February 25th, 2010
07:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Democrats dominated speaking time at health care summit


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/obama.0310.jpg caption="President Obama spoke for a total of 122 minutes at the summit."]Washington (CNN) - Thursday's health care summit at Blair House was billed as an opportunity for members of both parties to share their proposals for reform, but one party had far more time to put forth their ideas.

A CNN analysis of the meeting shows that Democrats - including President Obama, who helmed the meeting - were granted more than twice the amount of speaking time as Republicans.

Democrats spoke for a total of 135 minutes while President Obama spoke for 122 minutes, for a total of 257 minutes. Republicans, meanwhile, spoke for just 111 minutes, about 30 percent of the total speaking time.

The time discrepancy did not go unnoticed by the top Republican in the Senate.

Shortly after President Obama, Vice President Biden and legislators from both parties returned from a lunch break, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office released a statement detailing how long President Obama had the floor, versus how much time members of each party were allotted during the nearly three-hour morning session.

Not including the hour that the politicians broke for lunch, the meeting lasted for more than six hours.

Filed under: Health care • Mitch McConnell • President Obama
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. leonardofru

    Obama is similar in many ways to Castro and Chavez. It is nothing for Castro make a 7 hour speech over Communist controlled T.V.

    February 25, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Obama the Liar

    the people that were watching now know the face of a pathologoical liar...less than 3 years until we get rid of this clown.

    February 25, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  3. John

    It doesn't matter how long any of these jerks talk. They all seem to be under the delusion that the US has the best health care system in the world. In 2000 the World Health Organization listed our health care system as 37th among developed nations. Our system is designed to treat disease rather than prevent disease. We have one of the worst infant mortality rates, Americans lag in almost every measure of health, life expectancy in lower that most other developed nations. The American Medical Association has succeeded in forcing Medical Schools to limit the number of medical students to limit competition and keep compensation high.

    Members of Congress are totally out of touch because they have Cadillac plans and never spend a dime on health care. Until they understand that our health care system is broken, there will be no serious effort at reform.

    February 25, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Barack Oblah Blah Blah Blah

    After watching this PR show of Obama's for 4 hours, I realize he is not just an arrogant pigheaded partisan pork spending Democrat, he is downright nasty and not very honest. Shame on the Democrats.

    One and Done for Oblamo
    Bye bye to Reid Dodd Specter and 5 other Dem senators
    Pray to God for a GOP majority in both houses after the mid term elections ...and then we can start to make changes to try to save the country from Presideent McNasty

    February 25, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Spinner

    So... let me get this straight. The President of The United States of America... should have been given "less" time to speak at His summit ? hmm. things may not have changed as much as they really need to after all. Read between the lines.

    February 25, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    What a total drama, all to no benefit of the people. This is nothing more than a distraction to the real problem, that this country is flat broke and if radical spending cuts do not happen this year by 2011 we will lose our top credit rating and the US dollar will become worthless.

    February 25, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. JohnRJ08

    So what? All the Republicans was whine about the bill. Almost no specific ideas were presented by any of the Republicans in the meeting. All they did was use the event to get on TV and attack the President.

    Eric Cantor is a little punk.

    February 25, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. DC

    I personally watched the viewing and this head line that CNN posted is very misleading to.. everyone had a fair share of time and both sides had very strong points.

    February 25, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. leonardofru

    We are going to fire his Harvard educated, half witted, arrogant ass year after next.

    February 25, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Crockron-former Republican

    This complaint is really petty! You had your say last summer with your devious "death panels" claim and your ridiculous assertions that the Democrats are trying to usher in "socialism". I heard your proposals and I prefer the Democrats plan. Now vote and shut up!

    February 25, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. Justin

    Yet more proof that the man has no interest in reaching across the aisle to unite America.

    February 25, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. Ruth

    Same old crapola. Republicans whinning as usual.

    February 25, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. jill

    CNN get a life...do some real reporting and do something with that idiot Gergan.

    February 25, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Reggie

    Obama and the dems looked as enept has they've become. Shame on them for trying to push through a bill that the public is overly opposed to....

    February 25, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Leah Texas

    President Obama was speaking for ALL Americans, also he was the moderator – so he time shouldn't be considered for either side.
    Bravo Mr. President 🙂

    February 25, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Doug

    I have no insurance, and I DONT WANT TO BE FORCED TO HAVE INSURANCE,,,,,AND I DONT WANT TO PAY A PENALTY FOR OPTING OUT. I AM A DEMOCRAT. THE WHITEHOUSE IS NOT LISTENING TO ITS PEOPLE. Something else is going on behind the scenes. Dont know what it is,,,,but this bill is fundamentally flawed. Spending money we dont have is wrong wrong wrong. The buck has to stop here.

    February 25, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Perusing-through


    CNN analysis should not take into account President Obama's time. Why? Because the President called the summit to discuss his health reform proposals. Therefore President Obama must chair the summit, plus serve as judge, jury, and executor of his own summit. There is no one else (other than V.P. Biden) that could serve as an honest broker of the President's own summit.

    When you exclude the President's speaking time, than the summit time was shared fairly between both parties.

    February 25, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Blue

    The Dems knew what they were talking about, and the GOP's talking points got a little stale. They really had nothing to offer. The GOP wants this President to fail. McCain had an attitude toward our President, and the President stood up for himself. He showed his strength.

    February 25, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Lexie

    Republicans want President Obama to fail so badly that they are willing to take the whole nation down just to accomplish failure. I can't wait until next election, I'll never vote for an (R) again!

    February 25, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. Jax

    Well of course they did, since when as a Republican had a solution to anything??

    February 25, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |

    I am sick and tired of listening to both sides on the health care debate or any other subject they are discussing. Get something done period! They are wasting our time and money. Take all Health insurance away from the Congress and see how fast they come up with something. It is making me sick!!

    February 25, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. Babs

    Republicans aren't used to saying, let alone thinking, of any intelligent
    statements to contribute to healthcare. They only listen to the tunes of Rush and Rove. Pathetic pack of wolves Republicans are. Shame.

    February 25, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Barbara - Atlanta

    No...the Democrats spoke for 135 minutes, the Republicans 122 minutes and the President of the United States spoke for 122 minutes.

    February 25, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. Marko/TX

    If you want anything accomplished at all, you'd better have a Democrat around.

    February 25, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. Sally

    As for time, it looks like Obama got more than anybody else with the Republicans on the committee really getting about as much time as the Democrats. Actually, the Republicans really have nothing to say. All they do is grandstand, lie, distort and throw monkey wrenches at any effort to overhaul our sorry healthcare system. They got more time than they deserved. I have grown to literally despise the Republican party for their calloused attitude toward any Americans who are not wealthy or one of the corps of lobbyists buying them off.

    February 25, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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