January 28th, 2010
04:36 PM ET
3 years ago

Landrieu takes swipe at Obama over health care

Landrieu takes swipe at Obama over health care.
Landrieu takes swipe at Obama over health care.

(CNN) - President Obama is taking heat from a Senate Democrat over how he dealt with the issue of health care in his first State of the Union speech.

"I think the president should have been more clear about a way forward on health care last night," Sen. Mary Landrieu told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday. "I'm hoping in the next week or two he will be, because that's what it's going to take if it's at all possible to get this done."

"Mailing in general suggestions, sending them over the transom is not necessarily going to work," the Louisiana Democrat added.

Obama didn't address the signature issue of his first year in office until about halfway through the 71-minute speech, and then only discussed it for about five minutes. But he urged Congress not to abandon the effort that now appears in limbo following the Democratic Party's recent loss of its supermajority in the Senate.

"Do not walk away from reform. Not now," Obama said. "Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people."

Landrieu, one of the last members of her party to agree to the final Senate health care bill, also suggested the president erred in allowing three separate Senate and House committees to pass various versions of the bill.

"As far as I know, the president thought it was a good idea to have three different bills debated," she said.

"No wonder people got confused. So it's not completely our fault that that was the plan."
Landrieu also said she felt the president unfairly blamed the Senate during his speech for holding up a series of initiatives that had already cleared the House.

"I thought he was pointing his finger at the Senate a lot throughout the speech last night … no I do not think its fair," she said. "Moderate Senate Democrats, who give the Senate the 60 votes, come from states that have to appreciate a broad range of ideas and since the president ran on a bipartisan, change, working with Republicans, [he] doesn't do a great service to then say everything the House passes without any Republican votes is something the Senate should just take."

– CNN's Ted Barrett and Alexander Mooney contributed this report

soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Maybe instead of listening to Obama you all shuld be listening to the Independent voters....we DESPISE this entire idea.

    January 28, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    She's afraid her state won't get it's $$$$$. That's all, nothing else.

    I hope she gets voted out along with all the other obstructionists.

    January 28, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Jill-IN

    If the shoe fits, then you've got to wear it.

    January 28, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Dale

    Landrieu evidently feels that Senators don't have to take the consequences for their actions. It is up to the Senate to come up with a proper bill, not Obama, and just think the type of uproar that would have occurred if Obama had dictacted exact actions to the Senate on how the bill would be worded.

    It appears the senator didn't want to take the heat for going with a bill or even making suggestions to help shape a bill. Maybe there is something to this story about her offices not picking up the phone when people called about Health Care Reform – it certainly seems she didn't want to have to deal with it.

    January 28, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. NYCitizen

    I want New York State to have the same Medicare/Medicaid deal as Nebraska.

    January 28, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. richard

    Lady, didn't you listen....Congress make the decision of Health Care Reform....and aren't you a member of Congress? Now get off you ass and get to work for a change!

    January 28, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Jack

    Landrieu is just mad because Louisiana wont be getting all of the special money that was included in the last bill as a bribe for her vote. I would assume that the special money for Nebraska is also gone.

    January 28, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Chanel

    Landrieu needs to stop. It IS the Senate's fault. The POTUS is just waiting to sign a bill. He has made clear time and time again what he wants in this bill, but also that he is willing to sign (pretty much) whatever kind of compramise they can come to. They can't even come to a compramise. And now with the filibuster gone, they are that much further from Health Care Reform. I don't blame the Republicans, because they are Republicans and are expected to vote against it any way... I blame the blue dog dems who couldn't even compramise with their own party.

    January 28, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Dianna - Florissant, MO

    Sen. Mary Landrieu should stop thinking about herself and her re-election and start thinking about those without healthcare. She's gonna lose her seat anyhoo – Dems are pissed off at her for holding the bill hostage until she gets what she wants.

    January 28, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Mary

    Why doesn't this woman officially become a Republican? Whoopi Goldberg says it well on The View-GIVE US THE SAME KIND OF HEALTH CARE THAT YOU HAVE INSTEAD OF DOING NOTHING BUT FIGHTING IT.

    January 28, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Truth Squad

    Wow, she's looking for her money, no doubt.

    After taking heat for agreeing to the bill for cash she is seeing that maybe she won't get cash after all.

    Boo hoo.

    January 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. The Other Michael in Houston

    Well Senator Landieu you are right and your are wrong. You are right in your criticism of having 3 bills debated and the confusion that it has caused but you are dead wrong on the issue of the Senate being critized. First off, it is a bad bill overall. Sure it has some good things in it but overall it is not a good bill and you ma'am voted for it. If you Senators wanted to do something meaningful, first quit trying to merge HEALTH CARE with HEALTH INSURANCE reform. That is why it is grid locked. Pick one and stick to it, if you want to work on health insurance more accessible, then do that only. If you want to reform healthcare than do that only. But he had every right to be critical of you and himself by creating this insane bill or should I say bills.

    January 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Tiffany

    Sen. Landrieu, just because Sen. McCain carry the presidential election in Louisiana, please do not make the mistake that this will get you re-elected in our state! "Make No Mistake".

    January 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    This coming from a woman who has had govt. run health care since she was a little girl and her father was in politics? Honestly, outside of a handful of folks in Louisiana, who cares what she thinks? This "I got mine and to hell with yours" attitude is getting tiresome.

    Most of us, Senator, aren't asking for free handouts. We just want some regulation in place so that big insurance and big pharma can't bankrupt us. Maybe some reimportation of drugs so we don't have to pay up to hundreds of times in price mark ups. And 8% of total income max on insurance premiums. Is that too much to ask of you? If so, you're in the wrong job.

    January 28, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Laura

    The President erred in "allowing" different Senate and House committees to come up with different forms of the bill?

    If he'd tried to strong-arm another branch of government into doing things his way, he'd have been attacked for that.

    Sen. Landrieu and others in congress, stop whining and GET HEALTH CARE DONE! The ball's in your court. Take some responsibility.

    January 28, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Tim

    As a Democrat, I'm embarrassed to have a Senator as useless as Mary Landieu in the same party.

    January 28, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Bob in Pa

    Well I guess alls fair in politics. The pres calls you out on taking a state bribe to support a bill and you swipe back.

    January 28, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Obama Victim

    this thing is dead....DEAD..what part of DEAD do they not get.??.....forget it and move on...and hope the American people forgive you for even trying this foolishness

    January 28, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Sarah

    You sound more like a Republican than a democrat.......watch her she will probably be the next one to change parties.......it's easier to blame the President than to take the blame yourself.......that is what Congress is doing.......they play the blame game

    January 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I don't know Louisiana still has Landrieu after Katrina she did nothing but stand around and look stupid along side the Governor that quit knowing she failed.

    January 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. donttreadonme

    America needs to wake up and realize that while libs have over representation in all forms of media, they are still the minority in their own party. Obama’s liberal agenda has been rejected but they will still press on cloaked as moderate.

    January 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    Last night I was left with the impression that Obama really was abandoning the direction the Democrats had taken in the House and Senate health insurance reform bills. That was a relief.

    On the other hand, I did not see any leadership jumping out concerning working with the Republicans to get a bipartisan bill created. It raises the question about whether what they were doing to legislate reform really was about what he believes America needs or what he believed the Democratic politicians really needed. I think he has no intention of creating and signing a bipartisan bill.

    January 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Fitz in Texas

    Guess her 300 million check cleared that we taxpayers were forced to give her.

    January 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Enough

    We wish Obama would be clear about a lot of things, but the fact is the man is all talk with no action and his words have become empty repetitive rhetoric and noboy is listening to him anymore. Obama should be working on these issues, not delegating everything to congress.

    January 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    It is not like anyone in Louisiana would have lost their healthcare, but the rest of the country has 45 million uninsured. Mary should get with the program.

    January 28, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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