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. Cliff

    Neanderthal well describes some of these guys.

    August 24, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Mary in Georgia

    Well, she may have a point. In this debate, I expect panicked, uninformed hyperbole to be spewed from the masses who can't name six of the seven continents. I'm a little surprised to hear it coming from our senators. I mean, I don't agree with many senators, but I still expect they had to have a modicum of intelligence to trick people into voting for them.

    August 24, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Chas in Iowa

    It's fairly obvious that the majority of the GOP senators have other driving factors swaying their opinions over health care. I'm not sure if it the millions the insurance company lobbyists are poring into their campain coffers. Or the uninformed publics knee jerk reaction to the right wing radio propoganda machine.It is surely not their constituents.

    It's time to kiss bypartisenship goodbye and do what is right for the country. Let's move health care reform ahead now!

    August 24, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Scott

    Maxine=If you have, we want to take. If you need, we want to give. But once we give then you have and we want to take.

    August 24, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. AJ

    Is this how the far left liberals want to govern the American people by ramming expensive legislature up their behinds , regardless of what the majority wants ?? Why are they in office ? I know . Because they promise lots of FREEBEES !!! And I got news for Maxine, Obama really isn't a very nice guy. He just wants to stay in office too !!

    August 24, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. TCM

    Waters is highly favored to lose in 2010. She's one to pander to the poor, to keep them poor, and dangle entitlement carrots in front of them to secure their votes....get rid of this facade!

    August 24, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Roger

    I could not agree more....some of the Blue Dog Dems are acting like the party of "NO"/GOP....if the health care program does pass now it will not pass within the near future & will probably mean Obama will be a one term president....he under estimated the power of the GOP when it comes to doing whatever it takes to destroy something that effects their special interest groups (insurance companies) I do not mean this in a "bad" way but most republicans will do & believe whatever their leadership tells them...most still thnk GW was a great president. they seem to be ignorant when it comes to the GOP...Also the news media should not only report the outburst in the town hall meetings they should be investigating who is behind the LIES being told...

    August 24, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. kgeukes

    Sounds like one intelligent voice out of so many lunatics. Go Maxine!!!!!

    August 24, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. patriot

    Now we sit back and watch the GOP spend the next two weeks demanding an apology...and the idiotic pundits cover every minute of it

    August 24, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. brad

    It's not a reform without the public option. Obama already has dropped the single pay user to appease the other side. DON'T DROP THIS! Something has got to change. Going to happen one way or the other as soon nobody including myself can't afford the premium. PLUS. As an hearing impaired person, I don't think it fair to have to deal with the pre existing issue. This health care deal IS the underlying issue with our economy woes. Fix it and you fix so many things. I just don't understand this. Such common sense. Yes, there will be some abuse but already there are so many as is.

    August 24, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Coming from Mad Maxine, those remarks are downright temperate.

    August 24, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Ruty

    The HARDHEADS are not going to cooperate and you know it. The Repubs are wanting Obama to fail. That is unamerican. They will do what ever it takes. Sorry, sorry politicans are they.

    August 24, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Debra R

    I guess it is OK for a socialist to call others she does not agree with Neandrathals....if anyone else called a liberal democrat who supports wthis crap an asassin of the middle class and someone who was part of the problem by exempting herself from the program a two faced hypocrite that would be going too far....

    August 24, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Fernandez

    congresswoman would you give your current healthcare coverage and be covered under the Public Option Plan>?

    August 24, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. Another racist Democrat

    Waters favorite platform for her lazy constituents – which are are largely in gangs, on welfare, receiving unemployment, or are in jail -is for the goernment to pay their way through life. Senators who oppose the Obama health care legislation do so for about 100 different good and valid reasons, but because it takes someone with an IQ higher than a dining room table, Waters, Barney Frank, and many more Dems just do not get it. Change is coming Ms Waters - as in a change in her employment status in DC when the mid terms come along

    August 24, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Bill from GA

    The Dems need to realize that American voters put them in the majority to change the government.

    August 24, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Capt Kirk

    Maxine Walters, an admitted Socialist, never cared for any other race other than her own. When the mob of rioters from the Crenshaw district marched on Korea Town and were meet with armed resistance, she condemned the Korean community for being violent, instead of trying to to stop the crazed welfare thugs. Maxine Walters is a female cloned image of her god: a liar and a hypocrite!

    August 24, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Alan

    Isn't it funny out the "enlightened" left starts name calling when they are being soundly defeated in the arena of ideas.

    August 24, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Mike

    No matter how many Democrats come out and beg the President for a public option, the question still remains:

    Will any of Washington's high ranking Democrats switch their families to the public option health care plan?

    The American public knows the answer to that question is an astounding "NO", which is the exact same answer that the Republicans will give.

    The fact that nobody in Washington will go out on limb and put their family on this plan tells you that the health care will be poor and costly.

    August 24, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. twitwits are the new nitwits

    We should use the Karl Rove playbook and just blackmail them.

    August 24, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Dan

    I wonder what Ms. Waters would say if we called her a porch monkey. It would be nice if the Dems could keep their comments above board. It would certainly help their case.

    August 24, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. ChecksAndBalances

    It is not the President's job to tell representatives what to do. They are in seperate branches of government for very good reasons. Senators and Congress members are supposed to represent their Constituents, not the President. Congratulations to Maxine for helping to drop the bar yet again; name calling always helps.

    Wouldn't it be nice if instead of name calling and playing politics our representatives would explain in detail what their issues with the plan are and those on the other side could defend with facts? I suppose it is futile to ask our elected representatives to act like adults instead of spoiled little children.

    August 24, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    Wonderful congress woman. This is the kind of steel we need in this party to help American people. We are yorked by evil republicans......totally enslaved. Keep it Waters.

    August 24, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Pat F

    All one can say is, consider the source.

    August 24, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. The Who

    Free handouts for the irresponsible at the cost of our future, if this country gave out everything the public demanded we would be bankrupt in a week.
    Liberal senators seem to think if they give away enough free goodies to their constituents they’ll have a job for life, looks like they are right.

    August 24, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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