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. Faye

    Jim DeMint is a typical selfish, self-centered greedy jerk who is working hard to protect the status quo. People like him is the reason this country is in such a mess. Not a peep from them when we are fighting stupid wars and shoveling money to crooked, criminal contractors, etc. But, God forbid anyone wants to invest anything in the American people. We don't care what they say because none of it is honest. They are stupid, greedy lying racists who proclaim to be Christians but have absolutely no morals. Who needs them?

    August 19, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Kevin B

    MR De mint and the whole GOP have shot thier wad on the health care debate, they have used fear, misinformation, contrived rabbles, name calling and even veiled threats of violence with gun toting at town hall meetings.

    Now is the time to show these cowardly GOP bullies what america really wants and blow through these GOP insurance company lackeys.

    Pass reform with the public option now !!

    August 19, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Doug

    "There is no free lunch here," DeMint said.
    No, but by opposing reform there's plenty of free cash, isn't there Jimmy?

    August 19, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Denise

    You self-serving, sickening excuses for public servants are EXACTLY what's wrong with our society. You're taking money from the insurance companies and destroying our country by not helping your President give the people what they need and want.

    Your lies and greed are despicable.

    August 19, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Deuce

    Barack Obama needs to stop doing things that give him Glory.

    That's why nothing happens. Nothing gets passed unless it give Obama some glory.

    August 19, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. S M R

    Getting to the bottom of Insurance Company fraud is the reason for health care reform. Regulation is a SCARY word for the GOP.

    August 19, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    John McCain called it perfectly at least a year ago. All the Democrats want to do is grow government at the expense of taxpayers and small businesses. This is exactly what we are seeing. They are doing it all on their own, against the wishes of the majority of Americans and it is ugly.

    August 19, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Denise

    Do it without these lying, dangerous hypocrites, Mr. President.

    We elected you to represent us and WE WANT HEALTH REFORM.

    Grow some.

    August 19, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    FIRST the PARTY OF NO tried to incite RIOTS by giving out false information about the HEALTH BILL and they succeeded in getting the MEDIA all rallied up and the FAR RIGHT NATOIN pulling out GUNS and LOOKING CRAZY.

    NOW they are afraid the HEALTH CARE REFORM bill will move on without them!!! So NOW they want to INCITE more RIOTS – the GUNS are already drawn ... and the Senator has "... urged opponents of health care reform to stand up to the White House and "stop them cold..." WHAT MESSAGE IS BEING SENT NOW TO THE 'ALREADY CRAZIES"!!!!

    August 19, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. charlie in Maine

    Dear Mr. Demint,

    You are wrong and mean and everyone knows it.

    August 19, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Cathy in AZ

    One of the very last people I would ever trust to tell me anything with a modicum of truth is Jim DeMint.
    If the GOP would cease with the scare tatics, discuss this issue without the hate filled speechs, maybe we could find out what is exactly on the table. But until the GOP quits the screaming, I have absolutely no time for anything they say!
    We need Health Reform!

    August 19, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. makesUwonder

    I do not want the government even close to deciding what my health care should be. I'll decide that myself without the help of a nanny government.

    August 19, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Alfred E. Neumann

    DeMint is satisfied that fifty million Americans are uninsured becuase the 80% is happy?

    DeMint is happy with the high cost of health care?

    DeMint – two sandwiches short of a picnic!

    August 19, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Zion

    DeMint, you guys had your chance at a compromise, now the calvary is here. Thanks, but no thanks

    August 19, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. bill

    I live in DeMint's constituency, in his hometown. Word on the street is that this guy is an epic failure. It's looking really bad for him.

    August 19, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. HUGO

    Okay lib bots, don't get your panties in a wad! This does not mean that the GOP doesn't realize or want healthcare reform, just not HR3200! Like I keep saying regulate the lawyers, enforce our immigration laws, regulate banking and insurance industries to provide fair consumer practices and poof, the problem would be solved. What, did I hear you say that you don't think it is that simple? I suppose you may have a point. lawyers regulating lawyers just doesn't seem to be the ticket. I mean who on earth would shoot their cash cow? Bottom line, America cannot afford to create another failed social welfare system that will ultimately fail. What, did I hear you say it would not fail? Why of course it would if passed, it would be destined to be run by the Government and stacked with inept bureaucratic workers, check out the Post Office lately"

    August 19, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. S M R

    Our Country is in deep debt because of deregulation of Banks, Wallstreet, Auto Industry and the INSURANCE COMPANIES. Not to mention the NO WMD WAR the Bush Administration invented. The Obama Administration has stepped on many toes to take away the power of the Greedy 2% of the population. Stand up for what's right for the 98% of Average Americans.

    August 19, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "First. Tort Reform. And close every law school in the nation."

    Yeah hate lawyers until you need one, and you love doctors until you need one...blah blah blah.

    Tort reform is a red herring. Do some research on how wonderfully ineffective at lowering health care costs it has been in states that have tried to implement it in various ways...and by getting informed, stop letting yourself be manipulated.

    August 19, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Albo58

    DeMint is absolutely right! Public option is a non-starter for anyone that pays taxes! Furthermore, the Constitution does NOT provide for free health care to our citizens NOR citizens of other countries! The only real social program that this administration should be trying to provise, and it's the best one of all: jobs!

    August 19, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. katiec

    DeMint is one of those inconsequencical, radical hypocrits that should never get a headline, let alone anyone listening to what he
    says. Why is he getting any attention CNN?? Oh, forgot you are
    going to support and shove down our throats any politician,
    regardless of their lies, to speak out against Health Care Reform
    or anything else our president proposes.
    SHAME ON YOU, CNN. We are getting so sick and tired of your
    bias. You should change your name to Fox 2.

    August 19, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Joe, Georgia

    Jim Demint needs to admit that his only objective on health care or any other issue before Congress is to stop what ever the President proposes. The President wants to reduce costs; increase access and insurance availability; and use information technology to improve quality of care and reduce paperwork for doctors. The President wants to increase competition in the insurance market where it doesn't exist today. Why doesn't Jim Demint tell the truth about what the President is trying to accomplish. He would rather try to spread outright lies for political purposes than engage in a truthful debate. Demint knows if he tells the truth he won't be able to scare people and make them angry.

    August 19, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |


    All of you REPUBLICANS need to stop spewing lies.


    August 19, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "This does not mean that the GOP doesn't realize or want healthcare reform, "

    Actually, they don't. The do not want a single thing that might benefit Americans or have any kind of success to pass thru this House/Senate or Obama's signing desk. In case you hadn't noticed, they think that by blocking reform, they will destroy Obama and the's been publicly stated by several key GOPers and can't be denied. This isn't about th eDems wanting power via a public's about the GOPers wanting power via obstructing the Dems and forcing us to continue to suffer so they can later blame the Dems "who were in control." It's quite simple and transparent really.

    August 19, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Jim

    more party of no idiocy.

    when will they try to work at providing a solution?

    currently, all they are good at is speaking in incendiary terms and causing problems.

    August 19, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. jayel

    I wonder how much the insurance companies paid DeMint for his verbal assault on health care reform. It was probably a free lunch and much more....

    August 19, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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