December 17th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
10 months ago

Democrats point to 'Smoking Tweet' in GOP stalling health care

The 'smoking tweet.'
The 'smoking tweet.'

Washington (CNN) - During a press conference on Wednesday, Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin pointed to Republican Sen. Jim DeMint's Twitter account as the smoking gun – or as he called it, the "smoking tweet" – showing the Republicans' strategy to slow down the health care bill.

"If there's any idea, any question in mind about motive and what's behind this, I have in my hand a smoking tweet," Durbin said.

Pointing to a piece of paper, Durbin proceeded to read two of DeMint's tweets: "'If Reid won't slow down this debate, we'll do it for him,' followed by, 'Coburn forced Dems to read 767 pg Sanders amendment, we'll do everything we can to stop this government takeover of health care.'"

The press conference was held by Durbin and Sen. Robert Menendez to discuss "GOP obstruction" to the health care bill.

Wesly Denton, DeMint's Communications Director, told CNN he was "flattered that [Durbin] is paying so much attention to DeMint's Twitter account," but added, "DeMint's been clear for months he wants to stop this bill."


Filed under: Health care • Social Media • Twitter
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. cjl

    well at least we have politicians that stand by their ideals and promises (the GOP). Vs. the other side that lies through their teeth. ha.

    December 17, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Hillary 2012

    Smoking Tweet?? Seriously?

    How about Democrats trying to push through a single-payer, government sponsored health care plan that exceeds one trillion dollars?

    Oh wait, let me go click on the "Palin Wears A Hat" headline. Must be some breaking news there.....

    December 17, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Tom in VA

    Frankly, the REPUBLICANTs are immoral people.

    Let's remember that a 18 months ago EVERYONE... Demorcrats, Republicans, Independents... EVERYONE agreed that healthcare needed MAJOR reform. Not minor reforms... MAJOR! And now the republicants are stalling,fighting, fear mongering..ANYTHING to stop it. WHY? Why...whenjust 18 months agothey publicly called of the need? The reason... do EVERYTHING against Obama.. BECAUSE he is Obama. They'll consciously ruin the country just to stop Obama.

    SHAME on the Conservatives. They are bad for our country!

    December 17, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Mike

    Given that every time a politician has been asked if they've read a piece of legislation they kind of duck their head and squirm, and then can't really tell you what's in the legislation, I don't think it's particularly unreasonable for someone to stand up and say, "let's read it together."

    December 17, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Matt

    Obama and the Democrats should stop wasting time with the Republicans and the Conservadems and just use reconciliation.

    December 17, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Tom

    Thank goodness for Dr. "No" Colburn! This health-care bill is a scam. Obama's promise of not signing a bill that raises the deficit is a lie. The promise of making legislation available to the public before its voted upon? Dead.

    Real reform? Non -existent. This bill simply adds people into the current system and makes other people pay for it. It does nothing to reduce the rising cost inflation in health-care. Does nothing to reduce Medicare fraud. Does nothing about tort reform. Does nothing about allowing free choice in insurance coverage.

    This bill is an utter disaster.

    December 17, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Marion/Alabama

    I just do not see what the rush is, the bill will not take effect for (4) years. Why do they not want to do it right? Is it just they want to pass a bill so they can say we passed a health care reform bill,even if it is bad? What kind of logiic is that?

    December 17, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Barbara from Canada

    No news.... the Republicans are an absolute sham. Since they are sitting on their hands in every instance, President Obama should declare them spectators and pass the bills without them. Voters will reward the Democrats in the long run, and show these backward thinkers that they are not needed if they have nothing to contribute. Use the majority option – use reconciliation, (although that word is certainly a misnomer in this circumstance).

    The polls may show that the majority of the country is "against the health care reforms now being considered", that is because many are disillusioned that the bills are so watered down now. The President is pushing the very agenda upon which he won the election.... so ... he and his fellow Democrats should go ahead and implement the visions he spoke so eloquently about – put back the public option, and open Medicare to those over 55. and get it all done with a 51 vote majority.

    The country then will show their support as they did in the election.

    December 17, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. notfooledbydistractions

    I'm sure mr. demint won't mind working over christmas then. Still think it was a smart strategy. Moron.

    December 17, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. GOP oppression victim

    What a selfish jerk. All they care about is playing political games while millions of Americans suffer. Expanding Medicare for 55+ is a small sacrifice but all they say is No to everything, while pretending to be for Medicare. I don't believe a single word from this jerk's mouth.

    December 17, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Gerry

    At this point in the development of health care reform, my take is that the GOP will attempt to delay in order to damage the country as much as possible. Since they can’t actually hire terrorists to blow up some soft target and kill a bunch of Americans, they will do the next best thing, which is to hire Joe Lieberman to act as their proxy hit man to take out Obama. Old Joe couldn’t stop Obama from getting elected President, but he can try to kill his presidency by using lies and misinformation to the best advantage of those haters who just want to show up and hate Obama as much as possible. The best thing for all of us is for the health care delivery system in this county to completely collapse; make it a total ruin; then and only then will enough Americans wake up to the fact that it is the Republican Party/Insurance Industry complex that is out to kill them and take as much of their money as they can before they die. A real revolt can then take place; replacing the money mongers with real health care delivery for all Americans, regardless of age, race, status or personal wealth.

    December 17, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Janet

    Are there really no adults left in the Republican Party? They may "win" the battle by slowing down/watering down healthcare improvements but they will only lose the war. Intelligent Americans won't tolerate this type of behavior and intelligent Americans definitely outnumber teabaggers.

    December 17, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. John D.

    Oh don't the left whine like the babies they are when they don't get their way and someone actually wants to know what is in the bill they are talking about. Oh wait, no one knows whats in the bill because it is constantly be changed behind closed doors and in secret. Blah, Blah, Blah. You whining democrats are really giving the whole process a bad name.

    The MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE do not want this bill to pass. They know it will destroy the country. Let's face it, the people with the pre-existing conditions are the ones who gambled with their health and did not buy insurance when they should have. Then they lose the gamble and end up in the hospital. Now we have a pre-existing condition.

    This is all so reminisceint of the housing debacle. People who could not afford 4-5 hundred thousand dollar homes were allowed to get loans, thanks to Clinton, Franks and Dodd, knowing they would be defaulted but the liberals buddies made a fortune on it and they spread that money around to the people who made it for them. Now the people are called to bail them out just like we have to bail the gamblers.

    I dare CNN to post this as they are not the fairest in the land. I'm sick and tired of the bull and all the LIES from the liberal Democrats.

    December 17, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Dean

    Typical Republican tactic Sen. DimWitt

    December 17, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. DALE

    I would think negotiating in good faith would not have only served the country better, but also his constituants. I guess they would rather play games and then cry about having it shoved down their throats then actually doing their job.

    December 17, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. strong

    The madness continues..... where will it all end, dear populace?

    December 17, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Mike1952

    Of course they want to slow it down. The bill that will be rpesented for a vote is not the bill on the floor being debated. Dingy Harry and his band of merry comrades are crafting what will be voted on behind closed doors. Bi-partisan my you know what.

    The demoncrats are pushing their radical agenda down the throats of people who were deceived by the great BO. He charmed them like mice with his centrist rhetoric and now leads them to slaughter with his far left wingnut governing.

    By the way, I'm an independent not a republican.

    December 17, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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