are living in lala land.

    August 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    No one is proposing a take over of private insurance (although we would be better off if they were). The CBO even said there would be no take over. So if DeMint thinks so, where is the proof? Or is that more just more bull you are spreading? The public option will reduce cost. For profit insurance companies spend 78 cents on the dollar of premiums paid to health care. Non-For profit spend 90 cents and Medicare spends 97 cents. Introducing a coast to coast government plan will Introduce competition in the market place and reduce profits for insurance companies and cost to the consumer. We are looking at a reduction of 12%. Who could be against that?

    August 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Klow

    It seems that he has sufficiently pointed out all of the alleged defects with the current plan, but I feel like there is something lacking. Now what could that be? OH YEAH! HOW ABOUT AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION?!?!

    Just saying "No" does not keep the already high insurance costs from rising. If you do not have a solution, you have no right to complain.

    August 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. S M R

    Buying vote should be banned from politics.

    August 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. cspurgeon

    Bring on term limits for all and we will get rid of nuts on both sides. Fits right in with their Govenor doesn't he???

    August 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Oliver

    Demint 's one of the Republicans who hasn't read the Healthcare Reform Bill. He never had to read before, he just rubber-stamped George W. Note Demint never complained of the billions and billions of $$$$ going to Iraq and Afghan. but he sure is complaining now. Idiot.

    August 19, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Anyone in Congress who does not want a government run option should give up their own excellent government run health care plan. How many will do this? Probably none because they are hypocrites.

    August 19, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Medicaid for all or medicaid for none.

    August 19, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Duck Fallas

    Stop DeMint. Cold.

    August 19, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Canada

    The most ill inform human beeing in the face of the earth are all beleived america has the best health care system on but rank 23 out of 32 in the indusrtalize nations.

    August 19, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    So the republicans squashed health care reform in '93, sat on it and did nothing while it spiraled out of control in the ensuing years, and now all of the sudden they have all the answers? And, BIG SURPRISE, the party of No is again engaging in the Potomac shuffle trying to slow everything down. Yeah, you conservatives have the recipe, all right – the recipe for doing nothing.

    You don't like Obama's plan? Then come up with a REAL alternative – not just all this rhetorical chest beating that is nothing short of cowardice. At least Obama and Clinton had/have the cajones to move on a topic they KNEW would be relentlessly lied about and endlessly attacked, costing them lots of political capital. Yet they did and are doing it, because its the right thing to do for America. The only thing republicans similarly lay it on the line for is their fat cat patrons. They could care less about America.

    August 19, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. BirdsNest

    DeMint is only about party politics. He dances to the tune of Rush and Rove. Enough said.

    August 19, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Joe, Georgia

    Jim Demint is a perfect example of what is wrong with politics in this country. This man has no morals what so ever. He will stand in front of his constituents and any audience or TV program and lie to everyone who will listen. Our country is near collapse because of people like Jim Demint. Health care costs are out of control; our deficit doubled in the 8 years Demint's party controlled Congress and White House; our education system, especially in South Carolina, can't compete with China and India; and our infrastructure is crumbling. This is the state of our Country that Jim Demint and his cohorts created. They don't care about this Country or its future, they care about the next election.

    August 19, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Jake

    Hey Jerk!
    want to pay my health insurance for me?

    August 19, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Turnabout is Fair Play

    No free lunch here? Where was your arrogant rhetoric when Idiot Bush was running wild spending our money in that stupid Iraq war and the other Repugnicans were spending like it was going out of style? Shut your lying sh!thole and work with our president! Your ignorant party LOST the election so stop being retards and work together WITH our president for the good of US Americans for a dam change!

    August 19, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Lori in St Pete

    The dems will be in even bigger trouble in 2010/10 if they don't pass meaningful healthcare reform. Those who don't want healthcare reform didn't vote for the dems in previous elections (or if they did they have nobody to blame but themselves for getting him elected without knowing his platform), and they won't be voting for them in upcoming elections. Since the rethugs are all-certain the dems are going to pay the price, they might as well go out big.

    August 19, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. X

    Here is a list of outspoken critics of "Government Run" health insurance who receive Government run-tax payer subsidised health insurance for themselves:

    Charles Grassley
    Arthur Laffer
    Dick Armey
    Rudy Giuliani
    Newt Gingrich
    Max Baucus
    Kent Conrad
    Ben Nelson
    Law professors at the University of Tennessee have it
    The employees of George Mason University, which houses the free-market Mercatus Center
    Along with just about everyone's grandparents

    August 19, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. GOP = 21st century dodo

    It's time to jettison the GOP altogether.

    They've become a malfunctioning joke of a party. All they're good for is dragging the rest of America down with them.

    August 19, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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