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. Juli

    Brilliant, congresswoman. Brilliant. Let's name call and finger point instead of working together. Let's forget open discussion on the merits of the issue and call those who don't agree with us cavemen.

    She is a perfect example of why every single congressperson in DC needs to be replaced.

    August 24, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. T

    And I'm glad these folks are finally pushing back. The dems sound ridiculous. You have the majority, yet you're allowing the minority to frame the debate.

    The fringe left should have been pitted against the fringe right a long time ago.

    That way the foolishness of the right would have been muted against their counterparts.

    And the middle could have came up with a plan that was mutually beneficial to all. Instead the middle of the road plan has been called extreme and the American people have no idea who's telling the truth.

    August 24, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Keith in Austin

    Give us a break Maxine! Your attacks don't hold any water now. I hope you get a job w/ ACORN when you're not re-elected.

    August 24, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Raheim in Afghanistan

    I totally agree Representative Waters. If only Mr. Obama would see the same view, I feel we'd all be better served . I love that he is more of a centrist but the Republicans are out to break him as the "Party of No". At every opportunity they are presented, it has been one that shows obstinence and partisan politics. The GOP will stop at nothing to make sure he fails including voting against everything our President does. We have too many without insurance due to the insurance company having no check & balances, no competition and no conviction of heart other than to get rich off someone else's pain. Let us make it more affordable so that it can be accomplished. Let it be the people's choice. The only ones complaining are those that are misinformed or those that have insurance already. I don't play majorities and minorities but make a choice in the best interest of every last American; those with and without healthcare.

    August 24, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. gardine

    She's right. I'm glad people like Ms. Waters and Mr. Frank are finally telling it like it is. The fact is, the Republicans will not side with the Democrats, period.

    August 24, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. kaydevo

    So this raises eyebrows, but GOP lawmakers spread vile lies about Obama's health care plans and Grassley calls him "intellectually dishonest" and hardly anyone comments. Double standard once again

    August 24, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. kevin

    this woman is very very disgustins and needs to learn to keep her mouth shuts. How dare her call the opposition who have the right idea such names. this woman herself care barely talk and should be impeached as soon as possible.

    August 24, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Bob

    The people whom voted for this woman should not be allowed to vote again...ever.

    August 24, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. ojibwe

    Hey Maxine, did you read the whole bill? Oh that's right no sitting member in D.C. had a hand in actually writing that health care bill, so why read it. The Apollo Alliance put this mess together and like a good soldier, you endorse it without reading what's in it. God sees all, Maxine.

    August 24, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Tony

    Why isn't calling someone a Neanderthal offensive?

    August 24, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. keyboardjockey

    Yeah Things are so great in the late state of California lets do the same thing to the rest of the country. SARC.

    August 24, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Doug

    She was being very disrespectful to the memory of Neanderthals.

    August 24, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. Ed

    Another typical example of bankrupt tactics by the Left – if you can't argue with facts, attack the other side personally. This betrays both arrogance and ignorance that there are reasons to oppose this massive, badly written, ill-conceived bill. Keep it up and watch approval ratings of Obama and Congress continue to plummet.

    August 24, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. CaSunshine

    Go Girl Go!! called them a nicer name than I would...but forget the scum Republicans and let's all rally behind our Pres. and Demos. who want to help this country and our healthcare system. It is about time we tell those Blue Dogs to shape up or leave the party..we will not forget at election time.

    August 24, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Rick CT

    I would classify Waters as a Neanderthal, but that would probably be taken as a racist statement in her mind – and those of her supporters.

    August 24, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Yes we have many Neanderthals in Congress.....the ones who want to push this health care plan down our throats even when the majority of Americans are against the plan.

    Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike want a well thought out, well budgeted, effective plan that is detailed and worth passing.

    We don't want the current mess that is being discussed.

    I wish all these Neanderthals in Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike would stop focusing on their careers and their ideology and start putting a plan that will truly work for America.

    Stop fighting and calling each other names like a bunch of school kids and start acting like adults!!!

    August 24, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. lyfsatrip

    And you Ms. Waters are a total bafoon!

    August 24, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Jay

    I think some people are looking as if the government wants to take over health care without realizing that what is Medicare and Medicaid. They are health care programs backed by the Government. If any one of those who think this is not true, then when you are not working and can't afford the high cost of a doctor who only prescribe placobo tablets for some people who are ill but charge the government the actual cost for the real medication. This is the kind of health care we don't need and the government is trying to warn people of how the high cost of health is robbing thier pocketbooks and refusing their chance to live. People wake up and see that if you really want to live in a society that you can pay less and get the same care that the rich get vote for public option.

    August 24, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Rick CT

    But just remember, there are 60 Dems in the Senate and over 250 in the House. If they can't get health care passed, Waters must be calling some of her own party Neanderthals.

    August 24, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. richard

    Congresswoman Waters represents herself and not her constituents She is demonstrably corrupt and an example of why term limits are a good idea. She may also be the dumbest member of the House, unless Sheila Jackson Lee takes the same IQ test.

    August 24, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. ojibwe

    How can ANYONE say that the administration reached out to the other side of the aisle on this bill? THIS BILL WAS NOT EVEN WRITTEN BY OUR LEADERS IN WASHINGTON. This bill was put together by the Apollo Alliance. Even Democrats weren't included in developing this monster. They simply took their marching orders to support it, no questions asked. Secret handshake.

    August 24, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Chris

    Name calling = Classy. Just what we'd expect from our "elected officials", the people who are supposed to represent us. I, for one, do not like anybody who is representing me to be a mud thrower and name caller. Even if I don't like "universal health care", I'm not calling anybody a name. That is pointless, and just like a certain democrat said just the other day: Do you think that this adds any validity to your argument Mrs. Waters?

    August 24, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. Louisvillebabe

    Yes!!!!!!! I agree. Good for her.

    August 24, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Bluebonnet

    Of course she would – she represents a bunch of welfare recipients that doesn't know the meaning of hard work!!! If these people wanting all these freebies had to work hard for a living, they would understand that its hard to sit idly by and watch some lazy bum suck it up!

    August 24, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Chris from NY

    We Americans are good at telling the other nations of the world how to lead heir lives but would be willing to let our sujects die than emulate what works in other countries. If that's not arrogance in the highest form,I don't know what is.

    August 24, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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