September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
11 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. charles bowen

    Obamacare and the mean Spirited Politics of Boehner are what will kill the republican party of which i used to be a member untill Obstructionists Tea Baggers And Religious Fanatics took over the party....Way to go congress you really got the message now put your heads back in the sand blinded to reality.......Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    September 18, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. travisgentry

    Wasn't Rick Perry petitioning for Obamacare dollars for his state?

    September 18, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. KG

    They are already speculating that the fraud rate with Obamacare will be 30%, meaning 3 of every 10 people in the system will illegally get government subsidized rates (i.e. taxpayer subsidized). Guess what percentage of those free loaders will vote Democrat next election. Pathetic.

    September 18, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. Bill

    After listening to a very well spoken and insistent Rick Perry,
    I am more than relieved that he is NOT our president.

    September 18, 2013 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  5. seafoodwatch

    I lived in Texas for 30 years. I was never aware that Texas had any healthcare options. If I didn't have it at work, I didn't have it. Some other states have rather good healthcare programs before Obamacare.

    September 18, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  6. Richard

    No the Titanic was the economy Bush left behind. He was the Captain who backed up after hit the iceburg an then hit it over an over. Then he was the first one in the life boat an handed the ship over to Obama. who has been bailing for 5 yrs now. I think the Republicans are the band that play with the ship went down

    September 18, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. Incredulous45

    Dueling with cooked pasta. Yawn.

    September 18, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  8. Edward Beazley

    Stop it before it works. I pay over $10,000 a year for healthcare for myself. My ship has already sunk. I think we should hire Canada to run our health care system. That would cut the cost in half.

    September 18, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. bergus

    whatever it takes to increase government dependancy...

    September 18, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Who me?

    I am looking forward to Rick Perry gong show in 2016.

    September 18, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. tarura

    Like a Titanic – destined to sink !

    September 18, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. dmwinsd@yahoo.com

    Awesome that intellectual giant Perry is still in the running for the GOP. Will 2016 be a repeat of 2012, just without Romney? I can't wait for the next "Uzbekibekibekistanstan."

    September 18, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. I'mvotingforHillary

    Hillary will wipe the floor with these two.

    September 18, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. JLS639

    Sorry, Rick Perry is not winning the nomination in 2016. GOP voters don't want someone that dim-witted and they will recognize that he an extremely weak candidate.

    September 18, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. Dave

    He got it wrong. The Republican party is the Titanic if they shut down government over Obamacare. Figure out a way to control your Tea Party members or the public will, and you lose the House.

    September 18, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. MV

    Rick Perry is dumber than an iceberg.

    September 18, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Dave

    GOP is suicidal.

    September 18, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. PCc

    LOL Perry using the Titanic metaphor, which couldn't be more perfect in describing his presidential bid. And if Obamacare is the Titanic, then the defunding Obamacare effort is the Republican Syria–drawing a red line, leaving themselves no graceful way out.

    September 18, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. For the Duration

    The problem with Perry's "job creation" is that it benefits mostly the employer and not the employee. The "freedoms" he claims in this debate are mainly the freedoms of executives, not those of normal Texans. Saying people have the "freedom" to not have health insurance is another way of saying they can't afford it and, for some reason that Perry won't openly discuss, should be happy about it. What a joke.

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

    America's healtcare system is the Titanic, blithely crusing through the night ignoring the icebergs.

    Obamacare and Medicaid are the Titanic's lifeboats, and governors who refuse the Medicaid expansion are the White Star shipping company executives who chose not to put enough of them onboard for all the passengers.

    September 18, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Michael Hobart

    Perry apparently doesn't care that Texas leads the nation in the percentage of people without medical insurance (23.8% in 2011 vs national average of 15.7%). The fact that this results in more people going to emergency rooms where the hospitals cannot turn away uninsured patients. The result is higher charges for those who do have insurance and higher costs for the state, thus for taxpayers.

    But then Gov. Perry has never been influenced by either facts or logic in all too many areas. Sigh...

    September 18, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. ghostwriter

    So this exchange. Perry was touting how his state in #1 in employment. Didn't like the fact that most of the jobs he's created are min. wage jobs.

    September 18, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. noperry

    lets talk about the business friendly state of texas.. Much from the federal sector contracting seems to be migrating to Texas. South where I am they allow corporations to bid on federal contracts however somehow they avoid paying the employees the federally regulated wage determined rates for particular skill sets! less than half in most instances. They are enslaving the populations. The populace is starved for any kind of employment after enduring a meltdown of the oil industry in the 80s. True their cost of living is lower but for the most part there standard of living is lower as well. Many Texans will agree with the policies of the state govt. Many have never left the state of Texas. I did 30 years ago to work for Navy and am attempting to resettle at home with aging family but im baffled at the concept of just making enough wage to pay the bills. As for healthcare it is cheap here. but its cheap because theyve allowed the insurers to deny coverage for certain groups of the population. If they only knew... You cant even tell em about the world around them.

    September 18, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. Wes Scott

    Arguing with Rick Perry is like wrestling with a pig – you will both get dirty and the pig (Perry) will love it! The man comes close to making Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann look almost intelligent. He almost makes Bush II look intelligent!

    September 18, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. roro

    Please tell me that Mr. I don't know the third one – oops thinks he can run and win in 2016. These guys are so arrogant, they don't even know when they're making jackholes out of themselves. What is going on with the people of Texas? Perry – Gohmert – Cruz etc.... what are they thinking? Perry threatened secession, and perhaps it's time for them to follow through. Texas gets back a lot more from the government than they give, while states like New Jersey give more than they get back. In fact, many of the states who are so against government get back more than they give in. We the people are subsidizing them. They denigrate the government and then proudly show off the huge checks they get from where? from the government!

    September 18, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
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