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. Duck Fallas


    Please leave the childish name calling to the Neanderthals.

    August 24, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Drew HEitner

    The republicans are not capable of bipartisenship.
    The effort has made its point to underscore our willingness to work together. This onlt explodes in our face as every olive branch from dem to rep is returned as a flaming arrow.
    It is time for the dems to march in unison without concern for the petty opposition of the minority. Their loyalties lie elsewhere than the good benefits to our nation.
    Come Mother's and Father's throughout the land,
    And don't critisize what you can't understand,
    Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command.
    The old road is rapidly fading.
    Please get of the new one if you can't lend a hand.
    The time has come to make use of the power we gave to you, Mr. President. Like the lady dais, we have your back.
    Just go do it.

    August 24, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. jay

    Why is it everyone who opposes anything the Democrats want classified in three ways. Racists, knuckledragging neandertals, or rich people out of touch?

    August 24, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    Neaderthals with a very cynical and detailed strategy aimed only at stirring people up, regardless of whether what they are shouting has any basis in reality. They have mastered the art of fear mongering, evidenced by the fact that they have Americans riled up about losing a choice they don't really have, putting someone between them and their doctor when that is already the case, the possibility of needed care being denied when that already happens time and time again, and forcing them to remain employed when this plan might offer them freedom from that.

    August 24, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I wouldn't call them that Congresswoman. I'd call them "kept." By the insurance industry.

    August 24, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Loren

    Congresswoman Waters comments just show that the legislation is not about what's best for the United States, but what's best for the Democratic Party. If it were about the united States, then bi-partisanship would be a high priority, but this is pandering for votes at its worst. The Democrats went along with the Republicans in creating the economic mess, and now are taking advantage to plunge our country further into outof control debt. I would say Representative Waters should be ashamed of herself, but she ha been all about getting herself reelected and the benefits that go with that all along, so she has no shame.

    August 24, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Lynn

    I would like to know why these GOP politicians are so against the public option when that is in fact what they and their families have!!!

    August 24, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Mike

    And you madam are a hag who needs to go!

    August 24, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Truth Teller

    Right on congresswoman.

    What's the difference between a redneck and a caveman?


    August 24, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Flex

    She is right. We need a public option. The republicans would be the first ones to sign up for it, but they would rather see the president fail, so they will say, and do anything to prevent this from passing!

    Republicans, and their wastelands that we fly over, are useless. We don't need anything that they produce. They aren't anything more than flamboyant and ignorant, power hungry slobs!

    August 24, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. readyandpacked

    Neanderthals"...really....extinct stone age species or race of humans. Rude or primitive. ummm...Have you looked in the mirror lately Ms. Waters!?

    August 24, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Enough

    YUP, she is a Neanderthal alright..........kind of like the pot calling the kettle black!!

    August 24, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. AeroRiley

    Who is this woman? She calls other senators "neanderthals" for having a different opinion? She obviously does not care what the public wants. Even though there are better options to consider and we must fix some of the system regardless of who controls health care, she would rather push through this public option bill and ruin our country than try to get it right. Yeah Democracy!

    August 24, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Ed

    Very professional behavior. Waters does a great job reping her constituents, who I'm guessing aren't quite as refined as Neanderthals.

    August 24, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. mypitts2

    Yet another voice not needed in this debate. Name-calling gets us nowhere.

    August 24, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Dale from Masschusetts

    Remember the GEICO commercial. It's not nice to insult the Neanderthals! The GOP is acting more like pond scum, but again why liable the pond scum.

    August 24, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Lynn G

    Liberals believe name-calling is only acceptable when they're doing it.

    August 24, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. James

    No Ms. Waters, many Neanderthals would be very disgusted by the wanton policial behaviour of the Republicans. They want to spin lies, hate and fear just to get back in power. It has nothing to do with Healthcare, it has everything to do with power.

    August 24, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Carole

    I think this is a ladylike term to describe the likes of LIEberman, Backus, Landrieu and the likes.........who have insurance coverage we all pay for and not to care about others.

    I am tired of CNN covering McCain/LIEbermann. The election is over for a reason.

    August 24, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Dilligaf

    Lots of really arrogant and inept Duhmocratic Congressman, and she's close to the top, although Pelosi, Murtha, Obey and Frank are right up there with her. The Dumocratic mantra -> We don't care what's in it, or what it costs, or how it destroys the country, just pass it!

    August 24, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Right Leaning Independent

    Hey Maxine, how about looking at the poll numbers and understanding that the majority of Americans do not want your government health care plan. Also, YOU are one of the reasons for the financial problems today. YOU were in the Bush era hearings with the regulator on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You continued to look in the other direction when evidence was produced to show these companies were in trouble in 2003. You chose to rebuke these folks so that poor folks could continue receiving loans they could not afford. Shame on you for ruining more peoples lives. You have proven your ignorance so why anyone would listen to you today is beyond comprehension...!!!!

    August 24, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Ron In California

    Maxine waters IQ is lower than a Neanderthal. This woman says outrageous things all the time. Can't see what se has done for us but they keep reelecting her. to bad.

    August 24, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Jeff

    That's right, keep it mature and reasonable, Maxi. It's a great strategy: Mr. President, do what we tell you to do regardless of what the American public tells you to do.

    If there were ever any doubt that the President is in the back pocket of the liberal lunatic fringe, I think this health-care debate clears it up. He will do exactly what she (and Pelosi, and Frank, and Reid) are telling him to do: push forward with a government takeover of healthcare in spite of the misgivings of the American people. Blame it on the Republicans. Then, when the whole thing blows up in our faces (huge deficits, tax increases, lost employer-sponsored plans, more and more people on the government plan, eventual rationing), they will still say it was the Republicans' fault for not playing along.

    They'll take the credit for passing the stupid thing, then blame the Republicans when all of the bad predictions come true.

    You go, Maxi.

    August 24, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Philly Chilly

    Way to go

    August 24, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Obama Victim

    I bet the people of California are just "SO" proud to have this person representing them

    August 24, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13