September 18th, 2013
08:17 PM ET
7 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. rob

    come on now u can do better then this as a maryland resident i can honestly say o malley is a duch bag n perry has no chance ether worst gov in maryland history right there

    September 18, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  2. Chaos

    Translation: Republicans hate Social Security and Medicare and, as soon as the AHCA kicks in, they have no chance of repealing it and they will be on the losing side again.

    September 18, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  3. tone7de

    You can not say the standard of living in Texas is the same as the standard of living in Maryland...Maryland has one of the highest standards in the USA.

    September 18, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  4. Ryan

    Isn't Obamacare basically Republican care, they got everything they wanted in it. 80% is their ideas.

    September 18, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  5. Wayne Vandergraff

    “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.

    In other words, Perry is in favor of opting not to have health insurance and sticking it to the taxpayers should they need treatment at an emergency room.

    September 18, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  6. Rembrant

    This statement coming from of the most credible sources in Washington .Riiiight... He makes Michelle Bachmann look like Albert Einstein. Perry is an imbecile whose two-volt brain is stuck in the stone age.

    September 18, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. MDGreg

    Come Marty, be honest. You don't agree that the private sector is better! You never have! And for you to sit there, and claim that MD is home to "Lockheed" and "Marriot"... what a farce! You literally paid these guys to stay after you raised taxes on everyone else! And aren't liberals supposed to be against Lockheed Martin? You know... those guys that make those huge killing machines you claim to hate?

    The simple, factual truth: Texas creates new jobs all the time, while Maryland pays companies just to keep old / existing ones from leaving. Simple truth.

    September 18, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  8. tom

    O’Malley is perfect another far left democrat anti gun anti death penalty

    September 18, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. OCCUPY WALLSTREET FOREVER

    Forget Hillary Clinton.....

    O'Malley for president 2016!!!!

    September 18, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. Hawkman

    Coming from Rick Perry, the most inarticulate individual ever to run for president, means this message has no credibility. One only has to look north to Canada, where I live, to know that universal Medicare can work and work well. We have had it for over 50 years. While the system is not perfect, it is there for you when you need it. Perry's estimate of costs are ridiculous. Nobody should believe this man.

    September 19, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  11. Scott Carey

    Dear Gov Perry.The glasses aren't working...you still sound like a dummy....

    September 19, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Petunia

    Obamacare bans annual and lifetime limits on coverage and mandates all pre-existing conditions are OK. The costs of those requirements will break the system. Sorry, but it is doomed. Money doesn't grow on trees.

    September 19, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  13. Jeff

    Rick Perry in a debate, Is that a joke? if brains were dynamite he wouldn't have enough to blow his nose. I sure hope he runs, The sequel to the last clown show should just about finish off this joke of a party. The man is a babbling idiot, run Rick run, your country needs you. Hillary will win in a landslide against you. Can you imagine him with his finger on the button? Now what country was that again? ah, ah, ah, oops. How could anyone think this man would make a good President?

    September 19, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. Evergreen

    How about freedom to make a wage that you can spport a family on and the freedom to have access to affordable healthcare.

    September 19, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  15. ep tor

    The title is misleading, or perhaps a typo. It should read the GOP is like the Titanic and sinking fast.

    September 19, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. Skip Glanz

    How is Romney care doing in Mass. just wondring

    September 19, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  17. ep tor

    Companies like Texas for the same reason they like Mexico and Bangladesh – cheap unskilled labour.

    September 19, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  18. scootfl78

    Yep, if you want credibility when talking about jobs and health care, then talk to a Republican.

    No wait...the opposite of that. They're terrible.

    September 19, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  19. ErnieS

    The more the GOP spew mis-information about the Affordable Care Act, the more they are afraid it's going to be awesome!
    Heck, it's already great for some and it's not even fully implemented yet!

    September 19, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  20. Larry L

    I sat with a group of other Texans this evening and we tried to count the moronic, unethical, and dishonest things Gov. "Oops" has said or done in the last few months. Everybody had a favorite stupid comment or criminal act but most focused on Perry's willingness to throw poor kids under the bus so he can make political points with the ultra-right-wing radicals of Texas. Even a crook like Perry should have a heart for kids.

    September 19, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  21. Larry L

    It's time for the Feds to investigate Perry's crooked "pay-to-play" system for lobbists in Texas. Huey Long would be proud of Governor "Oops".

    September 19, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  22. austinkeith

    Yesterday morning while driving my daughter to school in Austin traffic, I noticed how many out of state license plates there are here and the majority are from California. In just the last year Texas had a budget surplus of over $2 Billion and we have no individual state income tax. Gov. Perry's biggest fault is his lack of increasing State funds for education and relying on wealthier school districts to participate in "wealth sharing" (Robin Hood Plan) whereby my local schools had to eliminate some teachers despite being in a wealthy district and send half our school taxes to South Texas to build new schools and hire bilingual teachers for the influx of illegals. Maryland can keep their ObozoCare and union shops until they too go broke like Detroit.

    September 19, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  23. Martin

    The Titanic only sunk because it hit an iceberg at speed. It had sister ships of similar design that continued in service for many years after this disaster. So maybe if the GoP could spend a bit of effort being constructive about the ACA instead of trying to construct a better iceberg we'd all benefit.

    (Look, I know that this legislation was supposed to be "Obama's Waterloo" but even that allegory was faulty - did anyone in the GoP, McConnell included, actually read up about what happened at the Battle of Waterloo?)

    September 19, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  24. Mike

    That's the quote you use for the headline?

    How about where Perry says that Texans would rather have healthcare through the Emergency Room instead of having insurance?

    September 19, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Martin O’Malley did not have to say anything. Perry just proved how stupid and uninformed (biased by money?) by opening his mouth. Ms. O'Malleys mouth was open in shear amazement of the lies in the statement.

    September 19, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
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