November 7th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Rep. quotes infant on House floor: 'Maddie wants patient choice'

Washington (CNN) – In the midst of a heated debate on health care legislation, Rep. John Shadegg, R-Arizona, brought the cute, bald 7-month-old daughter of his Chief of Staff to the floor and gently bounced her in his arms as he expressed his opposition to the Democratic health care reform bill.

Shadegg used Maddie to illustrate how he said the Democrats’ proposal would pass debt on to her generation.

“Maddie believes in patient choice health care,” Shadegg said. “She asked to come here today to say she doesn’t want the government to take over health care, she wants to be able to keep her plan.”

Shadegg continued as the small child began playing with the foam microphone cover: “You see, Maddie knows that if this bill passes her mom’s health care goes away and won’t be around in five years. As a matter of fact, the bill says, if the bill passes, then no more health care for her mom because it has to change.

“Maddie wants patient choice. Maddie doesn’t want her mom’s premiums to go. She doesn’t want her mom’s taxes to go up by $730 billion dollars, do you Maddie? That’s too much money.”

Shadegg then did what few if any lawmakers have done before on the floor of the house: He quoted an infant. “She believes in choices, but most of all, Maddie says, ‘Don’t tax me to pay for health care that you guys want. If you want health care, pay for it yourselves. Because it’s not fair to pass your health care bill on to me and my grandchildren.’”

When Shadegg’s time ran out and California Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman reclaimed control of the microphone, he said of Maddie, “That was a remarkable child,” and of Shadegg, “and a great ventriloquist.”


Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Keith in Austin

    I can hardly wait to read the loony Liberals response!

    November 7, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Jim

    His other hand was in the baby's pocket, checking for contributions.

    November 7, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Ted

    Too bad that Maddie did not throw up on Shadegg and stop his baloney. What a moron, but then Shadegg is a republidiot.

    November 7, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Ross Webb

    I understand he's trying to make a point...but seriously? You hold a spot in one of the highest offices in our country...get serious it's not a joke.

    November 7, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Jack

    Can this guy be any dumber? Do they check people for brain to be come elected official? I think not, look ate GW Bush, just another loud mouth thief.

    November 7, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. tata mcgee

    Waxman is a disgusting piece of crap.

    November 7, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Hannibal Lector

    You rock Maddie.

    November 7, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. amparo heinemann

    I am a 60 yr old retired from Real Estate in Ca, registred Republican and in need of medical insurance, I voted for Obama becouse the Republicans have not been able to put a workable plan, now i am so disapointed with them since they are blocking the only real chance we have to start a program that will benefit millions. I really hope that my congress rep. will listen to people, or at voting time ask me who I voted for.

    November 7, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Ivan

    Funny how you Republicans get fiscal reponsibilty once you were out of power.
    You Republicans did not mind passing on the cost of a two front war to future generations.
    Of course your little daughter wants the health care she got, its the government health care.

    November 7, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Susan in NC

    John Shadegg owes the American people an apology for totally unacceptable behavior - a disgrace!

    November 7, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. NCI

    Sat. Nov. 7, 2009 6:15pm central time. The news announcer you had on at this time period interviewing Michael Steele was the most naive man of his age that I have heard on a news program. He of all people should be very aware of what is transpiring regarding the Healthcare proposal. He not only sounded stupid but looked stupid. It was obvious that even Michael Steele couldn't believe the naive resposes coming from this young man. What kind of people are you hiring and where are they getting their education? I again realize why I get my news from other sources and not CNN. Wake up.
    Won't be listening to CNN anymore!!

    November 7, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. L for Legend

    Maddie is being used by them rethugs. They'll do anything to to stop what's good for Americans.

    November 7, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Bay Area Thinker

    come on, i lean to the left and i have to say that, that was funny...people have to lighten up

    November 7, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Meez

    If Maddie's mom makes enough money to owe 730 billion in taxes, she very well SHOULD just pay for healthcare for America herself. And so many other things so that her little Maddie REALLY won't have to worry about anything, including her faux grandpa's loony ideas. lol, for real

    November 7, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Nick

    Wait, now, what images does this conjure up?

    Oh, yeah, dictators cuddling babies to increase their appeal with the unthinking masses...

    Desparation or cunning use of propaganda?

    November 7, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. normajean

    Maybe the Rep. would like "Maddie" to be in the same position that millions of other babies are right now with NO health insurance at all. I'm sure she is well provided for ,so her father can play "fast and loose "with our Presidents attempts to get medical care to these other babies who are loved just as much as Maddie is .Every generation helps pay for the one before and the one after. It has been ever thus..Stop trying to make us feel guilty,we're not stupid".You say, if you want health care, pay for it yourself"May I ask, who payed for your care when you were little.? You didn't... Who paid for your parents care?Get real. You're too old to be so short-sighted.

    November 7, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Michael

    OMG. They've gone waaaaaaay beyond the pale this time.

    November 7, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. zack

    Apparently the Representative must have the same intelligence level of a 7 month old baby to be able to under that she said all of that.

    November 7, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. mk

    Maddie may be "cute" BUT she can't vote for 18 more years. I want a public option NOW. I have health insurance thru my employer. This month I am required to prove that I am married to my spouse of 28 years to provide health care coverage to him that he does not get thru his employer. I can provide health care to my "domestic partner" BUT not my children, who will have no coverage at all (for the first time in their lives) because they are over the age of 23 (still in college). It makes no sense to me that I have to prove I am married but can waltz into human resources and claim someone not related to me by marrige or blood. I WANT A PUBLIC OPTION! I am sick of the retoric, I am sick of the stalling.

    November 7, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Amy, Kazoo

    Disgusting. It's never ok to use innocent children to move your agenda, no matter what side or cause you're for.

    November 7, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Tammy

    What if Maddy and her parents could not afford paying the exhorbitant insurance fees? What if she or they get sick and are told they have pre-existing conditions (like breathing) that cannot be covered?

    November 7, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Jim

    All Maddie is thinking about is getting that microphone into her mouth.

    November 7, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. GuyInVA

    I'm very conservative, and an opponent of the proposed health care reform proposal. However, to exploit an infant for political purposes is low. Maddie doesn't know what she wants. Maddie knows what she is told to say. Maddie should know she won't be used for political purposes.

    November 7, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. John Ca

    I think it is wrong to use your kids in Politics.

    November 7, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. Keith in Austin

    Mark my words, those voting YES supporting Government's takeover of Healthcare are putting a nail in the coffin of there political careers. This vote will be the bellweather for Liberals and will lead to their implosion and ultimate demise. Rise up America! Progressive beurocrats are destroying our country! A true ObamaNation!

    November 7, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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