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.

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soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. a health economist

    The Democrats are going to blow this because of their ideologies. The Republicans have a united front against anything the Democrats put out and with the help of special interest groups are successfully preying on the fears of their constituents.

    The only way they could get a public option to get by in this day and age of ignorance is to make it a no thrills, bare minimum safety net package. And truthfully, without a single payor approach (which to all of you nay-sayers scared to death of the "S" word is the best way to negotiate for the patient because their would be a monopoly for the consumer) a public plan shouldn't be anything more than a safety net.

    August 24, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    And the left accuses the right of being haters – take a look in your own back yard FIRST!

    August 24, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Hugo

    Look who is calling names, the ACORN backing, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac free houses for the impoverished mother of all liberals. Yes, Mr. Obama don't back down, cram this abObamanation pile of dog mess Bill right down America's throat! What a typical MORON liberal!

    August 24, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    It's time to rise up , wake up America and throw these wacko left wing Congressmen and Senators out of office before they succeed in ruining our Country!

    August 24, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Deborah from NC

    GO MAXINE! I have written the same message to the White House myself. If legislation emerges without a competitive (truly competitive – non of this GOP-inspired "level playing field" garbage) public option then this has been nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the American health titanic.

    August 24, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Johnny DC

    Perfect example of the arrogance of today's far left. This used to be the characteristic associated with the GOP, but somehow the roles have reversed.

    I'd love for Democrats to stop blaming the GOP for their problems. If you could control your own party, you could pass whatever you want. Your problems are the responsible, Blue Dog democrats.

    And god bless them.

    August 24, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Uncle Fester

    Have the democrats lost it. Get it through your thick skulls the american people do not want government run health care. You force it through and the demoncrats will loose a lot of seats in 2010 election!

    August 24, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. willard bullock

    i am belived that obama like play games against bush presdient bush are better than obama about terrorist cause bush are very great
    catched against terroist but i dont understand why obama like trouble blames on presdient bush

    about terroist

    August 24, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Mathai

    I am not really sure that is an appropriate and right word. ...

    August 24, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. machtim akannah

    The process is supposed to be "deficit neutral". I have yet to hear a definition of deficit neutral nor have I heard how deficit neutral will be achieved. Define in simple straight forward terminology, please.

    August 24, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. jfs Memhis, Tn

    She's right..........both sides need to get with it.........Republicans are the worst. The GOP Senators are like little old people having a bridge game on the fifty yard line ,in the middle of the field, during a Super Bowl Game. Totally oblivious to the needs of the majaority of this country.........only aware of the limited surroundings of their constituentcies. These Senators are WAY overdue for replacement. The Dems have issues also. Fact is the time is now....or never on health care. The government option must be in any law. Can you imagine what it would have been getting a Constitution created in this enviornment ????? It would take two years to get beyond WE THE PEOPLE......... Its funny that in most cases the states complaining the most about the cost of a government option, are the ones that contribute the fewest taxe dollars...........what is up with that ????

    August 24, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    I'm sure Rep. Waters' constituents want to see her standing up and fighting for passage of thie health care plan. Unfortunately, it is difficult for her to explain to them how this is the wrong time and the wrong approach to fixing health care. As far as they care, it could cost $100 trillion and they would still want the U.S. government to do it. When it fails, at least they will know she stood up for them.

    August 24, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. We got your back

    Good to know that Maxine and those like her, are making this a battle, if not an all out war.

    "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.' "

    You may have his back.. but the reasonable people who are letting freedom ring out in this country.. they have him backed-up in a corner.

    He is a gifted backer-uper. Keep dancing to his tune, and sing even louder than he is. The American people are no longer listening.. we are too busy trying to save this country from liberal socialists.

    August 24, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Bingo

    The senators are doing what they are supposed to do. They are opposing an unjustified attempt to increase the size and scope of the federal government and impose another unnecessary entitlement program that will increase our enormous deficit by more that a trillion dollars. Oh, and they happen to be paying attention to the will of the voters. Heck of a concept.

    August 24, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. rufus

    At a girl Maxine ;keep it up ! Show every body who cares what a creepy ,power lusting bunch of crazed zealots the democrats really are!

    August 24, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Dale St Clair

    As a Canadian with terminal myeloma cancer I can speak volumes about the great care I have received from our health service at Princess Margret Hosp. of 5 leading cancer hospital's in N.A....The majority of Americans voted for Obama knowing he was going to bring in change; Now let him do it; don't quibble; don't look over your shoulder at us; ...get on with the job...if you bring in health care for everyone, maybe then those red neck republicans can get on with their capitalist ways, without having to worry about their health care costs. ...Dale in Brampton,On.

    August 24, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Brian

    Go Maxine! I will say with utmost confidence, any reform will be an improvement. ANYTHING.

    US Health care as it currently exists is an ongoing train-wreck, an economic and *humanitarian* disaster we mostly don't see merely because we are used to it. Americans are drowning, and republicans quibble about what color life-preserver we should toss them.

    August 24, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. donttreadonme

    Neanderthals? Really??? Now isn't this the pot calling the kettle black. Watters is 71 years old!

    August 24, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. cecilia

    I believe Maxine Waters is rigth on –

    August 24, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. eolufemi

    They are some neanderthals.

    What kind of neolithic thinking encourages one president to drag a country to war trying to spread "democracy" but discourages another president from ensuring all Americans have access to medical care?

    ....we can afford to kill people but can't afford to take care of our own people...

    That's how pre-modern man behaved. They killed competing bands of cavemen over land, religion, and other resources. When someone got sick or injured, they were left to die or outright killed. Apparently not much has changed.

    We need health reform now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 24, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. CaSunshine

    Good for you, Cong. Waters! Neanderthal is probably one of the nicest names I could come up with for these slimey bribe-taking criminals who are doing everything possible to make themselves and the healthcare industry richer. I am a senior citizen and think medicare is wonderful and I am so sick of these members of congress stalling this coverage for all. They need to give up their coverage until all citizens have good fair coverage! Let's march in the streets and definitely defeat every Blue Dog Demo and disgusting Republican next election. They belong in jail.

    August 24, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Todd

    If Waters is so smart why is her state sending out IOU's? This should show the nation exactly why this health care bill never needs to see the light of day. Look at the brain trust that is supporting it.

    August 24, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Joe

    This attitude shows what is wrong with Washington–vote this one out, and lets get some grown ups in (if we can find them)

    August 24, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. T the B

    Since my insurance company is worthless, I'll be one of the first to sign up in the national healthplan

    August 24, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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