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. Scott

    Dear Senator Landrieu,

    Shut up!

    People who want health care reform

    January 28, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. gl, From Pittsburgh

    I guest she is mad that she is not going to get any more back room deals for her vote.

    January 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |

    To "all" incumbents in congress. If you can't work together your "successors " will! If congress's behavior continues as is. I wouldn't want to have "incumbent" next to my name on the next ballet. A purge of "all" congress members looks pretty darn good a this point. No matter how long it takes. - Spin it as you will! IT'S coming!

    January 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. makeba

    Of all the people who should take a long ass look at themselves, she is on top!
    Truth be told...Nelson and Landrieau should be taken to the woodshed. And she knows it!

    January 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Doraine Gordon

    Spoken like someone with a guilty conscience. She is one of those who dragged their feet while waiting for a bigger share pf something. I don't think this gal will be re-elected because of her actions.

    January 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Dave

    Finally, a democrat senator said what she always knew and was afraid to say: no leadership, or ideological leadership.. it will lead nowhere going against the people!

    January 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Barbara Independent in NY

    The President was very clear. Apparently Sen. Landrieu listened to the State of the Union address with the same amount of attention that she gives her constituents.

    January 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Ken, Arizona

    It's hard to believe what Sen. Landrieu said in this article since she had to be bought just to vote for cloture, which would have allowed the senate to vote on a healthcare bill. And yes, there are many bill held up in the senate due to the senate's stupid. undemocratic rules, such as the filibuster and a single senator's ability to place a hold on nominees. But not to worry, this will be Sen. Landrieu's last term in public office because we don't like vote selling.

    January 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. JOE

    i am a democrat but this lady is plain wrong about this. it is not Obama's fault that the congress can't get anything done. they are the one's who can't seem to compromise and or worked together to resolve our country's problems. i will say this, if the DEMS really believe that health care reform will benefit all of america and will save lives and money then they have no choice but to use any means possible including reconciliation to pass health care reform. it is time to put up or shut up!

    January 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Blue Dogs for Perry 2010

    Landrieu HATES Obama a lot, I can understand why.

    He's acting like it's Chicago and he can bully folks into getting what he wants, after November 2010 and 2012, he won't be bullying anymore.

    January 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Gary

    Oh I am so sorry he pointed the finger at you. Now you know what it feels like to be conservative, a banker, a regulator, a republican, a stock broker, upper middle class, rich, white, male, a business owner, insurance company, drug company, auto company, a C02 producer, a former president, a former VP, ..... He is great at making excuses and blaming people. He is miserable a finding reasonable solutions.

    January 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Cathy in AZ

    Apparently you did not get the message last night – The constant bickering is what the american people are tired of and what prompted the President to scold both sides of the aisle. Maybe if you, Senator Landrieu had worked harder during this whole process the President could have declared at least a beginning of health care reform – you are just as bad as the GOP members who have done and offered nothing! The Senate deserved the finger pointing!

    January 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Craig A.

    So, it is the President's fault the Senate failed to deliver a health care bill? Come on, Landrieu–YOU are one of the Senators many Americans take issue with because you held up passage of a health care bill, holding it hostage until a promise to increase taxpayer money going to your state. Shame on you!

    January 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. MR

    I'd like to know why the Senate hasn't moved on some many of the things the House has already passed. Why is Sen. Landrieu so defensive about this? Maybe trying to justify her previous vote in favor of the health care reform bill?? I realize historically the Senate process is slower than the House but I think the President has a point. If he'd only criticized Republicans last night, he been critized for that too. He tries to spread it around and someone isn't happy about that. I have NEVER been a supporter of term limits but am about to change my position on that. Congress is more concerned about re-election than they are doing the right thing. If Scott Brown hadn't won, the health care bill would have been passed by now. Why are those who supported it previously afraid to support it now? Their ass, trying to save it – plain and simple and that...I am tired of policy decisions being made through that lens.

    January 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Independent Greg

    Good for you, Mary. It's about time somone from his own party started holding him accountable for the things he said. He blamed everyone but himself for the problems over the past year.

    January 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Rhino

    Of course you don't think it's fair Senator.......Why accept any blame when you can lay it at the feet someone else? You and your so called blue dog freinds are the reason we will have Rebublitards in office again real soon.

    January 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. jeff jackson, alabama

    Obama should fire some of the communist
    on his staff and hire this lady.

    January 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. jennyc

    I don't think that the State of the Union address is the appropriate moment to break down specific solutions to an issue this complex.

    January 28, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Robert

    "....[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."

    Nonsense. That is not what he said. So let the Senate pass it's version of the same bill and then the two chambers can work out the differences..

    That is how it is done Senator... he never said the Senate should just rubber stamp whatever the House passes....

    January 28, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. Paul

    He was pointing his finger at the Senate...and for good reason. The Repubs are in the "no at everything" mode and the Dems (moderate or not) should fall in line behind their leader and pass his agenda. Obama needs to take control of his party and play hardball. I'm sick of Dems being soft and letting Repubs just run all over them. Dems must be stronger and hold the Repubs to task. This Senator needs to shut her mouth, fall in line and do what is right for the American people.....not talk trash about her leader after one of his most memorable speeches.

    January 28, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. John, Brooklyn, NY

    While I generally have a great deal of respect for Senator Landrieu, she seems to believe that the problems of the US Senate should be solved by the president. I would assert that it is she and her colleagues who need to take responsibility for the action (or inaction) that has occurred under their watch on the issue of healthcare reform.

    January 28, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. CS from VA

    Gee Senator, don't you think you are part of the problem? Like holding up passage until you got the other 49 states to subsidize Louisiana's Medicaid expense? Was that fair? Did you think people in Massachusetts, who crafted their own universal plan and pay their own Medicaid liability, would agree to subsidizing Louisiana and Nebraska as well?

    It's always someone else's fault, right? Wrong! The fault starts with the person you see in the mirror every day.

    January 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. larry

    I seldom agree with a blue dog but she is right. Obama did not lead on health care....he mailed it in. Obama let it drag it out for a year.

    January 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Defender of the United States Constitution

    Sen. Mary Landrieu your are one of the impediments in getting health care reform. Why don't you read the Constitution of the United States of America to fully understand your duties as Member of Congress.

    January 28, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. demlibssuk

    He did not discuss it because he nor his platform managers have no idea what they are going to do next!!

    January 28, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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