August 24th, 2009
09:26 AM ET
12 years ago

Congresswoman says some senators 'Neanderthals'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Waters is urging the president to keep the public option plan."]

(CNN) –– As President Obama begins his vacation in Martha's Vineyard this week, the fiery debate over health care reform continues to rage.

The latest member of congress to wade into the issue is California Rep. Maxine Waters, a liberal Democrat who at a town hall over the weekend implored the president not to drop the public option plan and said his efforts at bipartisanship are futile.

Watch: Obama pressured on Public Option

"Yes, we know that you are a nice man, that you want to work with the opposite side of the aisle. But there comes a time when you need to drop that and move forward," she said. "We're saying to you, Mr. President, 'Be tough. Use everything that you've got. Do what you have to do. And we have your back.' "

The longtime congresswoman, whose district includes much of Los Angeles, also described some senators who are opposed to the health care reform bill as "Neanderthals."

Earlier: Lieberman warns Obama not to do too much

"Not only are we going to do everything we can to organize and put pressure on the senators - some of whom are Neanderthals - we're going to say to the president, 'We want you to use every weapon in your basket in order to get those senators to do what they should be doing,' " she said.

The comments were met with strong applause in the forum held at L.A. Southwest College, a community college that that abuts several impoverished neighborhoods.

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. William

    Will Ms. Waters, or anyone in congress for that matter, agree to forgo their existing government health plan and become a part of the proposed public option? If the answer is yes perhaps the plan has merit, if no we are clearly being duped.

    August 24, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. mdm

    good way to win friends and influence people....

    if the reconciliation process is used, it will blow up in the Democrats face for the next two Congressional elections...

    August 24, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Dee

    Classy. I'm sure her district is very proud of her.

    August 24, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Where did she get the impression that the President "wants to reach across the aisle"? He has never even attempted anything close to it.

    August 24, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Mike

    Oh how the hypocrisy is just DRIPPING here. The very ones who cried out for bipartisanship with ad hominan attacks during the Bush years, and few louder than Maxine Waters, are now singing a new song. It's just amazing how power corrupts and corrupts completely!!!

    August 24, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. T the B

    Since when has the US been known for being compassionate?

    August 24, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Karen

    Keep it coming, Ms. Waters. Only helps those of us who disagree with Obama.

    August 24, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. MO

    Great job Maxine-Name-calling always works. BTW aren't ther several of YOUR OWN party who are balking at this bill?

    August 24, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. CF

    She is absolutely right!

    August 24, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Opus X

    Maxine Waters is not exactly a beacon of intelligence. Does anyone still listen to her? Outside of her district anyway...

    August 24, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Christian

    Laughable. A poster child for out of touch liberal democrat/socialists who feel as though there is only 1 correct opinion and thus the opposition should not be listened to.
    Voter her out please.

    August 24, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. tony from Chi town

    Ms. Waters, to take a line from Barney Franks, "What planet are you living on?" No one in the administration is interested in bipartisanship. The Republicans couldn't stop Obama care if they wanted to. If you guys could get the conservative Democrats to go along with Obama care it would be a done deal. Great Propoganda to make it seem like the Republicans are the evil ones blocking your attempts to save us all from the evil doctors and insurance companies. I guess if you say it enough and the state run media doesn't challenge you on it, there will be a good number of mindless Americans who will "drink the Koolaid"

    August 24, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. republicans destroyed America!

    Neanderthals is actually too nice of a word to call most republican politicians. They should be ashamed of themselves but they're not because they have no conscience!

    August 24, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Wheres Waldo,I mean Elrushbo?

    Todays republicans remind me of that movie "Quest For Fire".The river people in the movie already knew how to start fire,while the neanderthals were the brutes without brains.hahaha.

    August 24, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Pierre

    Name-calling is always an ignorant way of expressing oneself. It reflects on the speaker, rather than those spoken about. But as they used to say, "what do you expect from a hog but a grunt." Keep on at it, Maxine Waters, you are helping in your own little way to defeat the health care reform initiative that has been proposed by the President.

    August 24, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Jhak Schiddt

    Maxine Waters is Corrupt. It does not matter what she says, only what she does. And what she does is engage in political corruption in a rascist campaign against Latinos in Los Angeles.
    Get rid of her.

    August 24, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. dee

    Interesting that Waters should endorse coersion and force - rather than working through to a solution that's amenable to all. Surely she's familiar with this quote from Obama: “A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.”

    August 24, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. David

    Can't you just feel the tolerance from Democrats? Anybody but Obama in 2012.

    August 24, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Thomas

    Does this idiotic "representative" not realize that this government is – or is supposed to be – a government of the people, for the people, and by the people? I don't understand how my fellow Americans continue to elect such individuals who hold such a great disdain for the Constitution of the United States of America to Congress and the White House. Maybe it is a "I am owed" mentality, whatever . . . but it is NOT the position of the President to "force" Senators to do what he and the majority in Congress want. It is the responsibilty of Congress(wo)men to REPRESENT their constituents – not their own idealogy or that of the president (and, yes, president is lower case for a reason.)

    August 24, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Rep. Walters, you are being far too kind calling those moronic republican politicians neanderthals. They are worse than scum.

    August 24, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Ron Ft. Myers

    It is hard to believe anyone could be that arrogant!

    August 24, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. seeker561

    "...his efforts at bipartisanship are futile."

    The republicans are not Obama's problem on this issue. His problem is disention in his own party. The democrats must learn to speak with one voice if they are to get anything done.

    August 24, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. James

    Yea Maxine, we should run the country like California...
    Fix your home state before you go giving advice.

    August 24, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Steve

    Come on Rep. Waters that isn't fair and surely insulting to Neanderthals!

    August 24, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. paul oregon

    we need a public opition!!!!!! we also need to remember at election times the party of NO ,and there dem. buddies like the sen from n.d. the blue dogs espically , lieberman. if people wornt so stupid we could take of this in a couple election.

    August 24, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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