WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Jay Rockefeller told CNN on Tuesday that he's "disappointed" that President Obama wasn't more forceful in pushing the Senate to include a public option in its health care bill.
"A little bit, a little bit I'm disappointed," the West Virginia Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I know he's strongly for it, and I know his tactic has been to let the Congress do his work and then he'll come in when the crunch really counts. What I'm saying is that the crunch is really beginning to count now, and I think he's - I know he's for it, and said so publicly, and campaigned on it, so I think it's important that he come in at this point strongly."
The Senate Finance Committee rejected amendments on Monday, proposed by Rockefeller and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, that called for a new government-run health insurance option.
But Rockefeller stopped short of saying that he wouldn't support a bill that failed to include the provision, and pointed out that proposals passed by the House and other Senate committees include a public insurance option.
"Let's wait on that. I care very strongly about it obviously," Rockefeller said. "...There's all kinds of things that happen between now and ...the point at which I'll either vote yes or no."