January 28th, 2010
04:36 PM ET
7 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. Jane/Seattle

    These folks, who refuse to work together, are a detriment to American Governance. COOPERATION is a Higher Value than COMPETITION – the cornerstone of American Capitalism.

    Those who refuse to honor this value are short-sighted and not fit for elective office. See this book for more info. Thom Hartmann's, "Last Hours Of Ancient Sunlight" tells the tale of how other culltures survived much longer with cultivating more efficient Values, like Cooperation. If we refuse to firgure this out and act, we will join the history of those who prefer a "Dominator" culture – Extinction. No, I don't work for Thom. His books are vitally important for us to heed. Thanks for considering this view. Peace

    January 28, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Tom

    Finally someone on the democratics side stands up for their voters.

    January 28, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems bill is awful, and everyone knows it. Kill it, once and for all, and start over.....but not until you deal with the higher priorities that have been ignored for far too long!

    January 28, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. T'SAH from Virginia


    Look – get the job. I am an ordinary citizen and what I got out of the entire night is that the RepubliCAN'Ts and the Democrats are going to have to WORK TOGETHER!!!

    I think the BURDEN is on the RepubliCAN'Ts because they can't say NO anymore and they must INPUT or SHUTUP!!!

    January 28, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Wisconsonite

    I think Landrieu should step up to the plate and let the American people know how she's going to start working for them and stop being so defensive about what the President may or may not have said about the Senate! GROW UP!

    January 28, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. tdorch

    Last time I checked President Obama did not ask Sen. Landrieu, or Sen. Nelson to bribe the senate to earn their votes. He did not ask Joe Leiberman to change his mind for revenge against the democrats. I appluad President Obama for pointing his fingers at the folk who really are the reason Healthcare is not yet passed; Its the United States Senate. President Obama has been very clear what kind of Bill he wanted on his desk. How come the pundits on TV and Senators continue with this lie; The president wanted a bill to lower healthcare cost; cover the majority of Americans; he wanted to do away with Inusrance companies dropping people with preconditions; and he wanted them not to exclude people from getting isnurance becasue of pre-conditions. I understand totally what he wants and I dont understand how these Senators now claim he was not specific.

    January 28, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Kansas Dem

    Hey, Mary!

    Figure it out yourself! Decide what is best for Louisiana and let them know why. It is YOUR job to represent Americans, and if you need the president to hold your hand, then maybe you should find another job.

    January 28, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Roger

    I can not believe Senator Landrieu believes she is a moderate democrat with the sweet deal she would have gotten for holding out had the health care bill passed. The money she sold out to for LA was a disgrace for all US citizens, same goes for Ben Nelson & the other so called moderate or blue dog democrats...This coming from a life long democrat who is considering becoming an independent voter because of how badly the democrats have handled being in total control of the government & can not pass a health care bill & are clueless to how they are going to create jobs....

    January 28, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Matt

    This coming from a woman who received one those horse trading deals to get health care passed. Mary Landrieu, please do us all a favor: shut up.

    January 28, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. CallitLikeItIs

    She's a sell out.

    January 28, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Sandra, Atlanta

    How you career politicians considered that he was trying to let Congress do the job it was elected to do instead of the way GWB did by dictating to his little followers?
    You have a job to do. What's so difficult to understand about that...no matter which side the aisle you sit on? And it is not to play politics!

    January 28, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Kevin in Ohio

    If Health Care Legislation is not truly DEAD, then this Congress IS, come November. WHY do they not listen to the people??????????

    January 28, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Cynthia

    Did this big blow fish not listen to the President last night? This is the kind of stupidity the President has to contend with. the democrats are going to have pull together if they are going to be sucessful and hold on to their seats. The President was right to point fingers at the senate, your idiots are the reason nothing is getting done in Washington. So this clown needs to shut the hell up and stop giving the republicians something to throw back at the president. She needs to be quiet obviously there is something in her closet why else would they try to bug her office.

    January 28, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Jamie

    Not the right approach Landrieu! Own what you create, the House can actually get things through. Plus, why are you a sudden apologist for Senate and Senate Dems – that should be Reid's job. Finally, why aren't you shouting more about the 'right wing' conspiracy that just tried to bug your phones?

    January 28, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Mike in SA

    I'm tired of Democrats saying that me and all these other people are confused about health insurance "reform" (more like deform). There has been PLENTY in each of the versions of the legislation not to like enough to be strongly against them. Add to that the fact that none of them include ideas that will actually help the problem and none of them are actually deficit neutral and I'm not confused at all. Your legislation just stinks!

    January 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Lilarose in Oregon

    Mary, maybe you should run for the presidency, then you can do things your way.

    You will be surprised, however, at how hard it will be to get what you want done.

    It takes cooperation. Look at corporations and small businesses that are successful...that is how it is done.

    Our Congress is full of mostly men and a few women who need to find new jobs. I hope to help them in that endeavor.

    January 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Mississippi Mrs.

    Many of us appreciate it when Senators such as Mary Landrieu find their voice to speak out on these issues. Since the Scott Brown shuffle, we are noticing that some Democrats are waking up. I could never understand how so many people could support such bad legislation? It was as if they were all hypnotized. Zombies are pretty scary, so it is refreshing to see even a handfull of Democrats pinch their cheeks and wake up in time to make a positive difference for America. Thanks for being among the upright Mary.

    January 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Dar

    Odumbo wants a reform bill and he doesnt care what is in it. He really doesnt care who he has to run over to get.
    I dont think there will be a bill this year due to the elections just getting started up.
    Landrieu is just trying to save face now, she voted yes before on this and will again. All somke and mirrors here folks, that all it is.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Jack

    CNN has been excellent in reporting the facts. Although I personally have health care, I am concerned over the future of health care for many other Americans. What are the facts? Have rumors and distortions confused us? What would the Republican plan do for health care? The Democratic plan? Could the stimulus plan have been used differently for greater impact? What would have happened if not for the stimulus package? Are we right or wrong in expecting more within a year of inheriting a financial meltdown? It would be a great service if the American people knew the right answers!

    January 28, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Mrs. S Callahan

    Who was it that send..send the men home and let the women get the job done? Not a bad idea.

    January 28, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Marty

    If we lose healthcare reform it's a shame. It showcases the triumPh of dEmagoguery over good policy. Is this a great country or what.

    January 28, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Lisa P

    Senator Mary Landrieu, if you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem. The only thing that is going to fix the Senate are the Senators, and that means you. Quit whining and start doing. Now.

    January 28, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Stop the Nonsense

    What Mr Obama has asked for, is the exact same thing he asked for when he was eleceted, sworn in and began the healthcare debate- cooperation from all sides.
    This was never supposed to be a Democratic issue. It was supoosed to be an American issue. We will all benefit from healthcare reform and should all be heard in the debate.
    But debate does not mean sitting back and criticizing, it means adding to a discussion with a point of view. That;s what the Congress is about. It is to share the views of what different regions want and need and then as a body to ccome to a conclusion of what will beneift us all.
    What a concept!

    January 28, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Mrs. S Callahan

    Who was it that said...send the men home and let the women get the job done? Not a bad idea.

    January 28, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. verne

    Stop whinning. You were one of the main reasons healthcare was held up and did not pass when Democrats had the 60 votes. Take responsibility for your selfish actions.

    January 28, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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