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. James R. Broussard

    You are my Senator but I challenge you to be clearer: Your negotiations for a fairer Medicaid formula for Louisiana was a very good piece of work, but without clarity. It looked like (and Republicans used that) an under the table back-room deal which "bought" money for Louisiana. Lack of clarity became part of the weaponry used in Massachusetts. Some of my close progressive friends saw it that way too.
    Your adamant stand against parts of the health bill makes me ask this: Have insurance companies made contributions t you campaign funds? If so, How much? And let's be "more clear" about this.

    January 28, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. BobH

    Had the President told Congress exactly what to do, he would be criticized for over-reaching. It is NOT his job to write laws– that's Landrieu's and her fellow Congresspersons. It's the President's job to deliver broad objectives and leave it to the lawmakers to make laws. Landrieu needs to read the Constitution.

    January 28, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. republicans hate america

    this is why the congressional democrats can not do anything with the majority they have because they are too stupid to lead.

    January 28, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. flabbergasted

    Obama is more clear than ever: he doesn NOT support a public option as he had promised! He can't bemore clear than that.

    January 28, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Rob R

    You want "fair" lady? Get out of politics....get to work or get the hell out of the way...I am tired of all you over-paid whiners, who talk the big talk and can't deliver...BOTH parties are to blame here...GET TO WORK.

    January 28, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Teresa L

    Mary all you care about is being re-elected, nothing else-you don't care whats good for the American people-none of you do, Maybe if you all had term limits like the President-you would spend more of your time getting things done and less time trying to figure out,well If I vote this way maybe it won't hurt me to bad in my bid for re-election-you all SUCK-the only ones I trust are, Obama,Sen Bernie Sanders, And Rep Anthony Weiner-they all seem to care more about the people and less about being re-elected, you could learn lessons from them you whiner!

    January 28, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Jinx Fannin

    Go ahead with your marxist plans, Obama–waste America's time and passions. The republicans will kill them all as soon as they have the power back.

    January 28, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. bts

    Don't nitpick the little stuff. Just do your job. There's too much thin skin in Congress these days. Too much complaining. Stop looking at yourselves and how you're offended. Look at the millions of Americans in great need and do what you can to ease their suffering. Just do your job ! And for the Republicans who think its OK to do nothing just so Obama can fail, You're worse than the welfare recipients you loathe. Sitting on your butts expecting a government check, and not working to earn that check !

    January 28, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Felice Judkins

    What Landrieu fails to realize and to acknowledge is that she and the rest of her colleagues are the "legislative body" who write the laws that the President then signs into law. He has made clear time and time again the major components that he wants to be included in a bill. The Senate is a bunch of incompetent folsk who are there only to posture and be concerened about the next election cycle. I'm a Democract but I find more fault with the democrats in the Senate because they obviously are not capable of governing. I know that the Republicans are the part of no but c'mon the dems have the majority but absolutely no backbone!!!!!!! President Obama was correct in highlighting that the House is getting things done while the Senate acts like spoiled poutty babies who take their ball home if they can't have their way. Obviously the turht hurt and Landrieu couldn't take it. I'm all for voting out the nuts on both sides of the aisle who can't the job done for the American people.

    January 28, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Steve in Ct

    Everyone, reguardless of affiliation sees need for reform in this area. That includes the republicans. But once it's done it's done so it's important it's done right. I don't like bullies. President Obama is a bully. Everything needs to be his way or those not in agreement get shut out. That's not what America's all about (Unless we allow it). His 'This is the way it's gonna be 'cause I'm POTUS and that's final' may be right in Libia or Columbia or Iran but it doesn't wash here. If that's what he wants he con go run for leader of some dictatorship and leave our liberty alone. Finally even the liberals are starting to see it and the braver ones are speaking up. This guy needs to be stopped before we lose what makes America special. Keep only the democrates that feel they work for us, not the bully. C'mon 2010/2012.

    January 28, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. gt

    sick em ... mary,,, your right on ,,,

    January 28, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Landrieu is just scared she's not going to be able to collect her $300 million bribe.

    January 28, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Maggie

    The majority of people support universal healthcare – for those Senators like Ms. Landrieu – who are slow on the uptake, that means a 'public option' at least. So, you have failed the American people with the most important cause of a generation and you should be repudiated because of it. If you don't know what you were elected to accomplish – you should never have been elected! It's called leadership. Mr. Obama is weak in this area also, we can agree on that.

    January 28, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Baby Boomer

    Maybe if Mary Landrieu had gotten on board sooner, to help the poor people of her state, health care reform would already be a done deal. I blame her and the other holdouts for this mess. The President should have been able to report that health care reform was done in 2009. Mary and the rest of them are to blame for this and that's all there is to it.

    January 28, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Carole

    Oh no she didn't!!!! She has alot of nerve.

    Landrieu is in a state with more without healthcare than most. She is a Healthcare sellout as far as I see it.

    DEMS LANDRIEU, BACHUS, LIEBERMAN BAYH, LINCOLN AND NELSON, are six votes you can write off on the agenda. WE can take care of them in election.

    January 28, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Carolyn

    PLEASE let more Democrats come to their senses like she might have here!!!

    Pelosi wants to push reconciliation?!? I have had it. I have voted Democrat my entire life. No more. Where do I show up to protest??

    It is time these people pay attention to what the American people expect of them: "A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that nearly half the public, 48 percent, would like federal lawmakers to start work on an entirely new bill, and 21 percent feel Congress should stop working an any bills that would change the country's health care system."

    January 28, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Personal responsibility, please.

    Obama's speech was boring, long and did very little to unite a country.

    He should be criticized for his misinformation, defamation and polarization of the country. Plus, I'm tired of hearing him place blame after over 12 months in office.

    January 28, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. K

    Nice try Mary, but you're part of the problem.

    January 28, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Spencer

    I have always heard when you point a finger at someone, 3 fingers point back at you. This was the most divisive State of the Nation speech I have every heard! Pointing at the Senate, Supreme Court, Republicans, and George Bush.

    January 28, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Tim

    What a kerflufel.

    January 28, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. sam, littleton, Co

    You have your nerve, after you made those backroom deals, you have no crediability! I hope you lose your next election . We need a good honest Democrat!

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

    I wish the president would stop placing blame on everyone else.
    Mr. President, stay in Washington and quit flying around(talk about carbon footprints) making the same speeches over and over again to unions and organizations that stand up and cheer every time he speaks and start helping our small business like the one my son owns who is desperately trying to keep his business after 15 years of hard work.

    Quit the speeches If your serious and do something for America's working class.

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

    Who is Landreiu think she is kidding? She has never supported Health Care Reform as her biggest contributors are from the health care entities. This woman is a joke.
    Am very proud of our president for confronting publicly the lack of cooperation, obstruction and unAmerican activities of the republican party.
    They are a disgrace to our political system, refusing to put the survival of our country over their irresponsible party first, win at any cost , destroy our president goals.
    I would think they would be embarressed but, of course, they will not be as they are too hypocritical, egotistical, self serving to recognize that they have destroyed all honor and integrity they once had.

    January 28, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Mesa Mick

    Hey Senator – Stop your whining and DO YOUR JOB!

    Pres. Obama gave you his positions on what he thinks is needed in HCR now it's up to you figure out how to do it.

    You're the lawmaker so do what you're being paid for – MAKE LAWS not excuses. Last I heard you were not an obstructionist rethugicant so stop acting like one and get HCR done NOW...

    January 28, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Emmanuel Goldstein

    I don't suppose the fact that Landrieu was able to get a major concession, similar to the Cornhusker Kickback, has anything to do with her vigor in wanting to see healthcare passed, does it?

    January 28, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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