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. Dave

    Liberals tout themselves as being intellectual They have no clue about the Health Care bills being put forward; so that make stupid statements,ie Pelosi, Reid, and now Waters, and resort to name calling. The good thing about this debate, if that is what you want to call it, is they are taking down the Obama with them. Obama's problem is with his own party.

    August 24, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. mark in Houston

    Good for her.......

    As far as Lieberman is concerned......he's a wimp interested in only himself and his political future. He lacks the courage to do what is right for the country.

    As for the majority of Republicans....they are a party of greedy, power hungry hypocrites who stoop to lies and the spreading of fear. A party of short memories, they lamented their tactics after the loss in the National elections...saying they had strayed from their values.......but return immediately to the same old fear and hate tactics used during the Bush administration when attempting to stop health care reform.

    They, as a whole, have one goal...regain power by defeating health care reform. Like Lieberman, they have no concern for what is the right thing to do.

    Given the opportunity, the Democrats should shove this bill down their throats and then tell them to "Get over it".

    August 24, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Wake Up

    This is who is running our country. Left-wing loons. Anyone who disagrees with them, is called a name, or a racist. These politicians are so out of the loop. Maxine Waters is an embarrassment. Is it 2010 yet?

    August 24, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. usualone

    Whatever the issue, Republicans will not join President Obama. They play on people's fears; and what is really sad is the fact that people forget what the past 8 years brought us. Where we live (in a Democratic dominated state) people are vocally outspoken about their dislike of the President. In conclusion, his race must be a big reason for this dislike. What people forget is that he is a black/white man and is trying to get things done for everyone. He is tackling big issues and many don't give him a chance. I wonder if there would be so much vitriole if President Obama were a white man. The Republicans will use this for all its worth. Thankfully, they are not gaining any grounds with the public even with Mr. Obama's drop in ratings.

    August 24, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Alfred E. Neumann

    Now if a white senator talked about Neanderthals in the house, what an uproar.

    August 24, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Des

    She hit the nail on the head!

    August 24, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. donttreadonme

    Neanderthals? Really??? Watters is 71 years old!

    August 24, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Sniffit

    " If it were about the united States, then bi-partisanship would be a high priority,"

    Indeed...makes you wonder why the GOP has since November 4, 2008 done nothing but obstruct, refuse to come to th etable with ideas, and engage in a fear-mongering misingformation campaign regarding every single thing Obama and the Dems have been trying to do.

    August 24, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Dan Kauffman

    Neanderthals had a cranial capacity some 20% larger than modern man's, Is theCongresswoman claiming those Senators are more intelligent?

    August 24, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. bob in LA

    I complain when Republicans resort to name-calling, so it is only fair to call out a Dem for the same.
    Stop this childishness and stay constructive!

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

    I find it funny how people are all in an up roar over the health care issue, yet we spend billions annually financing foreign governments, and their countries, and I hear nothing from anyone. Typical hypocrites.

    August 24, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Louisiana voter

    I believe 'Neanderthals' is being kind whens describing the archaic views of the men and women across the isle. I am urging my notable reps to get a spine and go toe to toe with these NRA bullies, organized thugs and also $top pandering to the insurance lobbyist. YOU did run on the platform that the plight of Louisiana citizens came first. Well, prove it!!

    August 24, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. HSNP

    Gosh I love Maxine Waters! She just tells it like it is. It's very refreshing.

    August 24, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "the taking from the wealthy to pay for the poor, that is not fair, and give the poor no incentive to better themselves."

    You do realize that the first graduated or "progressive" income tax was instituted by Republicans in the mid 1800's, don't you?

    August 24, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Brian

    Don't be mean to the Neanderthals, Ms. Waters.

    August 24, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. shmeckel

    You tell um Maxine. Maybe if we continue to push legislation without refining it, or thinking about the cost, or who will pay for it, or providing the public with any information, as quick as we can, we can make the nations deficit look even worst than California’s.

    I don’t want any information, you just keep spending, make some promises, don’t provide any information, and you will get half of Americans back you up without question.

    You go on with your liberal spending, deficit growing, no information providing self.

    August 24, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Proud Member..Party of No

    Maxine Waters is dumber than a box of rocks so nothing she says should surprise anyone. Vote her out.

    August 24, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Wise Latina

    Waters – what a one-person nuthouse! She is the premier poster person (although the Dems have MANY candidates) for what is all wrong with Washington.

    August 24, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. jfw

    If I were a Senator, I would consider the source. Ms. Waters is an embarassment to the Congress, and to the voters of California.

    August 24, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Scott, Tucson

    Ms Waters is just part of the problem that is wrong with our government...I wonder how much cash she's hiding in her freezer?

    August 24, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. GarandFan

    People deserve the government they get. In the case of Waters, the voters are getting what they deserve. Some day they may wake up, but I doubt it. Waters excels at pandering to the extreme left. And they're dumb enough to keep re-electing her. At least the people of Georgia finally wised up.

    August 24, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Arapikos

    We Americans still donot read for ourselves,We rely on tabloid cable news to speak for us with their cultural myopic views.

    August 24, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. The black Spider

    I just never unsdertood this senators argument on this health care debate.
    IN EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD there is either Total government control health care or Government Hospitals working on the side of Private Hospitals and people have the choice according to what they can afford.
    Even In America there is Goverment Hospitals for Veteran, Government Insurance for Seniors and the poors.
    The rest of the population is left at the mercy or Big Immoral Insurance Corporations in pursue of profit at all cost.
    If there they don't want public option why don't they ever vote to close VA hospitals, Suspend medicare for Seniors and the poors, Suspend social security, close every Public School or institution down.
    Shut down the Millitary and let private contractors hire people for the national defense and Intelligence and privatize everything and see how it would work.

    August 24, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Love My USA

    Propaganda, lies and more Bull Crap. The democracts and the far left Media is a disgrace. The two of them are going to bring this country down. We need jobs, not this crap. With jobs you will have insurance or money to buy it.

    This is the most corrupt administration and we all are going to pay with it with our Freedom.

    Our children are losing their limbs so that we can walk FREE.

    August 24, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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