December 17th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
6 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. PK

    The GOP, like the vast majority of American citizens, opposes the health care bill. I don't need to read Jim DeMint's tweets to get it.

    December 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. James A.

    By all means, elected lawmakers should represent their constituents; however, there should be a law that declares that β€œan elected official SHALL posses an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) equal to, or exceeding that of at least 50% of their constituents.”

    This makes me think: If this cat could be coached and propped up by enough lobbyists to win a senate seat, I may have a chance getting my cat Cheeh-a-poo elected to something too – just need the money.

    December 17, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. scotty j.

    C'mon lets smoke a peace pipe! Tweeet tweet.

    December 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Tim

    So Durbin thinks it's better to have a bill negotiated in the back room, bring it to the front room, and then vote on it immediately without giving anyone the change to read and absorb the monstrosity?

    And a good number of Democrats agree with him.

    Thanks for the moronic Change.

    December 17, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. One Man's Opinion

    Where is the news here. The Republicans have been against this bill from the start. I wouldn't be surprised if there are emails, memos, hallway discussions among the GOP strategizing on how to stop the bill. Instead of bringing out the tweets, maybe the Senators could focus on curtailing this legislation into a something that America can afford. I am a retired Marine, fiscally conservative, independent voter that is ready for politicians of this country to get to work to fix the nation – stop bickering like little children. If the Democrats wanted to pass a bill, they have the numbers (provided Leiberman comes back on board) so why are they so concerned about the Republicans – get it done.

    Republicans – pick your battles. Not everything is a battleground or nothing will be done. If these folks had to ever run a company the company would need a federal bailout.

    December 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. John L. - NYC

    Umm, i saw "slow down" versus kill or torpedo, his tweet was totally logical in my opinion. We all want reform but ramming something this large and unprecedented without having the proper time to review and, btw, with so many disagreements still to overcome, is reckless and he's right to ask folks to tap the breaks. I still don't see why they don't break it up into pieces or stages to address the things that everyone can work on now to at least put things into motion while the larger issues are continued in debate. Obviously many of the issues are interwoven but a staged approach of some kind would be much easier to swallow and to wrap everyone's head around than trying to ram through this monstrous bill through a small keyhole/timeframe. Not to mention it's also the more responsible thing to do with the American people's increased tax dollars that will fund any reform.

    December 17, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Tracy

    Hooray for "The Party of No!" Somebody has to be able to tell the spoiled kids when they can't afford new toys.

    December 17, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. bill

    well good, anything to stop this crap of a bill from being jammed down our throats is good. America doesnt want these progressive policies so Obama and his ilk can stop trying to force it upon us especially with these Chicago thug tactics of bullying Senators to vote for the garbage.

    December 17, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Crazy Harry

    Another "BIG": surprise from the party of "NO".

    I'm ashamed that we have people like this representing our country.

    December 17, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Enough! Reconcilliation NOW.

    Like we needed proof??!!! Anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that's what the Party of We-don't-care-about-Americans has been doing all along! A better question is . . . . why do we, THE PEOPLE, continue to let them get away with it??!!!

    December 17, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Dave

    And how is this bad? Congress should be required to read, ponder and debate a bill of this magnitude and let the public have time to read it over, too. Let's remember what has happend under Bush and Obama in rushing through these ridiculous TARP bills.

    December 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. al in memphis

    I didn't know the national guard was going to be taking over health care–why do these Republican think that this is about government taking over health care?

    We got military weapons that will destroy the world, but we can't come up with a system that makes health care more affordable and more accessible. The insurance companies are going to raise my premium anyway, atleast knowing that someone else less fortunate is going to have access to more preventative health care would be better.
    I'd choose that over more profit for Dubai

    December 17, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. gord ontario

    do all republicans have health care

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

    Anyone (including durbin) wanna tell us americans why we shouldnt slow down the debate on healthcare? Why do we have to ram it thru no matter what right now?

    I say take another year on it and get all the crap out of it and simply make the bill about addressing people without insurance. Thus the bill shouldnt be anymore than 100 pages.

    December 17, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Chris M.

    Health Care is important so why can't they take more time and have open discussions and come up with a COMPREHENSIVE bill?

    I hope they stop this madness of meeting deadlines instead of meeting the needs of the people they (are supposed to) represent.

    December 17, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Another Reformed Republican

    Just goes to show why the Refusenik party should be terminated. They care nothing for America, just their political power.

    I guess that's what you can expect from a bunch in inbred Bible thumbers.

    December 17, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    The Republican strategy since the start of the Cheney/Bush administration was to bankrupt the government by cutting taxes and raising spending (literally "starving the beast" so you could "drown it in a bathtub"–seriously, Google those expressions). Well, they nearly did it. Unfortunately, they took the economy down with them. And now they're using this strategy with Medicare. Without cost savings, Medicare will be bankrupt, cost savings Republicans have successfully fought, pretending to care about seniors. If the teabaggers only knew how they've been played...

    December 17, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. Mike in SA

    Yeah, because it's a piece of junk that keeps morphing at the same time their trying to ram it through. So the Republicans are slowing the process...good for them.

    December 17, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Robert

    And the problem here is?

    If an elected official doesn't believe in the bill in question, and he is representing his constituency, isn't HIS JOB to do everything in his power to stop said bill from being passed? If that means he believes his constituent's best interests lie in slowing down the bill so that he has time to try to convince the opposition that his views are correct, then he's doing not only his job and what he was elected for, but he's doing what he believes to be right.

    Enough bashing ANY OF THE politicians for slowing down the process. Let it be considered as long as needed to ensure that ALL of our best interests are being served.

    December 17, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Mike in SA

    Yeah, because it's a piece of junk that keeps morphing at the same time they're trying to ram it through. So the Republicans are slowing the process...good for them.

    December 17, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. midwest liberal

    Durbin is my senator, and I'm proud to say so. This article just reinforces what I already knew about him. A straight shooter who doesn't back down from a fight. Go Senator Durbin!

    December 17, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. sonny chapman

    And Demint's alternative solution ? Shut up & be grateful for the crumbs you've been left with.

    December 17, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Moonbeam

    All I want for Christmas is to get the same government-run, taxpayer paid health coverage that Senator DeMint and his family has!

    What is good for my elected official, should be good enough for me, right?!

    December 17, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. single mom

    Wait a second!! Don't blame this on the Republicans. President Obama PROMISED during the campaign that this would be read on the floor. That bills would be on-line so the public could read it for several days.

    And Dems, you keep saying, "We won; you lost. Get over it."
    The Republicans are getting over it. You just can't seem to figure out what to do with your majority. Remember? The numbers that should let you do whatever you want? Yet all you seem to do is blame the Reps.
    I'm not saying the Reps did a wonderful job, but they didn't quadruple the deficit in six months!

    December 17, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Dick

    Having trouble keeping up with the Democrats, Sen. DeMint?

    December 17, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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