March 17th, 2010
12:37 PM ET
5 years ago

White House reacts to Kucinich

Rep. Dennis Kucinich announces he will support the health care reform bill.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich announces he will support the health care reform bill.

Washington (CNN) - Reacting to the announcement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that he'll support the health care reform bill even though he doesn't like it, a senior administration official at the White House said "obviously we welcome the announcement and we want everyone to support the bill."

President Obama had been wooing Kucinich, who voted no on the earlier House bill and had been undecided on whether he'd embrace the Senate bill.

The Ohio congressman accompanied Obama on Air Force One Monday for a day trip to his district just outside Cleveland, Ohio. During the flight, White House aides say the president made the case for health care reform.

Obama got some help from audience members at the Strongsville, Ohio event. As the president introduced Kucinich, some in the crowd shouted, "vote yes!" Obama seized the moment by responding, "Did you hear that Dennis? Go ahead, say that again."

Kucinich is only one vote, but he represents progress for the president who has launched a full court press to win over undecided Democrats.

soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Kucinich's support of this bill is about as strong a signal as anybody could want that it's NOT something we should have. You people that are so eager to support this apparently don't realize that the benefits and money don't come out of thin air. Wait until you are denied coverage, withheld treatment and the other hidden costs come into the picture.

    The opinions of the majority of Americans are clear...there is some "low hanging fruit" that pretty much EVERYBODY agrees on. Why can't we do this first, and THEN get to the more problematic parts??? Answer: Dems need to say they pushed this through. Well, guess what? This is going to be their downfall.

    March 17, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Steve- Illinois

    Wow! A flight on AF-1!!! What will congressmen change their votes for next?
    "Obama got some help from audience members at the Strongsville, Ohio event. As the president introduced Kucinich, some in the crowd shouted, "vote yes!" Obama seized the moment by responding, "Did you hear that Dennis? Go ahead, say that again."

    You mean all 200 of them? This guy better look around, Obama drew thousands in Ohio before the election, now he draws less than a Tea Party in Reno!
    When Obama comes back to help him campaign, he can kiss his political career goodbye! He'll be standing on the runway watching AF-! leave without him.

    March 17, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. BURNS FROM NH

    This is really good,a liberal who does'nt like the bill who now wants
    to vote for it, Something wrong with this,does,nt like it but will actually
    vote for it and dos'nt even have a clue what it contains. Sounds like he has his nubbin greased at the expence of the taxpayers in Ohio
    as well as all of the rest of america. We really have to get rid of thes fools in November folks,this is way past believable in any sense of the word.

    March 17, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. DH Mid MI

    Dennis is a cheap date..............it just took an airplane ride for him to abandon his principles.

    March 17, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Independent

    I wonder how much the bribe for this vote will cost the taxpayers !!

    March 17, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Wade

    Another Dem who will be out of a job soon.

    If you don't like something Dennis, why are you voting for it?
    I guess the Obama bribe worked.
    Some much for personal integrity,

    March 17, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Smart Move

    Smart move by Prez Obama. He understands that Dennis is very important to have on board. Also, the House should vote on the Senate bill that passed anyway. Just because one seat changed in the Senate, does not mean that what 60 Senators voted yes on should go unaccounted for.

    March 17, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    He's finally acting older than he looks.

    March 17, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. AZ Steve

    Thank you Dennis!

    March 17, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Come on you idiots who call yourselves "undecided Dems"!! Stop worrying about your job and do the right thing for the American people who put you in your job in the first place! You do right by us, we'll have your backs in November. If you screw us, you will PAY. Dennis finally got his head around the right way, now it's time for the rest of you to follow suit!

    March 17, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. Kel

    I wonder what the photos look like that they have of him?
    Seriously, to say, I don't support it, but will vote for it show people how screwed up politics have become? Either you support it or you don't, Fing fence sitter.

    March 17, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. tess

    well, so much for conviction – he was bought and paid for just like every other dem!!!

    March 17, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Rob Johnson

    After all the bluster of the past few months, if Kucinich and other liberals think they have ANY chance for a public option or single payer, they are living in a fantasy world. Glad to see he came to his senses.

    If this plan isn't perfect, it can always be tweaked in the future, despite the dire predictions of the Tea Party types that passage of this bill will mean the immediate destruction of the American Way of Life.

    March 17, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Angus McDugan

    Yet, another politician who has turned a deaf ear to the people and wipes his you know what with the Constitution.

    March 17, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Proud American

    It is so sad to see people for this bill. The obamastration should be ashamed of their self using a delicate situation like Health Care to try and sneak a socialist agenda into the United States. Where is Regan when you need him? Barack Obama cares not ONE bit about the Health Care in America. All he cares about his turning the American values we cherish so much over on its head and piss on it. And using health care to do it. People who are for it simply are not educated or researched enough to know what is really going on. The ignorance of this country is what is going to let somebody like Barack Obama and his cronies push us into a broke, useless Socialist country. You cannot pick and choose things you like out Socialism. Sure some aspects sound good, but they do not work. Socialism and Communism is something we have been fighting for so long. Now we have to fight it within our government.

    March 17, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. pj

    I wonder what hey bribed Kusinich with? If they didn't bribe him, they probably broke off his right arm twisting it so hard.

    March 17, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Sheena

    This Senator was obviously bought out... What crooked dealings. These people should be jailed for what they are doing.

    March 17, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Annie, Atlanta

    Thank you Dennis Kucinich. We're getting crushed out here under medical costs and debt. We need help; the sooner the better!

    March 17, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. DS

    Thank goodness one of my Democrats has gotten their heads out of the clouds to do what is right. Thank you, Mr. Kucinich. With your help, I hope that others of your Democratic colleagues will also do right and vote yes for health care reform this week. I have seen too many patients this week who cannot afford to get care.

    March 17, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Angela

    Thank you, Mr. Kucinich. I applaud you for standing up for us!!

    March 17, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. Independent63

    Why would someone vote for something that they don't like? I think I can sum it up...backdoor deal. More business as usual in Washington. I'm still waiting for that change you promised Mr President.

    March 17, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Gerry M

    Although Dennis Kucinich is only one vote in the House, it is an important milestone for ObamaCare to pass the House. It marks the end of the liberal left opposition to the President and is a sign that other holdouts on the left and the right may be able to see the light and vote for reform. The writing is on the wall for the Democrats. They had better pass this health care reform and get on with defending it to the voters. The 2012 and 2014 elections are going to be really ugly no matter what so it is best to get this passed and get on with defending the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and the eventual re-election of President Obama to his second term.

    March 17, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Laverne

    Country First! I hope your buddies are listening to your reasoning, it is not about the next election, but about the American people.

    March 17, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Leslie Jack

    It's too bad that the Health Care Reform Bill has come down to such a cliffhanger although President Obama was handed it by the American people. They wanted it but with Mr. Obama's inexperience in government it has now come down to this. But it doesn't make it any less worthwhile for the American people. How can the people who supported this in the past year or two abandon their principles and not want it now? Hopefully it hasn't been that they have been listening to the propaganda of not being able to pay for it that has been coming from the Opposition on the other side of Congress. Is everyone forgetting what party has put the country in the deep recession or even depression that we are now experiencing by their tax cuts for the wealthy without anything to show America for it except new factories overseas taking America's jobs; and selling homes to the unqualified creating a real estate bubble because of their dislike of Regulations for the good of the majority. This is what Republican individualism has gotten us, the rule of the Minority and the Majority having to live off pittances handed down to them. And now after eight years of Republican rule they are still getting the ears of the people and having them think they know more about handling money than the rest of us do. They may know how to make the money but they sure do not know how to spend it for the good of the country, that is to spend it wisely.

    Vote for Health Care Reform NOW as you wanted to do during the Presidental campaign. The great need is still there and I'm sure Mr. Obama has learned his lesson in politicing that too much talk is as bad or worst than is too little and not letting people know at all what you are doing. Stop trying to get everyone on side but go and take action with the idea and Bills when you have enough support for them before the Opposition can misinterpret your niceity and civility for weakness and insecurity.

    March 17, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Mike

    Obama claims that, under his plan, employer health premiums will drop up to 3,000 percent, which will then of course lead to you getting a raise.

    Let’s see — if your employer is paying, say, $15,000 toward your health care premiums, and your employer’s premium drops 3,000 percent, the insurance company will have to reimburse your employer to the tune of about $450,000 (hopefully your boss shares just a little of that windfall with you).

    Wow — if the government taking over 1/6 of the US economy could get us a raise like that, just imagine how much we’ll be making after Obama, Pelosi and Reid have taken over everything!
    Thanks Barry!

    March 17, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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