September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
12 months ago

Debating O’Malley, Perry on healthcare: ‘putting more people on the Titanic’

Washington (CNN) – Red state-blue state governors Rick Perry and Martin O’Malley debated job creation and healthcare on Wednesday, with Perry equating adding people to Medicaid via Obamacare with “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.”

Both men are thought to be contenders for the White House in 2016 and on CNN’s “Crossfire,” they aired out some of the key issues that are likely to define their campaigns should they run.

Perry has been noncommittal about his plans to pursue the Republican nomination for a second time after the Texas governor’s campaign imploded last year. He showed none of the hesitation of 2012 on Wednesday night however, hammering home points about Texas job creation through limited government policies.

Ex-advisers hint at future as Perry announces exit as governor

When challenged on the disproportionately large number of minimum wage jobs created in Texas along with the large number of Texans without health insurance, Perry stuck to his talking points.

“We’re about giving people freedom,” Perry said, the freedom to have a job and the freedom to choose whether or not they have health insurance.

Perry continually cited the businesses that have set up shop in Texas, including Amazon, Facebook and Toyota.

“They didn’t come there if they were worried about whether or not there was not going to be a skilled workforce, or people were going to have healthcare,” Perry said.

Perry and O’Malley clashed most sharply over jobs, in large part spurred by Perry’s media outreach aimed at poaching Maryland businesses.

In response to Texas’ business-friendly environment, O’Malley fell back on job-creation language coined by President Barack Obama.

Rather than Texas policies that seem to disproportionately create minimum wage jobs, Maryland has chosen to focus on “building an economy from the middle out,” O’Malley said, via things like improving education.

2016 watch: O'Malley New Hampshire bound

O’Malley, a Democrat, told Perry that Texas is “not an economy that is actually lifting up the middle class.”

The two came at their different positions with radically different statistics and perspectives.

O’Malley spoke of talent creation and entrepreneurship encouraged in Maryland while Perry trumpeted improving education standards and the various options Texans have for healthcare, although he didn’t elaborate.

Texas and Maryland have also taken polar opposite views on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement better known as Obamacare.

O’Malley has continued to hold up Maryland’s early adoption of Obamacare while Perry has refused federal money to expand Medicaid via the healthcare law.

Perry argued that expanding Medicaid and embracing Obamacare would ultimately end up costing Texas $100 billion.

Putting “tens of thousands of people on a system that is broken,” Perry said of adding them to Medicaid, is akin to “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.”

In turn, O’Malley argued that the flexibility of the Obamacare healthcare exchanges that get underway next month, regardless of the inevitable hiccups in the system, will offer Maryland workers a competitive advantage – allowing them to move from job to job without worrying about losing their health insurance.


Filed under: Health care • Martin O'Malley • Rick Perry
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. HenryMiller

    I'm not a Perry fan, but that's a great way to describe Obamacare.

    September 18, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Perry does not rate as an idiot. He is a COMPLETE idiot, and liar as well.

    September 18, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. Anthony in California

    Hey Perry.. how'd it turn out for MA. You know, the state your boy Mitt implemented it? All those folks drowning or what?

    September 18, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  4. the hippies were right

    Why is Perry debating anyone? I live in Texas and EVERYONE here knows Perry has one hand up as a master debater, but he should at least do it in private and with his mouth closed.

    September 18, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  5. debra

    Sorry for any of you with a Pre-existing condition...this gov is sinking your ship of hope for insurance coverage!!!

    September 18, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. withoeve

    To afford health care as it has been would cost me 42% of my take home pay. I have a MA and am a teacher. I am not free to take care of my family. I need affordable health care.

    September 18, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. SpgfldTom

    ObamaCare, brought to you by the same people who used the IRS to harass their "enemies", ignored the NSA spying drama unfolding, had to get the Russians to pull the President out of a self-inflicted disaster and left our ambassador in Benghazi to die at the hands of a mob inflamed by a YouTube video. Nothing like having the destruction of the finest medical care in the world as your legacy.

    September 18, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. Big Ben

    Ronald Reagon once said "Medicare will be the end of freedom in the western world". The Republicans keep singing the same old song. Nothing for the little guy, all for the ruling class.

    September 18, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  9. Susan

    Perry has the wrong analogy. Obamacare is a Trojan Horse. It looks like a gift, but it isn't.

    September 18, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. Dan

    All of these people hope you have no idea what your talking about.

    September 18, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  11. devin

    Ah yes, Martin O'Malley. the dolt who referred to illegal immigrants as the " New Americans"

    September 18, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. Cindy

    You all could have been much more that you are.

    September 18, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  13. Cory

    Perry did a good job explaining the defaults of obamacare and he seemed smart

    September 18, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. Rozzie

    they're so full of themeles there's no room for truth & understanding - ignorance is bliss - just listen to 'em,
    stupid dummies!

    September 18, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. Bryan

    Texas is a third world country. I would literally rather live in South America than Texas.

    September 18, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  16. Tychi

    “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.” Only if the GOP puts a hole in the side of the ship.

    September 18, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. CM

    Couldn't agree with Rick Perry more on this issue...

    September 18, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. JoeFL

    wait! an obstructionist republican doesnt like Obamacare??? Alert the media!

    September 18, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. Hassan

    Ok, so Obamacare for Maryland, and no Obamacare for Texas. Is that fine solution?

    September 18, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  20. dean morse

    Perry said it right. "I don't care if people have healthcare. They have the choice not to have healthcare." Thank you Mr. Perry for your concerns.

    September 18, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. boungiorno

    sickening and i mean it literally

    September 18, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. Bill Smells

    The difference is that Perry can actually demonstrate job creation and growth, O'Malley can't. All he has are talking points. What O'Malley, and most Democrats miss, is that when jobs arrive, other jobs are created. More people working means more money is being spent in the economy. People with small businesses–the pizza places, the corner stores, the dry cleaners, etc.–those business see a pick up in business because there's more money coming into the local economy because the jobs are there. That's where the entrepreneurs and small business owners see their bottom lines improving. O'Malley isn't creating jobs, Perry is. Perry's economy is already ahead of O'Malley's.

    September 18, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. DH

    Gov Perry , you are the one throwing your people in your state into the ocean without a thought in your head. Your state has the highest number of uninsured Americans!!!!! You need to find your brain like Arizona's governor did.

    September 18, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. here and back again

    Gov Perry's view...if you can't get health care on your minimum wage job...that's your problem. They can get treated by going to the emergency room...that cost is paid for...by...ummmm...well...ummm...it is a Titanic sinking...and Sarah can see Russia...

    September 18, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  25. Steven Brooks

    Perry's already lost any hopes he might have had to be elected to any higher office.

    September 18, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
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