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. John independent from NY

    start over from scratch with some commonsense attached

    January 28, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. David

    Yes, Senator, there seems to be a lot of buyers remorse these days.

    January 28, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. kittylittr

    Um, Mary, if all the legislation already passed by the House weren't piled up on your desk still unattended to, then your complaints might be justified. But the Senate hasn't accomplished squat, you are one of the principal reasons why, and if you didn't like the President's speech that's because he was talking to YOU.

    January 28, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Laverne

    Senator excuse me, but you are such a hypocrite. If your vote was really about the people, why is it changed all of a sudden when you got the deal you wanted??? You, Nelson, Lieberman are so full of it, if you knew you were going to vote yes, WHY did you take so long to do so. I will tell you why, you wanted the appearance that you were fighting for the people, but in reality it was all about yourself and YES, I am a democrat!

    January 28, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. rcruss

    Well, Ms. Landrieu, you have nerves....your have been selling yourself on health care...I think it all about self interest to you....we don't soon forget that you have been selling the dems out....you will pay...or shell I say I will pay come next election... I will pay for your oppointent if you don't vote on health care

    January 28, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Chandler

    It is absolutely "fair" to critique the Senate. Not only have the misinformed the country about health care reform, they are all bought out by special interests, which is completely evident by their inability to tackle any of our most pressing issues. The President had GREAT ideas for job stimulation ( 0% capital gains tax for small businesses, programs to help regional banks, tax breaks for hiring new workers or raising salaries, etc.) . If the Sentate doesn't take him up on his ideas, BOTH PARTIES will be at fault. This is not a game of Capture the Flag. It seems the President recognizes the importance of their work, but Congress does not.

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. BB

    We don't care if you're in a red district/red area.
    Republicans have their agenda and beliefs and we Democrats have ours. We do not need DINOS. If you cannot and will not support the Progressive agenda because of the "Rethugs" in your district, then run as a Rethug or get out and make room for a Democrat who is a real Democrat. All you seem to do is get in the way.

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. She's gone in November.....

    she took a $ 300 million bribe for Obamacare and so she must go.....

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. jenn, philadelphia

    Does she need to know how much she can get this time? Or is her price still $300 million?

    January 28, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. chris

    hmm, well she got her $300 million for her state and that was just to let the debate go forward. It is as plain as the nose on her face how to proceed, The Senate needs to pass the fixes by any means necessary (reconcil if necessary); then the House will pass the fixes and the Senate bill and whola we have HCR. When people feel the changes no way the GOP will run on repealing it or it will be just like them with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. BTW there are more than 50 votes to pass the fixes so let the majority rule.

    January 28, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. notfooledbydistractions

    Hmmm...I'll consider the source. A senator that virtually had to be bribed to participate, I'll take her comments with a grain of salt.

    January 28, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Sharon

    The Dems would get more done if their would work together instead of against one another. They reaaly do need to come together (divided you fall). Instead of always trying to get elected/reelected they should stop try to make each other look bad. BLASTING members is not how you move forward and get thing done.

    January 28, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I always thought Mary was smarter than Vitter, but apparently she is not.

    January 28, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. William

    Mary Landrieu knew very well what should have been done. She is bought and paid for by lobbyist. She doesn't care about the uninsured struggling to survive. Everything is fine in her self centered little world so screw America.

    January 28, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Ren from Baltimore

    Sen Landrieu,

    Where were you during the tough debates?? Looking out for your state's local interests, period. Not until you blackmailed the rest of the Senators for extra support for LA did you see fit to support any sort of bill. Who are you looking out for in attacking him now??? Hypocrite.

    January 28, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Michael from Ventura

    As a Democrat, I think the good Senator needs to look at things on a broader scope. While she may, indeed, be from a State that always goes red- she also comes from a State where reform is most needed. The President finally started calling out those that would take us backwards instead of forward.

    January 28, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Angus McDugan

    We made a deal Obama. I want my $300M.

    January 28, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. QuickSilver8

    Everyone is a bit jumpy regarding a solution in healthcare
    especially since Gov. Jindall is breaking Louisiana State's
    Helathcare System down.

    January 28, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Kat

    I'm from Louisiana and I'm totally embarrassed by the actions of Landrieu. I have repeatedly wrote her about the "deal" she got from reid and his bunch. We do not want this type of health care reform and we do not support Landrieu.

    January 28, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. bob

    Mary Landrieu is one of the main reason Health Care Reform has stalled. Her and seven other Conservative Senate Democrats have dragged out and water down this Health Care Bill to were a lot of people think that all it does is give more customers to the Insurance Companies. We really need to see that such Senators Mary Landrieu has progressive primary challengers run against her when shes up for re-election. Also the need to see that the following Senators do not get re-elected.
    1. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas in 2010
    2. Evan Bayh of Indiana in 2010
    3. Ben Nelson of Nebraska in 2012
    4. Kent Conrad of North Dakota in 2012
    5. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut in 2012
    6. Bill Nelson of Florida in 2012
    7. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana in 2014
    8. Max Baucus of Montana in 2014

    January 28, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. michael

    what a nerve, she is one of the ones more concerned about re-election than serving the people. Democrates will you ever learn to show strength!

    January 28, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. JT

    How much does she want this time?

    January 28, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. jenn

    Senator, the President is in charge of the Executive Branch. You are a member of the Legislative Branch–a co-equal branch of government. You shouldn't need the President to tell you how to do your job, and he sure shouldn't have to remind you TO do your job.

    January 28, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Tommy

    The president has been clear all along. It's the senate – Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson that have held healthcare hostage for so long.

    It's a game that our elected reps play. They act and sound concerned, but in reality they are cow-towing to the special interests.

    Landrieu, with her obstinance on healthcare, has cemented a position with K-Street health lobbies.

    Aim high.

    January 28, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Tommy

    "Not completely our fault".

    It is ALL your fault. You know well that the republicans were not going to play. PERIOD. So drop your "principled objections" to this plan and pass the dam thing!

    January 28, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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