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. ThinkAgain

    These senators who voted to allow debate are to be commended.

    The GOP, on the other hand, has once again shown the world what bullies and obstructionists they are. The GOP is completely in the pocket of the health insurance companies – they have a lot of nerve talking about people's votes being "bought."

    All it takes to defeat the GOP is a willingness to stand up to their rhetoric and push back when they resort to their usual immature name calling and bully tactics.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    November 23, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Why do Republican'ts hate America so much?

    Just more of the kind of behavior we've come to expect from the party that cares more about lining their own pockets and holding America hostage to further their political future than trying to help the country. The job of being a US Senator is to debate the issues and then vote on the issues. Shame on the Republican'ts once again for not doing their jobs!

    November 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Paul

    Criticizing a vote to just open a debate is one of the more perfect summations of the GOP's proudly held new identity as the party of no. You don't even want the bill discussed, Mr. Steele? What contempt for democracy he and his shrinking party have.

    November 23, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Jim

    So the Republicans don't even want the bill to be debated? What are they afraid of? These guys are the biggest bunch of crybabies. They can't debate on the facts so they resort to mocking and lying.

    November 23, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. B

    If the republicans Stop Debate on legislation, what the hell are those people being paid to do ?

    They had control for eight years , and we can all see what Didn’t Happen during that fiasco !!

    What a huge waste of our tax dollars they are.....

    November 23, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Minnesotan

    The 'thugs don't even want debate on the health care issue?!? Isn't that called censorship and fascism?

    November 23, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. carlos, THAT one

    and we will get rid of ALL those criminal repugnants in congress

    November 23, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Peggy - TX

    I am sure the many people receiving just another Dem bashing email will eagerly take the time from the busy holiday and enjoy viewing the video which is sure to change the mind of the many Dem supporters and turn every one of them again their Senator. After all, how dare their Senator allow the debate to continue on a health bill that will, in fact, benefit them and their children?

    The Repubs must defeat this bill because their worst fear is that once it is enacted and the results are awesome for all, then their lies about the bill will not be believed by anyone.

    November 23, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. RJ

    The Republican Party led by "The Wizard of Oz" Steele have NO shame. This party who has been in office and control of our governement has led the country to the brink of bankruptcy. They are so deep into the pockets of Big Business and Insurance companies they border on criminal behavior. They start a War in Iraq over weapons of mass destruction, spend a Trillion dollars in one year, but fight health care reform with a cost of 900 million over 10 years, who do they really represent ?Americans continue to fall for this rope-a-dope ! What does it all say about us as a country?

    November 23, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Lisa P

    What do they mean, "a government-run health care bill our nation does not want and can't afford"? It's mostly insurance-company run (like now, unfortunately) with a couple of new rules that (of course) the insurance companies are whining about but everyone else sees as simple fairness and common sense. I want it, along with a substantial majority of other Americans (and, gosh, we are a majority-run country, aren't we? Funny how the Republicans always insist on that, but only when they are in power with a .005% advantage). I can afford it - look at all the ridiculous emergency room visits I'm paying for now. Preventive care is much much cheaper for everyone in the long and short runs. What I can't afford is the cost of doing nothing, which seems to be the GOP plan.

    November 23, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Chas in Iowa

    It's terrible that the Dems has voted to debate the bill on the open floor when it could have been delayed indefinetly by the party of "no".
    Why allow the bill to be debated in public where the true views of all parties is in the open when we could have hidden behind the facts and continued the same old retoric?

    The GOP is a dead horse. They serve the corporate intrests of the big insurance companies and now it will have to be debated in public for all to see. The king (the GOP) has new clothes.

    November 23, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. welches, oregon

    criticizing the Democrats for voting to allow debate to begin on health care reform.
    Really? Are you kidding me Steele? Critizing Dems for voting to allow debate to begin on health care reform? Really? If it was up to the Repukes, we'd never get health care reform..... Unbelievable – can't even have a debate on changing health care in this country. And Steele is incorrect – MOST of this country wants health care reform. MOST of this country – including Louisiana – NEED health care form – but yet the rethugs don't even want to talk about it.

    I think this is a new low for the republicans....

    November 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Perspective

    CONversely, what does the vote say about the "principles" of the RNC? Scared to even debate the issue, which is what the vote was for, or still standing on the Party of No platform AGAINST health care for Americans?

    November 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Bev

    If I were the Republicans---I would already be campaigning/taking aim at the vulnerable Dems as well.

    Based on all polls--60% of Independents do NOT want this health care disaster that they are trying to pass.

    Based on all polls-–the Independents plan on voting for the Republicans in 2010 by 52% to 30%---you do NOT win elections without the Independents.

    Based on all polls--–the MAJORITY in the country do NOT want this health care disaster, Cap and Tax energey bill, terrorists brought on US soil for civil trials, Gitmo closed, amnesty for illegals, etc.

    Yet, what are the Democrats doing??? They are continuing to push all of the above down our throats.

    There are at "least" 50 blue dog Dems in conservative districts up for reelection in 2010--–in districts that were won by McCain.

    The Democrats are going to get clobbered in 2010!!!!

    November 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Justin

    It is amazing to me that the Republicans would want to demonize lawmakers for allowing a DEBATE on the bill to take place.... Isnt that what the house and senate are supposed to do? Make a bill, debate about it, refine it, then vote to either kill the bill or make it a law? Trying to silence even the debate of a concept hardly falls under the freedom of speech and the democratic (as in voting, not the party) process.

    November 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Tired of the whining

    What else would you expect from the Refuseniks? They have nothing to offer so they whine. Isn't it ironic that the party of Lincoln's only asset is whining?

    November 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Ken

    So the Republicans don't want to do their job????!!!! That is, to bring their ideas to the table to debate and clean this bill up if need be? My goodness, why to the voters send them to Washington simply to say no, then draw their fat paychecks, and do nothing while the Democrats slave and toil to make a complicated bill work for a majority of Americans, many whom can't afford good healthcare and lack the means to afford good health insurance. Why why why do they contend that voting no would help??? What a mystery they present, not wanting honest debate to proceed!! Bringing their ideas to the table, with the power to amend, and make our lives better; yet they vote no once again. Do they think they can make things better than by sitting and not discussing anything??? I am amazed at their strategy.

    November 23, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Stephen

    The senators in question voted to allow the bill to be debated. Is that such a huge sin, regardless of which side you sit on? Geez, we can't even have quality debate in this nation any more without Republicans attacking.

    November 23, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Reformed Republican

    Fear, smears, mock and lies is all the GOP has got.

    In the mean time, another 122 Americans died yesterday becasue of the lack of health insurance, and another 122 will die today, tomorrow, and the day after until we get insurance reforms AND a strong Public Option.

    Question: Instead of spending money on slamming Senators who care about savint the lives of their constituents and ALL their fellow Americans, why doesn't the GOP spend their ad money on free clinics and try and save some American lives instead?

    Guess that's un-American too....

    November 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Mike Syracuse, NY

    They're calling Mary Landrieu's vote the second Louisiana Purchase. She clearly sold her vote, a long time Democratic practice no doubt. 2010 can't come soon enough. When the Democratic majorities are cut or eliminated this won't happen anymore. One party rule leads to corruption, and this is proof.

    November 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. I hope for the soul of the Democratic party that is wasn't too hard to get the votes

    the GOP has no soul... it is lost and cannot find itself after years of listening to monday morning quarterbacks like Rush, O'Rielly etc, the GOP will never get any where with out trying to solve problems, not just reacting to others proposals

    November 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Ancient Texan

    The Dems are going to ignore the will of the American voters and cram this take-over of health care down our throats anyway. But Dems will pay a very big price in the 2010 elections.

    November 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. mercado

    Republicans not wanting debate? Not surprised, GOP and DNC members are acting childish. Just support the President.

    I didn't like Bush at all, but I didn't want the President to fail.

    November 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. TR

    Typical. Democrats finally able to move forward, Repubs want to keep the status quo and "Do-Nothing". Way to go Repubs, you show your true colors (and desire) to do absolutely nothing for America but criticize progress. The sooner Americans realize that the Republican platform of looking out for one’s selfish interests leads only to greater divides and economic hardships for the entire country, the sooner Americans can realize that CHANGE CAN COME!

    November 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Independent Bob

    This is another example of the "politics as usual" that we get from the two major parties. In this case it is the Republicans promoting the idea that moderate Democrats voted the "party line" on the Senate's vote the other night. I guess they want us to believe it was bad to do so especially for moderates. If they are moderate they can't tow the party line and should be voted out and replaced by Republicans. Did Republicans vote the "party line"? How ridiculous!

    I am being critical of the Repulicans, but the Democrats use the same tactic when it serves thier party interests.

    I could almost find it amusing that the major partys use the sleazy tactics they use, but mostly I just get frustrated. Does anyone else get frustrated with this?

    November 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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