February 25th, 2010
07:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Democrats dominated speaking time at health care summit

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President Obama spoke for a total of 122 minutes at the summit.
President Obama spoke for a total of 122 minutes at the summit.

Washington (CNN) – Thursday's health care summit at Blair House was billed as an opportunity for members of both parties to share their proposals for reform, but one party had far more time to put forth their ideas.

A CNN analysis of the meeting shows that Democrats - including President Obama, who helmed the meeting - were granted more than twice the amount of speaking time as Republicans.

Democrats spoke for a total of 135 minutes while President Obama spoke for 122 minutes, for a total of 257 minutes. Republicans, meanwhile, spoke for just 111 minutes, about 30 percent of the total speaking time.

The time discrepancy did not go unnoticed by the top Republican in the Senate.

Shortly after President Obama, Vice President Biden and legislators from both parties returned from a lunch break, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office released a statement detailing how long President Obama had the floor, versus how much time members of each party were allotted during the nearly three-hour morning session.

Not including the hour that the politicians broke for lunch, the meeting lasted for more than six hours.


Filed under: Health care • Mitch McConnell • President Obama
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    If you remove the amount of time President Obama spoke, then the amount of time both sides had was much closer to equal (Democrats = 135, Republicans = 111).

    It makes sense that the President, since he was leading the meeting, would be talking.

    If a Republican president had chaired the meeting, then he or she would have probably spoken for the same amount of time President Obama did.

    But wait! There's no way a Republican president would EVER have called this meeting – because they have absolutely no interest in reforming health care.

    February 25, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. The_Conservative_Lie

    Maybe, because the Cons don't really have all that much to offer, the Dems had more to say.
    But I jest, I, as well as most people, want these meetings to be truly bipartisan.

    February 25, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. No surprises there

    Since the beginning of Obama's term, hopefully only 1, he and Democrats have done everything in their power to run off the Republican and the voters they represent.

    So today is no surprise.

    February 25, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. S Callahan

    Sometimes those who have the least to say, say the most important things.

    Even if nothing was 'really' accomplished today on the health care bill..at least there was civility...now that is showing signs of growing up in government...so it can't be all bad. It's a start.

    February 25, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Vic of New York

    Give me a break!

    The President cannot be lumped with "Democrats".

    He played a very good Host to the meeting. He acknowledged both Republicans and Democrats and called both to the carpet when they went astray.

    I was watching all afternoon with my own eyes. Please don't try to pull the wool over me just to score for "newsworthy" controversy CNN!

    February 25, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Justin

    Is anyone surprised that the president would dominate the floor when he's leading a meeting? People have been asking him to engage and share his vision for the past year. Now that he finally does, he's still in the wrong?

    February 25, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Your titles are tabloid newspapers

    Obama didn't "snap" at mccain like your title says, CNN i watch you and go on your site first thing but I'm getting disgusted at this tabloid like newspaper headline's that's testing our intelligence. This isn't Fox news save it for those hillbilly idiots.

    February 25, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. MikeH

    Oh give me a break. Wah wah CNN.

    When the Republicans had control of Congress they would routinely exclude Democrats from meetings. Remember Tom DeLay evicting Democrats, Remember Bush holding meetings with Republican-only senators.

    The fact that the meeting even took place is a testament to how much Obama wanted the Republicans to have their say.

    And the Republicans squandered their speaking time with slogans and nonsense akin to their "Death Panel" crap.

    Obama mopped the floor with them like he did with the Republican House members. Get used to it.

    February 25, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Tom Core

    Republicans should stop whining. It doesn't take THAT long to say, "start over" which was their entire message.

    February 25, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. john

    I watched the entire summit on CNN and both parties appeared to have equal time. It didnt help that republicans continually repeated themselves.

    February 25, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. sandy

    Maybe thats because the democrats were making much more sense than the Republicans. Most of them were there to campaign, like John McCain. The Republicans will never get over their trickle down economics. All I have to say to them is the Reagan era is over. Thank God. Now move on. I am 100 per cent behind this president. The Repubs keep saying we can't afford to do this, but in reality, we can't afford not to pass health care reform. We are heading into the abyss because of what the repubs did for eight long years.

    February 25, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. I Am Rush Limbaugh and I Say . . .

    Time for the poor representatives of the insurance lobby to call for a . . . WWWWAAAAAAMBULANCE

    February 25, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Capt. Snarky

    Hey, when do we get a Job's Summit? HuH? Mr. President – where are the jobs? Better hurry up, the people are beginning to figure you out............

    February 25, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. Sadie

    Wow, this almost sounds like a criticism of the Pres & his crew.
    Did someone at CNN actually drift right?

    February 25, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. Bill in VT

    What a joke. Why did they waste time on this crap? Everyone can see through this poor display of political theater. Pathetic.

    February 25, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. cj

    It was pretty obvious the GOP did not have much to say when not using scare tactics!

    February 25, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Slider

    El Presidente,

    Your refusal to acknowledge the GOP's arguments by dismissing them as "talking points" isn't going to play well. These "talking points" are what the members of your party didn't want to address in their town halls either.

    You came across as ignorant of the opposing party's points as did Pelosi and Reid. When specifics of your plan were being explained by the opposition, you rushed to hush the speakers of the opposition.

    Was this little exercise meant to provide transparency of ideas?

    I think not.

    Tell you what else I think, El Presidente; I think you and your party have shown how vapid your healthcare plans are. I will enjoy voting for your party's opponents in November, and against you personally in 2012.

    February 25, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Not a surprise. Democrats are experts at talking without saying a thing.

    February 25, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. LG in ATL

    The Dems are full of hot air! They have no intention of listening to the Republicans so this was all for show as they went on and on about the details that Americans have shunned. Enough already-let's vote them all out.

    February 25, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. JLM

    It doesn't take long to say no, as in party of no.

    February 25, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Shelly

    The only plan the Republicans came up with was a Health Savings Plan.
    Now tell me how your savings plan will be adequate if Insurance premiums continue to rise 20-30 % per year? And if you put your savings in the equity market, imagine the catastrophe a family would face if the market crashes like it did 16 months ago.!
    Ofcourse, the Republicans want to take your money and put it in risky businesses for profit. They wanted to do that with Social Security. Thank GOD, that did not happen.
    How can we trust the Republicans when they are that cause of the economic collapse????
    They really have nothing to say, other then look uncomfortable and stupid.

    February 25, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    Wow there's a surprise....they dominated the speaking time and yet nothing of substance was said on their parts...same old false talking points that they have been spewing the whole time. Just a bunch of hot air being blown out. The arogance of BHO is sickening!

    February 25, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. renobill

    Other than make war on someone the repukes haven't had two minutes worth of ideas in 50 years.

    February 25, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    The President is the President of the United States, not just Democrats.

    You forgot to mention that many Reds spoke multiple times and the President offered them time at the end that they passed on.

    CNN=Fox Lite

    February 25, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    I can listen to Boehner, McConnell, etc. spin for about 5 seconds before I stop listening. I think Obama was pretty generous to give the GOP 111 minutes to regurgitate the same talking points/lies/crap they've been spewing for the past year.

    February 25, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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