November 22nd, 2009
02:03 PM ET
12 years ago

Freshman Dem: Passing health care reform worth losing my seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Colorado Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet said Sunday that he is ready to lose his seat if that's what is necessary to pass a health care reform bill."]
Washington (CNN) – A freshman Democratic senator said Sunday that he will support his party’s efforts to pass health care reform legislation even if that means losing his seat in next year’s midterm elections.

“If you get to the final point and you are a critical vote for health care reform and every piece of evidence tells you if you support the bill you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?” CNN’s John King asked Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado on Sunday’s State of the Union.

“Yes,” Bennet bluntly and simply replied.

Bennet was appointed by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who stepped down from the Senate to serve as President Obama’s Interior Secretary. Bennet, who was superintendent of the Denver public school system prior to his appointment, will have to seek election to the seat for the first time in 2010.

Related: West is tough terrain for Democrats

Filed under: Colorado • Health care • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Susan in NC

    I'll try to be as brief as Senator Bennet was - THANK YOU!

    November 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Andy

    Kudos to you! It's rare to hear such a succinct response, when many politicians will try to eloquently dodge these types of questions imposed on them.

    November 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Rena

    Why, a true HERO in the political field. REFRESHING. SHOCKING. LOVELY...

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Jerry Clipper

    Vote for the party, not the people you are supposed to represent. Just another crook!

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Putting his political future second to working for the best interests of the American People is why we need more senators like Bennet.

    The republicans will not stand up for the American People, because they get campaign contributions and bribes from the health insurance industry.

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. RP

    You can't praise this guy for voting AGAINST his constituents and then praise Cao for voting WITH them. Its hypocritical. Lets just be honest and say what we mean... hurray for our side! Lets not start calling people great americans just because they agree with us and then call other people bad things just cuz they dont. Thats just silly.

    November 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. ICARE

    We need to reduce the cost of healthcare. We need to find the laws that are stopping it and that is the way to create healtchare fo rmillions of people.

    Let's change the rules of FDA. Let's allow new innovative drugs and eqiupments to be used. There is so many red tapes that there is no innovations for faster and easier and efficient ways to produce care.

    If you knew that a machine could scan a heart for 2k versus a machine that does the same thing for 1billion? Which one will you buy to lower cost?

    Right now, the 1billion machine has the upper hand so healtchare cost is not going to come down.

    Let's focus on ways to make it cheaper and give our healtchare system more innovations..

    November 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Fitz in Texas

    He votes for this healthcare reform and could care less that 70% of Americans do not want this. I hope he does lose his seat and is replaced by someone that puts the American people first.

    November 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Mike

    Ah, yes; I have just been reminded that the noble Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and his fellow members of Congress as well as the president have their own, separate health-care plans that explicitly will NOT be consolidated under Obamacare.
    I don't suppose anyone would care to speculate as to why?

    November 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. MHS

    Good Riddance!

    November 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Doof

    You hoorayers need to think about what you're congratulating. Whether or not you agree with health care reform, this man has just stated that he would willingly betray his constituents for the "good of the party".

    Not exactly my idea of a politican with backbone. Real leaders "lead", they don't follow the party flag.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Steve

    Good!!!!!!!!!!! Let him leave NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. Dan

    YOU were elected to represent your constituents, not to be a party shill. You should be ashamed of yourself, Senator.

    November 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Adam (From Chicago)

    I will spend all of your money on this cr@ppy healthcare plan! And then retire with a LIFETIME quality healthcare and retirement plan that you will not have access to.

    November 22, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. susan cliff

    Over 34% of the US Citizens DON'T CARE Enough about their own health care to Exercise, EAT LESS, NOT SMOKE and Eat Healthy. The Problem is ALL the lazy and deadbeats that WANT FREE SERVICES from the hard working taxpayers BUT ARE NOT WILLING TO even EAT LESS for Better Healthcare. OBESITY is the leading cause of High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, and Heart Attacks, yet Individuals are Unwilling to control their own eating.
    And 20% of US Citizens still SMOKE, the #1 Controllable cause of death. Quit Blaming others for your POOR Healthcare, and Quit requiring others to pay for your LACK OF SELF CONTROL.

    November 22, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Do you wingnuts actually think that Scarah will be elected in 2012? Hell, she can't even run a successful book tour. Just hop on her "Bus to Nowhere" Tour, like lemmings of the "Extreme Media."

    November 22, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. buckwheat

    The dope trade could not survive in the inner cities without the influx of federal welfare checks. This health care plan is to pay for gunshot and knife wounds incurred while carrying out business. These people are not going to buy health insurance and any laws passed will not apply to them because they are unidentifiable except on police blotters and in time prison roll calls. Prisons supply them with all the health care they need. Check your hospital emergency rooms and see who make up the costly needs and never pay. This country has run its course.

    November 22, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. J

    I love how the Republicans who post here constantly state that the majority of Americans DON'T want a public option when so many of the polls say otherwise. Turn off Glenn Beck and turn on your brains you morons.

    November 22, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. sksmart

    I have heard of the audacity of arrogance but this is unbelievable. This Senator should resign and work for the party, as he is so out of touch with the rest of the world. America does not need “True Believers”. America needs Representatives that represent the people who gave them the responsibility to speak and vote for them not the “Party”, “Executive”, “Judicial branch”, or “Lobbyist”.

    November 22, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. zivo24

    I'm a Coloradan.

    Michael Bennet was proving to be a very successful superintendant of the Denver Public Schools system when he was chosen by our governor to replace Ken Salazar.

    Many people, including myself, were not happy with the selection of Bennet. Most democratic and independent Coloradans wanted the seat to go to Andrew Romanoff, our former state Speaker of the House, who is very intelligent, dedicated, and has a broad range of experience. He is also the author of a fiscally conservative referendum that was passed by voters in 2006.

    Although I would still have preferred Romanoff as our senator (and he is running for the democratic nomination for the seat), I now find myself grudgingly approving of the job Michael Bennet is doing of representing his constituents.

    For as long as I can remember politicians have been doing nothing but talking about health care reform.

    Now for the first time...they're actually DOING something.

    Do I believe that what they will come up will be perfect? No.

    But this is not a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it.".

    Our health care system IS broken and NEEDS fixing so any discussion of solutions is better than doing nothing.

    We've had years....GENERATIONS...of doing nothing.

    I applaud Sen. Bennet for having the courage and integrity to make tough choices that may not be popular now but may ultimately proove to be the best thing in the long run.

    He is following in the footsteps of other great Coloradans, like the late Gov. Ralph Carr (a republican) who was the only major politician in this country to take a stand against interring Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII. His stand cost him his political ambitions, but history now regards him to be wiser and fairer and than anyone of his time.

    November 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Clint, Lynnwood Wa.

    Thank you Senator Bennet, and don't worry , you will have a job for a long time.

    November 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Amelia

    Good for him!

    November 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Bev

    Based on recent polls--Gallup, Rasmussen, Real Clear Politics-–the Independents do NOT support this Bill by 60%!!!!

    Based on recent polls--(same as above)-–the Independents said that they will vote for the Republicans by 52%-30%.

    Based on recent polls-(same as above)--Obama's approval/support is now below 50%!!!

    Senator Bennet-–and many other Dems-–better be okay with losing their seats in 2010 and 2012---as that is EXACTLy what is going to happen!!

    Independents will be voting with the Republicans in 2010-–to vote out as many Democrats as possible!!!

    The main stream media will have puzzled/shocked looks on their faces-–when they realize that even their manipulation/cover of the news--could not even save the Dems!!!

    I can't wait for 2010!!!

    November 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. susan cliff

    This ARROGANT Sen Bennet is saying that he is NOT listening to the Citizens in his state that voted him into office. Rather HE is ARROGANT and a BLIND FOLLOWER that feels he knows better than the US Citizens in his state. VOTE him out of office and VOTE Obama ACORN Head out in 2012 !

    November 22, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Robert

    I am glad he say that because it makes him stronger politician and honest. If the people decide to vote him out, that is fine because they are sending the wrong message to the American People. I will not stand for any Corporations that are friend with Republicans because they care about PROFITS. They will use you to get the vote and they will change their BS story ! I promise you that !

    November 22, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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