November 23rd, 2009
10:50 AM ET
10 years ago

RNC targets centrist Democrats

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee will target a handful of centrist Democrats on Monday with a new Web video and series of conference calls criticizing the Democrats for voting to allow debate to begin on health care reform.

The 60-second video, which will be e-mailed to more than 5 million people, singles out Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, according to an advance copy of the video provided to CNN.

"Rolled by pressure from Barack Obama and Harry Reid, they voted to move forward a government-run health care bill our nation does not want and can't afford," an announcer says before ticking off criticism of each lawmaker.

Reid persuaded all 58 Democrats and the two independent senators who align themselves with the Democrats to vote Saturday evening in favor of allowing debate on the Democratic health care bill to move forward.

"On Saturday night, a number of moderate Senate Democrats sacrificed their principles to bring America dangerously closer to government-run health care." RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement received by CNN that will be released Monday. "Ben Nelson sold out his conscience and voted in favor of federally funded abortions. Blanche Lincoln sold out her principles by voting in favor of a government-run insurance plan, something she previously said she opposed. And Mary Landrieu simply sold her vote to the highest bidder after Harry Reid added a $300 million earmark just for Louisiana.

"Voters elected these senators to represent their best interests. Instead they voted in the dead of night for a health care experiment that will increase taxes, raise premiums, cut Medicare, and use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. This is not the representation Americans deserve. It's time for these senators to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask themselves who they really work for - their constituents or liberal Democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi."

With senators returning home for the Thanksgiving recess, GOP officials in Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Pennsylvania also will hold conference calls with state and national reporters to echo Steele's criticism.

Filed under: Health care • Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. diana nj

    Nelson protected the ins co. What more does RNC want?

    November 23, 2009 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  2. benvictor

    Each of those mentioned ought to read Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue, to understand what courage and having a spine means. While these "politicians" were unable to withstand the initial pressure on this vote, they now have the opportunity to become a "profile in courage." They now can become statesmen and stateswomen and vote their consciences, rather than succumb to White House pressure.

    November 23, 2009 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  3. Death Panel Sarah

    Why are the reptili'con's afraid to debate healthcare?
    Are they AFRAID they will look bad when the actual FACTS come out and they can no longer lie about the bill?

    Or are they just the party of scaredy cats???

    November 23, 2009 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  4. bcords

    every poll i see, except the polls on fox news, show that americans want health care reform and a public option. what am i missing!!!

    November 23, 2009 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  5. lady of the lake

    That is the whole republican problem: They are so fearful of democracy – where debate and discussion are the foundation of legislation – they want to muzzle anyone who dares disagree. What's wrong with bringing the bill to the floor?

    Hey GOP! Why not just state the 1st Amendment is for republicans only – just like the "UP OR DOWN" vote you used to love. Stopping discussion and debate is what dictators do ... that's the GOP!

    November 23, 2009 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. Black Viper

    Since the GOP voted to block the debate unsuccessfully will they now participate in the debate or let democrates debate among themselves?
    It's just a question.

    November 23, 2009 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Grahame

    To begin with and contrary to the Republican Party lies. The country does want health care. The Republicans are so far out of touch that they do not even recognise how unfair the insurance industry is. Sure you can have insurance, but don't get sick because under the currant system the insurance companies will drop you. An example of this is the recent case of an insurance company dropping a woman because she was physically abused by her husband to the point where she was hospitalised. They dropped her insurance because they called the abuse a 'pre-condition'.
    This is the status-cuo the Republicans want to keep because the insurance industry is the main sourse of their power base.

    The Republican Party is so far down in the polls because of the policies of George Bush which the Republicans want to maintain.
    and no amount of lies or spin can alter that.

    Grahame Rhodes

    November 23, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The RNC and their scare tactics. I guess they didn't get the memo that the American want Change!!!

    November 23, 2009 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  9. call me crazy

    Yes you republicans, get the torches and pitchforks. Show us how diplomatic you can be.

    November 23, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  10. Gary

    Michael Steele on CNN now showing his ignorence.
    All you do is say NO. How is that Bi Partison?
    Keep talking Steele, your looking more stupid every minute.

    November 23, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  11. Scott L

    The terrorists on Trial in NY are now saying they will use the court as a venue to tell the world their political views and beliefs and will plead Not Guilty.

    Holder has made a TERRIBLE mistake.

    This administration just doesn't get it.

    November 23, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  12. Stephen

    So now the GOP is reduced to witch hunting? Rather than burn crosses on other people's lawns, why can't they act like the politicians they pretended to be when they got elected and offer some real debate on the issue? Personal slander and intimidation tactics have nothing to do with debating health care reform and the sooner they realize it, the sooner someone might vote for them again.

    November 23, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  13. Richp

    Should be an interesting election, I plan on actively campaigning against whoever signs on to ANY kind of health care bill that puts the federal government any further in to the drivers seat than they already are and I don't care which party they belong to. As far as I'm concerned ALL these elected clowns are out for one thing, themselves and the hell with the american people. We lost the edge when it the congress and senate became a job with pay, retirement and benefits, The day the music died.

    November 23, 2009 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  14. try again

    The non-partisan CBO estimated that the Senate bill would reduce the budget by more than 100 billion dollars over 10 year, and most polls have shown strong public approval for reform, especially the public option. Some oppose this strongly, but let’s at least be honest about it eh? These key Republican talking points seem to fly in the face of reality – just based on independent, best numbers.

    November 23, 2009 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  15. Michael

    One question, why is there even an issue about opening up something for debate?

    Two more questions, why are people opposed to even debating something? What are they afraid of?

    November 23, 2009 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  16. Catherine

    I fail to understand how allowing a debate is somehow the wrong thing to do in our government. That's what they should be doing, working it out! Now if it's true that Mary Landrieu's vote yes was because of an earmark, then I agree that's wrong. But to agree to move forward on this is the proper thing to do.

    November 23, 2009 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  17. Dave C - NJ

    Actually the nation DOES want it. Obama won if I was a major part of his platform.

    November 23, 2009 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  18. independent

    Debating, speaking, discussing, is this what the Republicans call a betrayal? The American people want change, they need a new and better health care system. To find the best system, Democrats and Republicans need to discuss it. The new Republican Party is the party of NO; the party of no talk, no discussion, no compromise. The new Republican Party believes that compromise is failure.

    Compromise is the democratic process. No wonder the Democrats expect debate and compromise and the Party of No does not. The party of No Health Care. The party of No civil liberties. The party of no release of public documents. The party of No regulations.

    It is the Republican Party of No that will suffer for their betrayal of the American system of governance.

    November 23, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. Jersey Bob

    Republicans claim to be "pro-life" and say they believe in the "sanctity of life". Yet to score political points, they are happy to let 44,000 Americans die EVERY YEAR because of lack of health coverage, even though some have paid for it. How many more must die to suit the GOP?

    November 23, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  20. Help me

    Republican's need to be careful calling themselves "the nation" they are about 24% of the population.

    November 23, 2009 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  21. Walter J Smith

    It is sad to see the Republicans clinging to their favorite public neurosis: anti-politics. Anti-politics and anti-government have limited capacity as political tools. They have, however, fractured the Republican Party into a gaggle of self-righteous puritans every one of whom knows he or she speaks with the voice of God. Every one of whom makes himself or herself look more idiotic with every utterance.

    It would make an interesting national public discussion to see a public contest around the question: who is the most politically effective anti-politics/anti-government publicly elected official in America in 2010?

    No, Lieberman would not win, though he would rank plenty high for all his credentials as King GlumGlib the Connecticut Cynic. It would be someone with more thought than King GlumGlib can hire to shape his sound bites. Someone with a sustained focus on something besides his own self importance. Someone who actually hates and enacts that hatred of public deliberation.

    November 23, 2009 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  22. James

    Well its about time we went forward with it. I think the people with life threatning desease should have the patience of the RNC, however they do not have the time. I think the American people should suspend health care to all of our senators and their families until the bill passes legislation. I wonder if that would speed up the process?

    November 23, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  23. Jane D

    Maybe if the government did fund abortions we wouldn't have crap-tastic elected officials....think about it.

    November 23, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  24. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    In China, like the republican party, they do not allow debate.

    November 23, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  25. not alone

    sure keep the attacks up,that will make them demacrats change their minds.Lol what losers the RNC has turned into, Instead of siezing the oppertunity to change this bill for the better they go on the attack.Typical rethug tatics.They are going to harrass and scare folks into not wanting anything to do with them and they are starting to be a non-party when it comes to running this nation.They only want to stop anything that the dems want no matter its importance to the nation as a whole.Party of NO is going to No its way into nothingness.Wake up and start helping rather then whinning yourselfs into oblivion.

    November 23, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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