August 19th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
13 years ago

DeMint blasts Obama's 'false promises'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said Wednesday that 'there is no free lunch' when it comes to Democratic efforts on health care reform."]
MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint on Wednesday urged opponents of health care reform to stand up to the White House and "stop them cold" before they can pass a government-run health insurance option.

"The only compromise they're interested in is what type of government run type of plan," the conservative Republican said of the Obama administration. "What we know we have to do is stop them cold with a government plan so that they'll sit down and talk with the American people about how to get Americans insured."

DeMint made the comments while speaking to reporters after holding a town hall meeting in Myrtle Beach, where the senator was on friendly turf as he laid out his critique of the reform plans currently being worked out in the House and Senate. More than 400 people jammed into a Brazilian steakhouse to see the senator, and most cheered him on as he pummeled the president's plans.

Citing a CNN poll released earlier this month, DeMint said that more than 80 percent of Americans are satisfied with their health care. That same poll found that about half of Americans favor the President's health care reform agenda.

He said a government-run plan would drive private insurers out of business and reduce the quality of care and access around the country. One his primary concerns, shared by many in the crowd, was the cost of the Democratic plan. He said the president has been on a liberal "rampage" since taking office in January.

"There is no free lunch here," DeMint said. "These big promises are false promises."

After the event, DeMint told CNN that Democrats will pay a serious political price in 2010 if the White House tries to push their plan through the Senate using "reconciliation" – a maneuver that would require just 51 votes instead of a filibuster-proof supermajority.

"They are talking about changing the rules of the Senate in order to pass something they cannot pass their own way," DeMint said of the White House threat, which was floated by administration officials late Tuesday. "I think if they do that they are going to feel the wrath of the American people as no party has seen before, and I think you'll see Democrats falling in droves in the next election."

DeMint added: "I hope anyone who votes for a government takeover of health care, whether they're Republican or Democrat, loses the next election."

At a town hall near Charleston on Monday, DeMint avoided a question from an audience-member who asked if he was planning to run for president himself in 2012. On Wednesday, he made clear that he was was not. "No, I am not thinking about running for president," he told CNN.

A group of about a dozen local Democrats gathered peacefully outside the town hall to demonstrate in support of the president's plan. Some carried signs provided by Health Care for America Now, a national coalition of labor unions and liberal groups urging Congress to pass health care reform.

Jamie Sanderson, a local Democratic activists who organized the demonstration, said that if Democrats in Washington fail to pass reform, they might never have another chance to do so.

"It's about what this country is founded on, people take care of people, whether in this country or abroad," he said. "If we lose that message now, we're never going to get it back."

Filed under: Health care • Jim DeMint • President Obama
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    DeMint has shown himself to be an old southern racist in every sense of the word. It comes through every time he opens his mouth. His kind of racism is directed towards every descendant that did not come over on the Mayflower; that includes a big majority of all our country's citizenry, namely, blacks, catholics, jews, orientals, hispanics, muslims, canadians etc., etc. .


    August 19, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. JonDie

    DeMint's contribution to solving our country's problems? ZERO.

    DeMint's contribution to causing our country's problems? 100%.

    Shoot, Mark Sanford looks good compared to Jim DeMint.

    August 19, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Constitution does NOT provide for free health care to our citizens NOR citizens of other countries! "

    A. The Constitution DOES provide the Congress with the power to create rights. Look it up or shut up.

    B. No draft or proposed bill results in "illegals" being covered. The receive service at emergency rooms like any other person would and does because we're human beings...altho I've been questioning how far astray from that the GOP has wandered for months now.

    August 19, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Ren from Baltimore

    DeMint, hand in your papers. You are so out of it that it's no longer entertaining to any of us. You can't even carry the Republican flag without showing what a poor actor and liar you are.

    South Carolinians, how did you get into this mess? Poor, poor Sen Graham-he's got a lot of work to do back home.

    August 19, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Deuce

    CNN. The Obama Fan-Club. If it's an Obama idea! it's a good Idea.
    If not, CNN doen't even mention it..

    August 19, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Hammer

    Simply put no governmnt in healthcare under any circumstances!
    What part of that do you not understand?

    August 19, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. AstroTurf This

    The Democrats do not care about fixing healthcare. This is about socialism. This is about gaining control of 1/6 of the economy. They've been trying to take over free enterprise for decades. Once they get the healthcare industry in their greedy little claws then it opens an entire system of socialism in this country. We will become dependent on the government. As government grows, the economy will shrink. Those in power will reap the benefits and make money...the rest of us will be left with the scraps. Americans need to wise up and become educated. This is socialism. This is a power grab by the far-left.

    August 19, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. I married my sister in S.C

    Yeehaw,the South shall rise agin.We have Insurance Giants here with their world HQs and they pay us to say anything,yeehaw.

    August 19, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. AstroTurf This

    Interesting how CNN now always the Obama-bots to post comments and censors the conservative views. It's kinda like Hugo Chavez....

    August 19, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    DeMint is correct when he states that 80% of Americans are happy with their private plans. They don't want a major government overhaul of their private plans or a government take over of health care.
    Obama being the smart guy he is has changed the name of the reform from health care reform to health insurance reform and has started to make inusance the big villian. The House has just requested information from all the big insurance companies on how much they pay exectuives, bounues, and things like company paid retreats. This will be used to smear the insurance compaines. Looks to me like Obama it starting a campaign to try and make the 80% of Americans who like their private plans not like them. Then they won't care if the government takes away their private plans and pushes them into a public (really a government) plan.

    August 19, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. independent

    The only thing false in this 'debate' are the statements/lies by the GOP about the proposals put forth in Congress. Shame on the Republicans.

    August 19, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Gonzo in Houston

    The right is currently trying to stop Obamacare with the same tactics it used to sell us a war in Iraq: fears, smears, and lies.

    "They're gonna pull the plug on Grandma!" ("Saddam has WMD's")

    "They're gonna ration healthcare!" ("Saddam was behind 9/11!")

    "Nobody really wants this bill." ("Anyone who doubts the need for this war is obviously unpatriotic")

    You fooled us once, but not again.

    August 19, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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