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. Charles Pratt

    Democrats, 135 minutes; Republicans, 111 minutes. Close to even: 55% to 45%. And the moderator, President Obama spoke for 122 minutes which is 33% of the total time. That seems like a reasonably fair allotment considering the President was chairing the meeting and making his arguments also.

    February 25, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Dominated speaking time?? Doesn't take long to say NO now does it?

    February 25, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. smallbiz

    Sorry for the typo I meant to say "Republicans"....deal with it!!!!

    February 25, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. voter

    of course democrates spoke the most. They are the only ones with a plan. The republicans had no plan which I am still waiting to see. When you don't have a plan there is not much to say. Time for the thugs to retire. no plan, no compromise, no brains just nothing.

    February 25, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. We the People....

    Did anyone really think the Demoncrats would give equal time to the Republicans....?

    February 25, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. jeff

    WHY PUT THE AMOUNT OF TIME THE PRESIDENT SPOKE? I saw the whole 6 hours he was fair in the amount of time everyone had to speak. The Rs wasted alot of time on talking points, it was sickening.

    February 25, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. LRW

    When I was watching Republicans did most of the speaking. Get the facts straight.

    February 25, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. Tune in to FOX for news

    Obama-you are an arrogant, selfish man. You looked like an idiot today. Americans don't want what you are trying to cram down our throats. You are too enamored with yourself to get it. You WANT and NEED a monument to yourself. Not on OUR watch you're not.

    February 25, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. AKM

    This is an Incorrect analysis.

    The Executive Branch used 122 minutes fighting for Americans

    The legislative branch used a total of 249 minutes

    of which

    Republicans (with fewer members) used 111 minutes bashing Obama or campaigning

    Democrats with the majority used 135 minutes looking out for their individual interest

    That is:
    44.6% minutes republicans
    54.2% minutes democrats
    Or
    32.9% minutes-the Executive branch-the president
    67.1% minutes Legislative

    February 25, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Q. How many hours in how many meetings paid for by how many tax dollars does it take to get nothing decided?

    A. All of them.

    Original material there folks. Don't forget to cite the source if you reuse the quote. Peace all! :)

    February 25, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Ken

    Am I reading the correctly?? This is not a fair analysis. This was the president's meeting and as chair, should not be included in the Democrat's time. This is really stupid CNN.

    February 25, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    How did you expect the time to be divided? Equally?
    President Obama was Calling the Shots, and the entire purpose of his setting up this charade was for him to show the Republicans as
    (1) without ideas, and
    (2) uncooperative.
    The President kept Republicans' traps shut as much as he could, frequently reminding them of "time limits," of which they had not been informed.

    February 25, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. bill

    Hey Cnn,

    When I was watching your actual tv coverage you seemed to go to commercial alot more often when Demcrats were speaking than Republicans.

    February 25, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Dale in Michigan

    Obama was rude and condesending and the LEAST open to bi-partisan discussion. It was a very big waste of time!

    February 25, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. Richard

    More biased reporting. Not recognizing the Executive Branch as an individual entity in the discussion and allotting them an equal time for them to put forth their agenda is ridiculous. This is an example as to why people don't trust main stream media anymore. Maybe we should allot time based on election results, or based on presentation needs. I believe the time given to every party involved in the debate was fair. I also believe that the media should try to report more on facts then push agendas and try to divide us to sell advertising.

    February 25, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Rita OHIO

    The difference in time spent speaking reflects the idea of the people doing the speaking. Every republican said the same thing....the Democrats had much more to offer.

    Talking points versus Facts Facts finally had more on its side

    February 25, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Kathleen

    Democrats Dominated Speaking Time????? Dominated speaking time. Come on, CNN. Democrats 121 Minutes. Republicans 111 Minutes. This is nit Picking by 10 Minutes.

    And, McCain was a disgrace.

    February 25, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Joanna in PA

    OH COME ON CNN!! Is this what we are going to discuss? Where is your journalist integrity? Why don't we try focusing on the substance of this 7.5 hour long discussion instead of the amount of time one party had over the other. I expect this from FOX, but Lets be above all this and stay on point. We are trying to get things done here>

    February 25, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Robin in Tampa, FL

    This is sort of misleading, I watched the entire debate. The Republicans really didn't study-up much on their own proposed bill. Instead they mostly stuck to the same talking points. Tom Coburn and Paul Ryan were probably the only ones who really understood their own plan.

    February 25, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. anderson n carolina

    Well CNN how would you know? You coverage was pathetic to say the least. How many times did you cut away to a commercial or a talking head, only to cover the Republican. Your bias is showing.

    February 25, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. oscar

    It is just like the wise words of a great book say "even if it is the right thing to do,they will do the oposite, for it is put in their hearts not to see or hear the truth"..they just dont want to change what has been wrong for years(republicans) why?????

    February 25, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. Mike

    And Reps actually expected to have the chance to provide any input into prohibiting the rape of working America by the spend, spend, spend dems? Geez folks, it is parlor tricks as usual for the dems. You are going to get their version of health care whether you want it or not. They are going to shove it down our collective throats. Just remember it come November when you get the chance to fire the ignoramuses.

    February 25, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Sadie

    God please, 30 million people need Health Care, 45,000 are dying a year because they have no Health Car and the republicans are complaining (again, as usual) that they only got 111 minutes of talking time......Don't count the Presidents 122 minutes....it was his Summit he is the President and he is the one trying to get everyone on the side of Health Care Reform.......so that leaves the Democrats had 135 minutes 24 more minutes than the Republicans.......big DEAL.....all I heard from the Republicans was more of the same to scrap the Bill and start over.......NO.....if the President has to I hope he uses Reconciliation.........and Haliluyah for the President for telling McCain to more or less shut up..........

    February 25, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. Willy Brown

    Change will come in 1/20/2013

    February 25, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Kristen Peel

    What a silver tounged devil Obama is. Sen. McCain raised the crux of the problem, which is Obama's corruption and Obama literally lies his way out of it. I'm an American through and through, and I don't want health care reform, or higher taxes, or bigger government, which is exactly what Obama and the progressives in the congress are pushing this (as well as cap and trade and the stimulus) through for. It's as systematic takeover and redistribution of wealth, power, and an attack on our civil liberties. I thing Obama should be impeached and investigated on corruption, and treason charges.

    February 25, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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