August 24th, 2009
09:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Congresswoman says some senators 'Neanderthals'

Waters is urging the president to keep the public option plan.
Waters is urging the president to keep the public option plan.

(CNN) -- As President Obama begins his vacation in Martha's Vineyard this week, the fiery debate over health care reform continues to rage.

The latest member of congress to wade into the issue is California Rep. Maxine Waters, a liberal Democrat who at a town hall over the weekend implored the president not to drop the public option plan and said his efforts at bipartisanship are futile.

Watch: Obama pressured on Public Option

"Yes, we know that you are a nice man, that you want to work with the opposite side of the aisle. But there comes a time when you need to drop that and move forward," she said. "We're saying to you, Mr. President, 'Be tough. Use everything that you've got. Do what you have to do. And we have your back.' "

The longtime congresswoman, whose district includes much of Los Angeles, also described some senators who are opposed to the health care reform bill as "Neanderthals."

Earlier: Lieberman warns Obama not to do too much

"Not only are we going to do everything we can to organize and put pressure on the senators - some of whom are Neanderthals - we're going to say to the president, 'We want you to use every weapon in your basket in order to get those senators to do what they should be doing,' " she said.

The comments were met with strong applause in the forum held at L.A. Southwest College, a community college that that abuts several impoverished neighborhoods.


Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. nurse

    Yes ! do it ! regaurdless of what the people want ! Just because 83% of the nation is happy with their health care is no reason not to destroy it all and remake it in your image oh great one .

    August 24, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Enough with the double standards

    "Not only are we going to do everything we can to organize and put pressure on the senators — some of whom are Neanderthals — we're going to say to the president, 'We want you to use every weapon in your basket in order to get those senators to do what they should be doing,' " she said.
    --------------------------------

    Yep get them on the busses with their professional made signs and get them to make it seem like more people support the President than is reality....

    I mean they don't have jobs anyway and will do whatever you tell them to... Get your sheep out there.

    Just know that the rest of us are watching and we are not dumb, 2010 here we come.

    August 24, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Just Me

    Well..some of them are worst than Neandathals. In my opinion, many of them are in the hands of big business who are buttering the other side of their breads. They will do anything to keep this country at status quo where the rich benfit the most and eyeone else make do. Many of these neathdathals needs to be thrown out of congress the next time they are up for election.

    August 24, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Shawn

    Nice to see that the left can call the right what ever they want and the media sits back and lets this slide. Thanks CNN, MSNBC etc for being fair and balanced . This woman is wrong and sounds like a five year old who isn't getting there way. She is just crying that the nation has rejected the riotous rights let the government take over your life agenda and it would be nice to see a media outlet show that people do not want this single payer crap.

    August 24, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Loup Garou 782

    Everyone take a good long look at this photo of Maxine Waters. She is calling people "Neanderthals" I serously doubt that she has looked in the mirror lately.

    August 24, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Bob in Pa

    Reason #5 for Term limits.
    The longer they stay in office, the more of a nut job they become.

    August 24, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Ralph

    "his efforts at bipartisanship are futile."
    His definition of bipartisanship is to do everything his way.

    Her remarks sound racist.

    August 24, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Doug

    She is doing such a great job in bankrupt California that people should listen to her ... NOT. She and the other liberal democrats are idiots. We know there are not enough doctors and not enough money to support a government health care system, not even mentioning that all government run programs are horribly run. At some point you have to quit giving people stuff for free or you will bankrupt everyone – look at California.

    August 24, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. andrea

    I applaud Maxine Walters for her very accurate characterization of member of the GOP as Neaderthals. As for senator Lieberman, he is wrong on this issue: a very significant, though not the only one, cause of this recession is the hemorrhage of dollars towards the privately run health care system in this country.

    August 24, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Sam's Nemesis

    So if you disagree with socialists you are a neanderthal........if you agree you are enlightened........what if you are just plain afraid of how badly the enlightened will screw things up?? Oh I remember now..........in that case you are an unruly mob.........

    August 24, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. david

    there is absolutely no call to bring Neanderthals down to that level. In compairson they were highly intelligent beings.

    August 24, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Andrew, Buffalo NY

    So much for the party of tolerance huh?

    I'm sorry, but the POTUS shouldn't be taking ANY advice from a rep of a bankrupt state!

    August 24, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Paul

    "Neanderthals?" It's difficult to have a civil debate with someone who insists on calling you names.

    August 24, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. waters is the best as always

    whose eyebrows, LIEberman and SPECTER's?

    ok, they are not neanderthals, most definitely.

    stop insulting neanderthals, maxine.

    the neo-lib-turned-neo-con-turned-again-neo-libs are

    the filthiest conscience-free enemies of humanity.

    August 24, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Mississippi Mike

    Maxine Waters isn't exactly a beacon of ethical behavior so her remarks aren't very surprising. Congress has two parties and proportional voting because it's widely understood that there is never a consensus and that all opinions need to be heard. The Democrats and the president don't want Republicans to have any input in this conversation or to alter the bill in any way, they want to cow the GOP into supporting this legislation regardless of what their constituents want. It's not going to happen and if the Democrats push this garbage bill through the results will be disastrous for the Democrats. Waters is in a very liberal district so the effects on her will be minimal, that's why she is so free to spout this rubbish.

    August 24, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. razmataz

    Typical lib behavior, demonize, marginalize, name-calling. What gets me is that no one in the country is opposed to healthcare reform. It's just that no one wants the government running that show.
    We're already seeing what can happen; Cash-for-Clunkers, great for car-buyers, a nightmare for dealers. That was just a 3 billion dollar program. And folks want to trust the government to run a multi-trillion dollar program, yeah, that makes sense.
    Just announced this morning – social security recipients will NOT get a COLA raise this year, first time since 1975 when COLA raises first began.
    While the elderly won't be getting thier COLA raise this year, their Medicare premiums will go up. And there are still folks out there that think this is a good idea.

    August 24, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. John, Brooklyn, NY

    My only criticism with this particular speech has nothing to do with the "neanderthal" comment but, rather, with her clumsy use of metaphor...

    "....every weapon in your basket..."????

    Who carries weapons in baskets?

    August 24, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. RI Moderate

    Rep Waters – when you resort to name-calling you have lost the argument!

    The American public is just not in the mood to spend a trillion dollars on something that no one has been able to explain clearly.

    Yes, health care reform is needed, but let's have a serious discussion of all the complex issues of this instead of trying to jam their opinion of what's right down people's throats (lefties) or making up lies (righties).

    And please, act like a congressperson should and stop the name-calling.

    August 24, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Dennis

    Maxine Waters is so out of touch with mainstream America. She is on the fringe of wackyhood.

    August 24, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. a cynical commentator

    If you need their help. It won't make it easier by calling them morons in their face.
    Don't forget Bill Clinton lost the majority in the house and senate in the 104th congress while he was trying to jam his version of a healthcare reform through "our" throaths. Don't expect anything different this time, Bill's mandate wasn't too much different, 258 reps and 56 sens, compared Obama's 256 reps and 598(+2)sen. And Bill was more sympathetic.

    August 24, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Stephen Steele

    Sorry Lady. But the Republicans are the only ones who are concerned about and fighting for the American People. Spending the USA into bankruptcy as a country while it is the goal of the Democratic Party is not very helpful to us citizens as we must pay the bills for your nutty ideas.

    August 24, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. nurse

    Looking at her picture ...she might want to rethink calling people names . But then again that IS what libs do best .

    August 24, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Sea.gem

    This is the same racist who stole money from TARC...very interesting...she represents a district that worships her fanning the flames of racism while she exploits the people she represents...she is a fool and the people who elected her deserve the poverty in which they live.

    BTW...has anyone commenting actually read the bill?..do you think the gov't is going to cure cancer?...let alone keep paying for your treatments?...there is a clause that allows a one time pay-out per year of $10,000 per family...hope you don't have two sick people in your family!

    August 24, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Robert

    Now that it looks like Obama has saved the economy, I think he's earned a shot at fixing healthcare.

    August 24, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Chrissy, Tx

    Yeah Mr. President, forget about all the people who don't want health care reform. As I recall, weren't these pathetic people elected by the people????

    August 24, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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