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. Steve

    Why must everyone degrade the cavemen all the time!!

    August 24, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. SJ

    Sorry to say, but the truth hurts sometimes. There are a good number of Republicans for whom the "Neanderthal" label is painfully accurate.

    August 24, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. rjr

    Democrats are not happy when the Republicans use the same tactics???? And then they enlightened ones revert to name calling? How sad.

    August 24, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. ghostwriter

    While bipartisan support is a good thing, the Democrats have to be prepared to go it alone. Republicans appear to be baiting the Democrats to do just that saying things like, "they have the numbers....."

    At this point, I'd say present a few plans to the public and let's hash thru them and see what we can come up with. Some republican points aren't bad and could have a place in the final draft, like crossing state lines and tort reform that limits doctor liability.

    August 24, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Nagudcm Sugna

    She represents a bunch of left-wing nuts so she must act this way to get re-elected. Normally she is probably a very nice person but she has to represent the people that elected her.

    August 24, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Grahame

    She's right. Take a look at some of this idiots who seem to be living in the 1950s. Hope Obama goes for this. Those senators who appose him should be fired or retired or both.

    August 24, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Dave

    Just another idiot spouting off at the mouth because she can. I am shocked that a black female would use any negative term to describe anyone. Isn't that name used as a negative way of describing someone?

    August 24, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. cherrystrawberry

    She is right Mr. President. Forget the Republicans! We have your back homey!

    August 24, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Jeff Brown

    This woman is powerful and right on the money! Keep the faith Senator!

    August 24, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Adam from Ohio

    Finally, a Dem with a spine! Bless you, Maxine Waters!

    August 24, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. southerncousin

    This is the same slimy whackjob that said crack was a CIA plot to keep blacks down. Stupid statements like this are what fires up the liberal left and makes conservatives so resistant to them. This is a hate filled person, that could not find a job as a bagger in a grocery store any other place than California. Such hate filled liberals like this are now in control, is it any wonder the country is a mess?

    August 24, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Jon

    LOL. she looks like she's living in the 1970s.

    August 24, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Nathan,

    She's correct in her coments about bipartisan support. The Republicans have no intention of helping this President get anything done. He needs to stop trying to get them to come along. He will be gauged on how sucessful his programs are and not by how many Republicans he can get to come along.

    I do however disagree with her assessment of the Republicans as Neanderthals. At the very least they have evolved into Cro-magnons. With the exception of Michelle Bachman and that chick from Russian's backyard. They 2 are still Neaderthaettes.

    August 24, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Tom Bachman

    This from a fervent supporter of Fannie Mae........that makes her below Neanderthal intellect.

    August 24, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. nicholas

    I agree with the congress woman. The GOP is not interested in bipartisanship and they are not interested in anything reasonable that the President has to offer. The only thing they are interested in is undermining the president to try and claw their way back to power
    even at the expense of ordinary Americans. In my mind the GOP is the
    #1 threat to American national security and interests.

    Lastly, the GOP fear tactics over health care are a colossal shame. I live in Canada where we have universal health care. As a teacher employed buy the government, I have dental, vision, extended health care and much more. I can arrange for an appointment with my doctor and possibly see her the same day, or go to the after hours clinic the same day, or go to the hospital emergency the same day. And it costs me $zero dollars.

    If we can afford this in Canada and avoid the severity of the recession that Americans have experienced, why can't the richest country in the world afford public health care?

    Better follow Obama NOW our pay the price later.


    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. John Santoro

    Thankfully we have Maxine Waters in Congress.

    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |


    They 'GOOD OL' BOYS' ie Neanderthals, need to STEP ASIDE and let the NEXT GENERATION lead this country.

    They've had PLENTY of time to SCREW THINGS UP.


    Those who CAN NOT ACCEPT Change, FIGHT Change!


    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Public option- Get it done.

    She is on point.

    You have been way too accommodating Mr. President and the GOP has been taking advantage of it. No matter how much you try to reach across the isle, the GOP will say that you haven't, and will continue to block you on everything anyway. That is their strategy because they've wanted you to fail from day one. That will not change.

    SO! Let's get moving on Health Care Reform- get it done.

    God bless

    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Unbelievable. First it was calling people rednecks, un-American, racists, domestic terrorists, etc.... and now neanderthals.

    Ever notice that these liberal congress members and senators who come out and say these things are in so-called "safe" districts and states?


    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Mike

    Is there anyone out there that cares what this idiot thinks?

    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Marc O

    Odd, Maxine Waters actually looks like a neanderthal....

    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Drew Dubya

    OK, now there's absolutely nothing to be gained in this healthcare issue by insulting Neandrathals.

    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    HILARIOUS!! The dumbest human being to ever sit in the House of Representatives calling others neanderthals. It doesn't get much better than that. You've got to hand it to the dumb-a-crats, they are certainly good for laughs. 🙂

    August 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. paula

    Why is her stating the obvious such a big deal?

    August 24, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Brian

    I'd say she politly pegged them.

    August 24, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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