December 17th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
11 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. Caesar the Great

    Im still wondering what the big hurry is. Nothing takes effect until 2014 as written. Oh wait, they need our tax dollars in 2010 and cant get them if the bill isnt signed before 1/1.

    December 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. phoenix86

    Right. Imagine the republicans that want an open and honest debate about a bill that will radically change the way healthcare is delivered and change every Americans life.

    Imagine the Republicans wanting to discuss alternatives that don't increase the national debt!

    Imagine the Republicans that want the OMB to accurately measure the full cost of Obamacare.

    Imagine the Republicans that want all Congressmen and Senators to read and understand the bill that they are voting on.

    Imaging the Republicans that have realized that the majority of Americans oppose this bill.

    Imagine that. Perhaps the Democrats can start acting like statemen rather than bagmen for the liberal left. Imagine that!

    December 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. GG

    Sizeable majorities in every poll show the American people are against this bill so Republicans are just doing what the people want. If anything the Democrats are acting undemocratic by pushing through a rotten bill that people don't want.

    December 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Willy Brown

    What makes what the democrats did the past 8 years obstruction when Bush was in office "ok".

    December 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Why read the 700 page amendment? Republicans are stupid but there must be someone in Washington who can read it to them, maybe a janitor or street cleaner can help them with the big words.

    December 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. southerncousin

    Unfortunately, Harry Reid and the libertards that are running this scam, don't even tweet so their real intentions and scams can be seen by the general public. Don't you just love the libertard ideas on transparency. What a bunch of lying phonies and Durbin is their queen.

    December 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Rob

    The GOP slowing this disaster down is what's best for America! It's what most Americans want. ONLY 38% SUPPORT THIS DISASTER!

    Be a dang shame if those Dems actually listened to the people that elected them into office! No worries though, they'll be voted out next November.

    December 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. Illini

    Dick (blankin) Tracy Durbin!!! It's what Replublicans and the American people have been saying for months! You're just now getting that? You think you've cracked some secret code???

    If there's nothing in the legislation that you Dems are trying to hide...what is your big objection to slowing down, debating, and letting the American people and our representatives read the bill???

    December 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. barbara

    DeMint is right. IT IS AN ATTEMPT AT TAKING CONTROL OF EACH AND EVERY AMERICAN"S LIFE. EVERYTHING that can be related to ones health, can and will be regulated by the government. If the government gets control they will indeed have the ability to say that you cant eat that cause its bad for your health and will cost . you cant drink that cause its bad for your health and will it cost. you cant do this and you cant live there and you cant drive that and you cant do ANYTHING as long as the government "CAN DIRECTLY RELATE THE ACTIVITY TO YOUR HEALTH". I know I am right on this and wish that all of you will at least consider what I just said and the the very real possibliity that it will happen. I would also hope that CNN would post this OPINION.

    December 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. ART

    Is this anything new, we know the republicants only care about big business.What some of these insurance companies CEO'S make in one year could take care of 30 people.Repukes are such hypocrites.Michelle Bachman is even a bigger idiot than Palin if that is at all possible

    December 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Michael-SC

    DeMint thinks that $5000 can buy health-insurance.
    He is clueless.
    Why not stop paying for countries all over the world that have government health-insurance till America can afford it for its own citizens.
    No more money to Israel. No more money anywhere.
    Thats an easy solution to stop the deficit.

    December 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Susan

    I don't understand their motives. Why would they want to deprive millions of people any relief from unbelievably high insurance costs? I am a teacher and we share the cost of the insurance policy with the district. I can't afford the $800 a month that is withheld from my paycheck every month for family coverage so I file as a single. My family has four insurance policies from four companies to cover us and the policies are pretty much for catastrophic occurances. Why would they want to let people die? They have already satisfied the insurance companies. They are happy now. If any Republican in my hearing ever whines about the cost of health care, they can expect an angry tirade of expletives.

    December 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Jim

    Not really news, the GOP does not want anything to pass. The party of NO.

    December 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Right Leaning Independent

    Who cares who slows it down or kills it for that matter. This bill is a nightmare that needs to end! New poll numbers show that more Americans prefer status quo than this bill so Kill the Bill anyway possible.

    December 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Whiz Kid

    Oooooh! The smoking tweet! C'mon, what's with this twitter crap. Is it the new AP for CNN to scrape stories off of?

    December 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    Durbin should read something but tweets. The majority of Americans are screaming for congress to stop the madness and kill this atrocity.
    The insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry have the congress in their pocket and with a few dollars more they will make billions from this bill.
    With every man woman and child required by law ,with the threat of jail time for noncomplyance, the profits for insurance companies and drug makers are unlimited.
    For once the left and right agree, this bill is a disaster for America!

    December 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Johnny DC

    This is exactly why DeMint will be remembered as being on the correct side of this in the history books.

    Liberals continue to paint Conservatives as "obstructionists", as if obstructing the momentum of something awful is a terrible thing. This kind of intolerance is what makes today's Liberals (in power and on message boards) incredibly hypocritical.

    December 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. chill

    These tactics are so juvenile. I thought you had to be at least 30 to be elected to the Senate.

    December 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. JT in Fla

    When the people of South Carolina elect someone like Jim Demint , it just shows what a garbage state South Carolina is!!

    December 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Silence Dogoode

    It may be a "smoking tweet" but Durbin, Menedez, Reid, Obama and Pelosi are crack smoking twits for trying to pass federal funded health care.

    December 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Jeff in Virginia

    Reid, call the GOP's bluff. Remove the mandate, and watch them squirm.

    December 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Inofritzn

    Might want to look internal first.

    December 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Cindy

    duh... like, wasn't that already apparent?

    They've slowed down everything else Obama wants done. They've declared hope that this particular issue be Obama's Waterloo.

    Republicans have no intention of bipartisanship, on anything, with Democrats. none. nada. The horse, no matter how near death, won't drink the water. Stupid horse.

    December 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Hugo

    Smoking Tweet (gun)? I think it has been clear from the beginning that the Republicans will not have any part in assisting Obama with Government healtcare takeover.... Only a dimwitted liberal would now find this a surprise. I believe that the Republicans are simply allowing the President and his merry band of Idiots to do as little damage as possible during his two years (lame duck after 2010) and are anxiously awaiting both upcoming elections. I must say that the Republicans must evolve in their core positions to lead a centralized population in the next cycle and they had better take a hard stand on cleaning out corruption, both private and government. Common sense leadership, fiscal responsibility for a downsized Government along with strict swift and ethical enforcement of our established laws is urgently needed to right our Nation. There are quite a few heads that need to roll and if the right man is elected in 2012, they will!

    December 17, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Obama-Mama

    Wow the Republican Cartel

    December 17, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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