March 29th, 2010
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Pelosi: GOP used fear to turn elderly against health care bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Republicans used a ‘campaign of fear’ to get senior citizens to oppose health care reform.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Republicans used a ‘campaign of fear’ to get senior citizens to oppose health care reform.

(CNN) – Republicans used a "campaign of fear" based on false information to get senior citizens to oppose health care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

In response to questions at a news conference in her home district in San Francisco, California, Pelosi accused Republicans of spreading misinformation against Democratic health care legislation backed by President Barack Obama, who made the issue his top domestic priority.

"There was a campaign of fear that was launched (at senior citizens) as soon as the president was elected," Pelosi said.

The reform plan includes cutting the costs of Medicare, the government-run health plan for seniors, by about $500 billion.

During months of debate on the health care bill signed into law last week by Obama, Republicans repeatedly said it was impossible to cut Medicare costs by such a large amount without reducing benefits.

Obama and Democrats say the Medicare cuts involve eliminating wasteful spending and fraud.

On Monday, Pelosi called the Medicare cost reductions "essential" to health care reform, and said Republican claims the bill would cut benefits for the elderly are "truly false."

Polls show the American public remains sharply divided over the health care issue. Pelosi said she believes polls in coming months will show more support for the bill as the public learns more about it.


Filed under: GOP • Health care • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. A Guy

    Right, as the lies and hyperbole that the right-wing crazies used to poison the "debate" about this legislation are exposed, more and more people will see that this bill, while far from perfect, is good for the country, unlike 98% of what Republicans have done in the last decade.

    March 29, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Mark from Louisiana

    A bill empowering police to arrest illegal immigrants and charge them with trespassing for simply being in the state of Arizona, is likely just weeks away from becoming the toughest law of its kind anywhere in the country.
    The country's toughest sheriff takes rehabilitation to new levels.

    Already passed by the state's Senate and currently being reconciled with a similar version in the House, the bill would essentially criminalize the presence of the 460,000 illegal immigrants living in the state.

    The measure allows police to detain people on the suspicion that they are illegal immigrants, outlaws citizens from employing day laborers, and makes it illegal for anyone to transport an illegal immigrant, even a family member, anywhere in the state.

    March 29, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. me

    I was watching Rick Sanchez and he had a segment about the Tea Party. As I viewed the crowd I noticed A LOT of senior citizens sitting in their lawn chairs. I also viewed at a different time the RVs that were parked for a couple of days waiting for the movement on Reid's hometown. Shouldn't the question be asked what these demonstrators think of Medicare. That is a government run program that works well for us seniors. Why don't we just take the recommendation of Congressman Grayson from Florida that all Americans should be on Medicare. It makes a lot of sense.

    March 29, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Tom, St Paul

    Ms. Peolisi is 100% correct. I saw this Republican-engendered fear about Medicare in members of my own family. Absolutely reprehensible!

    March 29, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Joseph-Ohio

    Once American figure out that Republicans have been running and getting into office based on our perdictable reaction to "Fear Campaigning" it will really spell the end of them. Republicans have long counted on "FEAR" as their weapon to win. It is shameful and sick!

    March 29, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. dthompson

    ..speaker Nancy,you and your puppets need to listen to the people that put you in office...you don't know what is good for us that pay the bill...you are out of touch and have a nasty attitude...stop spending money/stop spending money and keep quite.

    March 29, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Angy

    Of course they used fear. that is the only thing they know how to do. they are the party of fear and the party of no. so if one way doesn't work they use the other. what they really are, are WHINNING LOSERS!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are as guity of fear tactics as a traveling salesman going door to door and telling seniors their house is on fire after they've set the fire. It happens more often to seniors than we'd like to think, I'm one of them and Republicans should be more than ashame of themselves.

    March 29, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Dennis

    I don't need anyone else to tell me this is a bad piece of legislation. Anyone who can read can see that. I guess the Democrats can't read. The next Congress will look very different.

    March 29, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Dennis in AZ

    Fear? Every time this woman opens her mouth it scares me. It's the same old rhetoric from both the Democrats and Republicans used to steal our money and produce nothing but carbon dioxide, well heated.
    Put me in the category of disillusioned by all govt actions, bored with political rhetoric by those who have fed us a poison pill in a Snickers bar (HC Law), and angry at those who would continue to take freedoms away from every American under the guise of the same old rhetoric we've been hearing for years. Send them all home in November.

    March 29, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Anyone with any sense fears the recklessly irresponsible policy of the Democratic Party to spend trillions of dollars we don't have and add to a debt burden that's going to crush the US economy.

    "Obama and Democrats say the Medicare cuts involve eliminating wasteful spending and fraud."

    Plans to "eliminate wasteful spending and fraud" in government have never worked. Never. Not even once. At best, a few of the more egregious instances can be driven underground for a while, but always resurface in more subtle forms.

    March 29, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Willy Brown

    I spell fear for the elderly- P-E-L-O-S-I

    March 29, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Doug,lib jersey

    Nancy should be old enough to realize that older Americans remember what people like her and her national socialist party did over in Europe 70 years ago.

    Older Americans and people who are not brainwashed Obama-bots who are spoon-fed hate like a crackhead firing up a rock, know what the left is up to, the violence they are conducting, the lies they are spewing about decent americans, and their desire to take away our rights, freedom, and wealth.

    March 29, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Realist

    The GOP used a **campaign of fear** during the healthcare debate. This should not be shocking to anyone who because this is the only way republicans can get back into power. The republicans use mis-information, propaganda and fear as a tool for getting votes and in Nov the voters will show them we have had enough.

    March 29, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Jeff in Virginia

    Here is yet more of the he-said-she-said drivel.

    It is a simple fact that the GOP lied to grandma about the contents of the health care reform bill. There is no need to qualify this fact as "Pelosi says..."

    The truth is that CNN should call out liars themselves, not wait for the liars' opposition.

    March 29, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. MikeH

    Newsflash!!! The Republicans use fear tactics to turn uniformed people against Obama, excuse me, against Barack Hussein Obama! Who would have thought.

    Where you goin' with this one CNN?

    March 29, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. 1415jjs

    There didn't need to be a campaign launched....the bill itself says it is going to cut 500b from medicare spending....it is plain enough in its lanquage....us seniors can read and figure out things for ourselves...and you can bet this senior will be voicing her opinion with her vote....against any and everyone that voted for this health care atrocity.....my soon to be born baby grandaughter will be paying the bill for this mess and her children will be too...with spending like this, the CBO projects that our debt will be 90% of the GDP by 2020....does that make sense???????????????????????????????

    March 29, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Brink

    To a large measure that is true, but the Democratic party has to stop playing defense and explain things better to the public and call out the people and entities that use the strategy of purposeful misinformation, as well as those who are fact challenged (such as Sarah Palin who looks like she is now the Lady Gaga of American politics).

    March 29, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Winning The Bumper Sticker War

    Yes they did ... that's what Republicans Politicians Do .... They LIE.

    So Deal With It. You Democrats almost dropped the ball in the BUMPER STICKER War.

    It's great to have the more solid intellectual position ... which Democrats usually have .... but all too often the Donkeys let the GOPer's win the communications battle.

    Don't let it happen again. We don't want to hear excuses.

    March 29, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. ray

    the republicans, the racists on the right has an excuse for everything when they are been caught, hahahahah it would be a good time to round up all the racists on the right when they get back in congress, tie them all up in time square new york, wipped these racists in public on national tv so the world can watch.

    March 29, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. ray

    yes, yes, thats what the republicabs racists on the right does, fear, fear, fear and fear. these red neks has nothing to offer the american people,

    March 29, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Chipster

    The GOP uses fear and prejudice for every campaign and on every issue they can. I believe people are going to be shocked about the distortions and outright lies that have had them so terrified of this legislation. It isn't perfect but what we have now is unsustainable.

    Now, we must concentrate on growing our manufacturing and other industries. Our trade agreements need to be more fair. Businesses in this country cannot compete with products produced by people who are paid pennies per day with no benefits and no environmental standards. We're supporting some nations to pollute the Earth and abuse people. We wouldn't accept those conditions here so why support them elsewhere?

    March 29, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Here's a legitimate challenger for you.

    Ask any person who screams until they're blue in the face against the health care plan why they are against the health care plan, with specifics, and 50 bucks says they can't do it. I've done it at least two dozen times and have yet to find an "elightened, Texas GOP" that can do it!

    March 29, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Blink

    Cruella de Vil again always demonizing everyone else. Its a good laugh everytime she speaks.

    March 29, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. LacrosseMom

    Yes, Speaker Pelosi, the GOP used their same old strategy:

    hate, lies, fear and division, nothing new.

    March 29, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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