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. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    There is a lot of similarity between the communists, nazis, and the republican party. However, in a democracy, there is debate.

    November 23, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    On Saturday night, the republicans came one step closer to destroying America as we know it.

    November 23, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Enough

    Put the target on their forehead so we can vote them all out. How stupid of them to pass it the way it is. The MAJORITY of Americans do NOT want it. We want Health care reform.................none of which this is.

    November 23, 2009 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    they voted to move forward a government-run health care bill our nation does not want and can't afford,"

    As usual the RethugliKlans are working off of their own deluded premise. Most Americans DO WANT healthcare reform. When you base your argument on an erroneous statement, everything else that follows, including your conclusions, are null and void.

    Healthcare for all Americans today!

    November 23, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are several things to say to these attacks on the Democrats; where is the Republican bill and when was it offered? Why didn't the Republicans do this when they were in charge? What are their alternatives? I haven't seen one mentioned that really does anything different.

    The vote that the Democrats did was to get it to the floor of the Senate for debate; it can be killed there. Why the RNC can't see that is beyond me.

    November 23, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. enough

    Ok what kind of health care were the republicans offering as an alternative.

    Democrats need to start making the case that republicans want the private insurers to continue finding reasons to drop care, run people out of business with cost, and to make massive profits at the expense of Americans health.

    November 23, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  7. diridi

    RNC is dead..the way Mitch Mcconnol is talking, no does Mary Matalin....stupid...and idiotic.........

    November 23, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  8. Sue Ann Floyd

    The last I read, a large majority of American people polled do want the public option. To state: "...they voted to move forward a government-run health care bill our nation does not want and can't afford..." is again stating something untrue. And, again, there probably is nobody out there who does not at least know someone who uses Medicare–a successful government-run system. Really and truly, the Republican party needs to come up with something else in way of criticism. The truth is that the American people have spoken. We will get our public option, and it will be as successful as predicted.

    November 23, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. R

    How can these republicans be so horrid and shameful. I don't care what your politics are, people need health care insurance. Our premiums, for two people, is $1700 a month and we still have to pay a co payment. You people who oppose this, just wait until you're denied coverage or your premiums go up to where you can no longer pay for them. You have to much hate for democrats, and for our President, that you are blinded that this would help you, not hurt you. Please, take a moment to think for yourself and stop listening to all the hate filled noise you're hearing. Do you really think rush, bill, newt, etc. really care about you? They don't. They are just using you to make themselves richer and more powerful. It's time for you to understand what you're protesting and stop fighting something that would be in your own best interest.

    November 23, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  10. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Why do some districts continue to elect anti government republicans to government? They say that government is the problem, and when they get elected, they become the problem. They collect their wages and health care benefits from taxpayers, but do nothing for us in return. Republican congressmen are an example of welfare gone wrong.

    November 23, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. vlj in mn

    I don't get what 's wrong with voting to START a DEBATE on health care. These senators didn't vote to PASS a health care bill. Instead of stifling the debate, perhaps the naysayers could contribute to a compromise bill. It's easy for anyone who has wonderful health benefits to say 'no' to change. These moderates didn't sacrifice their principles, they voted their principles.

    November 23, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. Mac

    So what, now its bad to even debate the bill? Unless I missed it, bringing the bill to the floor in no way guarantees its passage. Grow up, RNC, the rest of the country is shaking their heads in disappointment.

    November 23, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Gary

    The Republicans are so phoney. They are so worried about abortion that they had abortion coverage in their own insurance policy. What a bunch of liers.

    November 23, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Tram

    A health care bill the nation doesn't want and can't afford -

    Geewillikers, Batman, that's the EXACT same thing we said when Bush invaded a country we weren't at war with and had nothing to do with 9/11 - which was ILLEGAL to boot.

    November 23, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. LacrosseMom

    As usual the party of NO new ideas, NO solutions, NO peace, NO to Civil Right, NO to Medicare (back in the 60"s), NO and add, hate, lies, fear and division is doing what it always does, attacks, attacks!

    *** WARNING TO DEMOCRATS****** Unite, pass healthcare or we will make sure that another candidate is running against you in 2010!

    November 23, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Rolled by pressure?

    stuff it GOP

    you 'do nothings' have held the leadership spot for 8 years and let the U.S. go down the tubes

    what ever esteem I held for you is so long dried up, you are a sad comical lot now that needs to go the way of the dinosaurs

    November 23, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. tim nyc

    It's pretty simple: If we don't change the health care system in America we will be effectively bankrupt in 30 years. A 9 percent annual negative growth rate and an overwhelming % increase in gdp has created an unsustainable monetary paradigm.

    The Republicans spread fear about change because they are bought and paid for by the insurance companies. They are bitter and angry that Obama has the common sense to understand the real problem and the courage to rectify it.

    Keep the status quo and suffer the consequences, friends. We have been attempting to correct the problem for 80 years with no success.

    Good luck , America. Let simpletons like Palin do your thinking because you can't think for yourselves. You should be embarrassed.

    November 23, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    '. . . dead of night. . . " When will the goppers stop with the fear? An occasional idea would be nice.

    Republicans work for the health insurance industry, not the American people.

    November 23, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. WI Vet

    you are this mad cause a vote passed to discuss a bill. Wow.

    November 23, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Matt

    Why are Republicans opposed to at least debating the legislation on the floor? For all of their talk about the Founding Fathers it seems like they would support healthy debate, something that is so central to the idea of a free country with a free exchange of ideas.

    November 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    Imagine, targeting individuals that vote to permit open debate on the floor of the Senate on an issue that the American people have said they want debated.

    Open debate in our Congress and bipartisan resolution to complex issues are what have permitted our nation to grow and prosper. As we look at our economy today, we can see where partisan politcal games have gotten us. Today it seems we are faced with a group of individuals that in the name of political gain would prefer to silence open debate in the Senate chamber and facilitate partisan disunion for personnal gains rather than embrace open debate and an atmosphere of bipartisanship for the greater good of the nation.

    November 23, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. concern indevidual

    I keep hearing the RNC complaining about what america don't want and I wonder which america they are talking about. When I look at the number of people that are showing up for free exams sponsored by independent groups. When I witness insurance companies dropping people because their care has become to expensive. See its easy to sit behind the minority with money and claim that you are working for America. I would like for one indevidual in the RNC to switch insurance with me for one month and really see things from the majority point of view. I was a follower of the RNC but now I really dont know what there agenda really is all I hear is we don't want this or that, but then tell me what better idea you have or just shut up. Yes I know you don't gov. ran health care, but you're not selling nothing but what the insurance companies are already selling. Remember disagreement with a solution is simply complaining, tell the public what you have to offer or just stop all that hoopla

    November 23, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. Ed Tallahassee

    This is why both sides cannot get along. Anytime there is a middle of the road candidate, both sides see it as a place that they could pick-up a seat. Then both parties pump money and man power into middle of the road districts.

    Then the districts that are solidly one side area seen as non-competitive so both parties don’t waste money of man power into those districts. That causes a Primary fight that is really a question over who can better court the Fringe of their party. So you get these extreme right or left representatives that can hold onto their seats for long periods of time.

    So instead of getting representation that reflects all of America you see strong-holds of both sides getting disproportionate amounts of power and their views are so different they can't get along.

    November 23, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. vic nashville , Tn

    Republicans didn’t want to debate health care reform it mean they don’t want to do what they have to do
    Republicans don’t want participate in the debate and explain why they oppose the bill
    They don’t have explanation why they oppose the bill
    As a conservative I didn’t like the NO votes last Saturday Nothing wrong debating the reform. We may come up with new ideas

    Saturday first time I believed that republicans didn’t like our president because he is African American

    Democracy mean we should have good debates

    November 23, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. JonDie

    They should be bullish.

    If Bob McDonnell, a fanatical religious extremist who shares Pat Robertson's beliefs (including that the Americans who were murdered by Al Qaeda on 9-11 deserved to die) can be elected governor, literally anything is possible.

    We just escaped a second Great Depression thanks to Republicans...and after only one year Americans seem ready to return to the dark days of November 2008.

    In fact, it would have been better for the country had we gone into a Great Depression... since most Americans just don't have to the mental capacity otherwise to understand how REPUBLICANS are destroying this country.

    We will end up on the trash heap of history...just like the Soviet Union...and sooner than we think.

    November 23, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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