February 25th, 2010
07:12 PM ET
5 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. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    A Republican got in line at the playground before I did, so what.

    February 25, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Ken

    Dear repubes...stop saying Obama does not include you...he does, and you silly repubes act like little tight lipped twats!!!. The GOP had their chance and as usual they blew it!!! The Party of NO!!!

    February 25, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. TOM

    Unbelievable folly by both sides. Let's use the same energy to get people back to work, Washington.

    February 25, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Um, OK

    There were 3 parties represented there, not 2. The White House, congressional Democrats, and congressional Republicans. They each had roughly 1/3 of the time on the floor.

    3% is spilled milk. Then again the Republicans are very used to whining about the 3% of Americans they actually represent with their policy decisions.

    February 25, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. ED FL

    Good reason for that [included the moderator President] was that it doesn't take to much time to say no to everything that might help the less fortunate that need this program the most which was/is the GOP position/mantra.

    February 25, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Get real!

    Guess this just shows Obama is all talk! I would not be surprised if the Dems try budget tricks to get healthcare through. And then I won't be surprised if the Dems go down in flames in November.....

    February 25, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. DemsRMarxists

    Why is it that every time this "Great Orator" speaks it sounds as if he is lecturing the American people? The most elitist president ever.

    February 25, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Donna Mansfield

    Excuse me . . . but . . . Dems got 135, Repubs got 111, and our president got the rest. Seems like CONGRESS and the EXECUTIVE BRANCH both got a fair shake!!!!

    February 25, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. Joe

    What do you expect? This was nothing more than a show for Obama and the Deocrats. This was not a chance for the Repubicans to anything but show up.. Unfortunately I think this Health Plan will be steamrolled thru Congress. While I agreethe majority of people in this country want a health plan, the polls alos show they want nothing to do with the House version or the Senate version. By the time this goes into full affect, many years from now, we will seethe folley and the cost to the American people and anyone who hadanything to do with passing it will be long out of office. The middle class should get ready to pay and pay dearly for taxes forthis program...

    February 25, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. Dan

    This is "fair and square" under the rules! Which rules? The ones we have established as a majority!!!

    February 25, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Minnesota gal

    Since Obama WAS the president and the principal speaker, he WAS supposed to have more speaking time.

    Since the republicans do nothing in congress but obstruct and don't bother to contribute, should Obama have yielded the floor to McConnell and let him take over the meeting.

    I THINK NOT. Ever since the republicans lost a legal election they have had their shorts in a knot. Nothing will satisfy them but screwing up everything the Democrats do to try to get this country back in groove.

    February 25, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Butch

    What a waste of time. The government is already TOO BIG to get anything accomplished.... and they want to start a Universal Health Care Bill? HA!

    February 25, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. Joe in Vega$

    Just pass the bill and let America finally move ahead. It's become all to apparent that the republicans are not interested in working in our nation's best interest and it's time to expose them as the racist, backwards, nature-hating bigots that they are.

    February 25, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Joe

    Obama is the most ill-mannered president in the our country's history. He has demonstrated himself again and agin to be very arrogant in treat ing other people who disagree with him or democrupts. If you dare to question him, he will snap back to you "I won! I won! I won......, what can you do about it?" Well look like school yard politics.

    February 25, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. midwest liberal

    If Mitch McConnell was so busy tallying the minutes each democrat spoke, then he wasn't paying attention to what was being said. Now THAT's wasting time!

    February 25, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    The health care debate seems to center around 30 million people in the U.S. This is about 10% of the population. Today, some indication of reconciliation in the senate lead us to believe that a 51% vote will help 10% of the U.S. population. I am confused. If majority rules then why does it not rule for the majority of the population.

    February 25, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. ww

    Just pathetic it comes down to this as analysis.

    February 25, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. OBAMA - One Big Ass Mistake America!

    Democrats dominated only because all Obama did is slam the Republicans. John McCain addressed a concern which Obama became defensive. He failed to ever answer the question. McCain has a good point and Obama really showed his color on that one.

    February 25, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    It doesn't take much time for the republicans to say no or start over. They had nothing else. Just "no" and "start over". The GOP doesn't want to help the American people, as usual they just played politics. Do it our way or start over. They really don't understand that they lost the elections.

    February 25, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Ken

    So what is your point ?

    February 25, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. stacy

    Obama is such a cry baby... he was called up and couldn't answer... CHANGE helllo come on we all know what that means.... The man can never answer an actual question ha ha ha you go MCCAIN back the cry baby Obama up against the wall and booo hooo he gets made....

    February 25, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    How long does it take to say "No!"

    February 25, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. smallbiz

    So, of all that was discussed the only thing CNN can report on is the time imbalance...give me a break, he is the President and also acted as the moderator of the meeting...were you expecting him not to talk? He gave both sides a fair shot and sorry, but he cannot help it if he happens to be a Democrat......Can we be real for a change? Election have consequeces!! A better comparism would have been time allocated to the Repulican vs that allocated to the Dems not including Obama of course......Were you expecting a 50 -50 allocation?

    February 25, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. Betty in Arizona

    It was the president's party. It seems he has to explain things a dozen or so times to the rethugs then they still get it wrong and talk lies and nonsense. He needs to do what needs to be done and be finished with Health care. It has been talked to death. Time to put the thing to bed. Rethugs would complain, whine and cry like a kindergarten class of 5 years no matter. They are always for something before they decide they are against it. Give it up boys, sit down, buckle up and hang on.

    February 25, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. I voted for Obama and proud of it in Oregon

    because the republicans vocabulary is one word (((( NO ))))
    kind of answers that question ya think LOL

    February 25, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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