November 9th, 2009
11:46 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP targets Michigan Dems over health care votes

ice President Joe Biden heads to Michigan Monday to lend a helping hand to two freshman House Democrats.
ice President Joe Biden heads to Michigan Monday to lend a helping hand to two freshman House Democrats.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden heads to Michigan Monday to lend a helping hand to two freshman House Democrats who could face tough re-election bids next year. Will their votes on health care reform makes those bids even more difficult?

Biden headlines a fundraising event in Detroit for Michigan Democratic Party. Co-hosting the event are Congressmen Mark Schauer and Gary Peters. Both representatives voted in favor the health care reform bill that passed 220-215 in the House Saturday night.

The National Republican Campaign Committee is targeting the health care votes by Schauer and Peters.

"While Vice President Biden throws a lavish fundraiser to reward Mark Schauer and Gary Peters for their votes on the trillion dollar government takeover of healthcare, more than fifteen percent of Michiganders are out on the street looking for work," says NRCC spokesman Tom Erickson in a Monday morning statement. "If we're going to put Michigan back to work, voters will need to elect new leadership and fire Schauer and Peters, who have continually backed the reckless policies of Nancy Pelosi that create more government at the expense of the jobs that Michigan needs."


Democrats said the votes should give Schauer and Peters an edge next year.

"Mark Schauer and Gary Peters both have strong records of delivering for their districts and helping to create jobs in order to turn Michigan's economy around, responds Gabby Adler, Midwest Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Voters in Michigan know that Health Insurance Reform is a key component of a long term economic recovery for Michigan workers and businesses of all sizes, and encouraged Schauer and Peters to support the legislation. Mark Schauer and Gary Peters have an undeniable advantage heading into 2010 because of their already significant legislative achievements and because of their prolific fundraising that no GOP candidate in Michigan has even come close to."

Schauer ousted Republican Rep. Tim Walberg in last year's election, winning by by 3 points in Michigan's 7th congressional district, which Barack Obama won by 5 points. He could be facing a rematch in 2010, as Walberg has already announced his candidacy - if he makes it past what could be a tough primary battle. Both the non-partisan Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report say the district's contest is likely to be competitive next year.

Peters topped Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg by 9 points in last year's election in the 9th congressional district, which Obama won by 7 points.

"The health care vote is another piece of ammunition that Republicans will use against Schauer and Peters," says Nathan Gonzalez, political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. "I think Republicans are more optimistic about Schauer. It's more of a Republican district.

Republicans have always seen an opportunity in the 7th and this health care vote adds to their optimism. This is going to be a top race next year."

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Democrats • GOP • Health care • Joe Biden
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Death Panel Sarah

    Why does the 'evil party of no' always try to vilify the good that is being done for the people?
    Can't the people see the 'cons' are only for the rich and corporations? They were against any Union jobs or pay raises in the state!

    November 9, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. D. D.

    Send in The Closer, Michelle Obama , also.

    November 9, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    If Biden is on the way, they're surely doomed. The only thing that could be better for the republican candidates is if O-blah-blah himself went there.

    November 9, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. GI Joe

    If you're wealthy, vote republican.

    If you're NOT wealthy, vote democrat.

    November 9, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. George

    The party of lets shaft America and Americans is still at it. They hate decency and would rather see people suffer as long as it doesn't cost them a cent. In fact, it's probably entertainment to some of the sick right wing. How can a party survive that hates decency? The right wing is broken, and they are too stupid to fix it with a DECENT splint.

    November 9, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. chris

    "government takeover of healthcare"... you mean like Medicare? As far as I can see... few seniors would be willing to drop this OPTION. I still don't see a GOP suggestion... just finger pointing as always...

    November 9, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Beth

    If Michigan workers are out of work, they are also out of health care. Therefore, the new health reform bill will be a blessing to them, not a curse. By the time 2010 rolls around, many of the unemployed may be working again, and the Republican's strategy would no longer be relevant anyway.

    November 9, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    Get the Private lobbying MONEY out of our Elections NOW! This system is archaic, corrupt and not worthy of a democracy! You are so complicit, Joe as a good old boy! Sick of all of you posturing, pompous, more important than thou opportunistic Politicians! In the wonderful words of John Denver's old song, It's About Time", "..whose to say someone has to lose for someone else to win..." Peace

    November 9, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. John, Brooklyn, NY

    First, it is the height of hypocracy for the Republicans to call ANYTHING that the Democrats organize as "lavish". The money that big oil, big, insurance, and big military slathers on the GOP is shameless by comparison to the millions of small donations that campaigns like the Obama presidential run received.

    Second, in a state where unemployment is outpacing the rest of the nations – where people are losing their jobs and, along with them, their healthcare insurance coverage – the GOP has to resort to trickery to actually get Michigan voters to act against their own best interests by vilifying these valiant Congressmen.

    November 9, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Duane in Michigan

    Good for Schauers and Peters! Republicans can whine all they want...and will, but these men are just doing whats best for the state of Michigan and this country. Universal health care is what the Democrats ran on in the last election and its good to finally see action happening.

    Schauer's is my representative and I am proud to see him sticking to his word and fighting for the people in his district!

    November 9, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Brennan, Seattle WA

    You mean Michigan with the highest rate of unemployment in the country? These people are the ones that need health care the most.

    Don't let the wool be pulled over your eyes by the GOP.

    November 9, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Terry from West Texas

    As if a Conservative cares one way or the other about unemployment. If the "free market" is fair, then those people deserve to be unemployed. After all, they were layed off and others were not layed off. Or, they chose to work in a weak corporation or a weak industry. They chose poorly. Let them suffer. Now THAT is the true Conservative position and THAT is what they really think.

    It's like wages. Whenever there is talk of raising wages, global corporations solomnly inform us that they are worried that higher wages will increase unemployment.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a hundred times over fifty years and I must be a Conservative voter.

    November 9, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. PREDICTA

    Don't waste your time, Joe. Both these dems are toast next year for voting for this mess.

    November 9, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. yuri

    And who will target the GOP goons? After we listened to the lackluster lambasts from the lackadaisical loonies of the GOP, we concluded that they had no substance or whole truth, in their rhetoric about freedom.

    The jail sentence for 5 yr., and $250000 penalty for the insurance
    non-compliers, however, from the HR 3962, bother us quite a bit.

    November 9, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. southerncousin

    The liberals have go to realize this, me and millions of others who have legitimate disagreements and actually pay taxes and vote are angry that this thieving atrocity has gotten this fare, angry that we have been called names and had our motives demonized by them. All of the rhetoric they used will come home to roost in 2010 it will be decades before another liberal is elected or reelected. Obama, one and done.

    November 9, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans are getting in the way of trying to move tis country forward. They are going to be so shocked come 2010. Voters will remember them as a party of obstruction and no ideas on how to fix our problems.

    Problem # 1 for them is that they said NO to the stimulus bill. Let's think about this for a minute. The Republicans were intending on letting the financial system collapse and putting us in a depression. WRONG ANSWER!!!!! They will lose alot of seats due to that.

    November 9, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. diridi

    hit those idtioic republicans, and pass this nation's need, dire need...health care with public option...be tough....we back you up....next elections...my vote for you...joe...we love you....pass this health care bill with public option....god bless, the usa...

    November 9, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Independent

    GOP has every right to fight for what they believe in but what is sad they have not offer any help, only criticism....ENOUGH ALREADY!!

    November 9, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Harley

    The Dem. Heath Care Reform is the Gov. Run and should not be in the bill this is not a SOCIALIST country in the bill also has our tax money paying for abortion !!!! Not to mention if you are OLD and have a problem and need taken care of you are not going to get it because you are not worth the cost . AARP is just in it for the money that is why the support it.

    November 9, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Street-Smart

    Seems like the GOP and its cohorts from the RNC are in denial that it was under their watch that the economy fell off the cliff creating one of the worst depression since the 1930's and the significant job loss accompanying the event...

    So, exactly, how do the RNC intent to recreate jobs in Michigan, a task in which they have proven so inept going back to great depression?

    November 9, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Pat F

    I live in Gary Peters' district – he rode in on the Obamessiah's coattails, but he'll be riding OUT super-quick.

    Don't waste your hot air, Biden. Gary Peters has absolutely no chance of re-election. Not a prayer. This district has been solidly Republican for decades, and it will return to that very soon.

    Peters is a hypocrit – saying that he favors a fiscally responsible Congress and then voting for this budget-busting bloat of a Bill. Ciao, chump, you are HISTORY.

    November 9, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Jim

    These two Michigan freshmen Democratic Representatives are to be congratulated for their historic vote! Voters should remember their courage and re-elect them with a solid margin. I also applaud the Louisiana freshman Republican Representative Cao who voted with his conscience to support the health care reform bill. These three freshmen Representatives are shining examples of what I expect from our Congress in this historic turning point.

    November 9, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Yates

    Throw them out. Time to get rid of these unrealistic liberals who think that US taxpayers are an in-exhaustible source of dollars.

    November 9, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Fred the Moderate

    Bring it on

    November 9, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Mike

    if they vote FOR HealthCare Reform – THEN they deserve to be reelected NEXT YEAR....OTHERWISE – VOTE THEM OUT....AND ALL THE GOP TOO

    November 9, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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