March 13th, 2010
04:53 PM ET
13 years ago

Brown slams Obama, Dems for 'this disastrous detour'

Washington (CNN) - In this week's Republican address, freshman Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, says the White House and congressional Democrats have focused on passing an unpopular health care reform bill while the economy and the jobs outlook needed the utmost attention from national leaders.

(Read Brown's full remarks after the jump)

Full transcript of weekly Republican address for March 13, 2010:

“Hello, I’m United States Senator Scott Brown from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“When the people of my state elected me in January, they sent more than a senator to Washington – they sent a message. Across party lines, the voters told politicians in Washington to get its priorities right.

“And from my travels and conversation with people throughout this country, they told me that they want their President and Congress to focus on creating jobs and reviving America’s economy. Instead, for more than a year now, we have seen a bitter, destructive, and endless drive to completely transform America’s health care system.

“In January of last year, unemployment hit 7.2 percent and our economy was hurting badly. But, early in President Obama’s term, he and the Democratic leadership of Congress made takeover of health care their first priority.

“Today, times are even tougher across our nation when it comes to our economy. Nearly one in ten Americans are still out of work. And still, the President and Congress are focused on ramming through their health-care bill, whatever it takes, whatever the cost.

“Maybe you remember what President Obama promised in his State of the Union address. He said he was going to finally focus on jobs and the economy for the remainder of this year. I applauded him for that. Well, here it is, it’s almost spring. And what is he out there talking about again? That same 2,700-page, multi-trillion dollar health care legislation.

“So, an entire year has gone to waste. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and many more jobs are in danger. Even now, the President still hasn't gotten the message.

“Somehow, the greater the public opposition to the health care bill, the more determined they seem to force it on us anyway. Their attitude shows Washington at its very worst – the presumption that they know best, and they’re going to get their way whether the American people like it or not.

“And, when politicians start thinking like that, they don’t let anything get in their way – not public opinion, not the rules of fair play, not even their own promises.

“They pledged transparency. Instead, we have a health care bill tainted by secrecy, concealed cost, and full of backroom deals– and that’s just not right. They should do better. The American people expect more.

“They pledged a true bipartisan effort. Instead, they have resorted to bending the rules, and they now intend to seize control of health care in America on a strict party-line vote.

“In speech after speech on his health care plan, the President has tried to convince us that what he is proposing will be good for America. But, how can it be good for America if it raises taxes by a half trillion dollars and costs a trillion dollars or more to implement? In addition, how can it be good if it takes another half a trillion dollars away from seniors on Medicare, and still includes all the backroom deals you have been hearing about for months?

“Well, for the past year or more, the new establishment in Washington has tried again and again to sell this plan to the American people. But the Americans aren't buying it, and for good reason. And now, what’s going on is a last, desperate power play. They actually tell us that passing the bill is necessary, if only to prove that something can get done in Washington.

“Well, I haven’t been here very long, but, I can tell you this much already: Nothing has distracted the attention and energy of the nation’s capital more than this disastrous detour. And, the surest way to return to the people’s business is to listen to the people themselves: We need to drop this whole scheme of federally controlled health care, start over, and work together on real reforms at the state level that will contain costs and won’t leave America trillions of dollars deeper in debt.

“This, above all, was the message that the people of my state sent to the President and the Congress in the election over a month ago.

“You know some of my Democratic colleagues, you know, are being leaned on mighty hard right now. Speaker Pelosi and others are handing down their marching orders, telling them to vote for this bill no matter what. Rarely have elected leaders been so intent on defying the public will. For many members of Congress, the time for choosing is near – do what the party leadership demands, or do what the people have asked you to do. If my colleagues don’t mind some advice from a newcomer, I’d suggest going with the will of the people.

“After all, from the very beginning of this debate, the American people have called it correctly. In every part of the country, Republicans and Democrats have agreed on serious, straightforward, commonsense health care reform. They expect us in Washington to do the same – working together, acting fairly and by the rules, and staying focused on the need to make the American economy as strong as it can be. That is the business that brought me here on an unexpected journey to Washington. And, it’s the responsibility of everyone sent here to serve our country. We can do better – and I challenge my colleagues and the President to do just that.

“I’m Senator Scott Brown and thank you very much for listening.”

Filed under: Democrats • GOP • Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama • Scott Brown
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Blue

    Sen. Brown, you can thank your GOP friends for the delay in healthcare. Presdient Obama has not taken his eye off the ball. He can chew gum and walk at the same time. It is time for the GOP to put up or shut up.

    March 13, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Mary

    I think this is a lot of spin. Where have the Republicans been the last year? Unbelievable, they have wanted the President to fail. Health care is a complex issue and requires both sides willing to negotiate. If health care does not pass this time, it will be a long time in passing and so, it is naive of Senator Brown to suggest that we start over. Furthermore, health care is related with jobs and the state of the economy. These are not simple issues. President Obama inherited a mess. When campaigning for his seat, Senator Brown was not worried about health care for his state because they already passed health care reform in Mass. He appears to a have narrow view of the issues when what is required is someone who has a deeper understanding of health care reform and who can truly lead. His desire to write a book and make money from it reflects his priorities and approach to dealing with complex issues facing our country.

    March 13, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. TT

    Amen, Scott Brown, tell it like it is. The American people, the hard working, tax paying citizens of this great country agree with you 100% and are sick and tired of the Community Organizer in cheif trying to control 1/6 of the american economy with this farce he is calling a health care bill. What a loser Obama has turned out to be. He is proof positive that this former Democrat made the correct decision in supporting the Republican party, the party of the people that made this country the greatest country on earth. The Dems do nothing but bring us down, down, down.

    March 13, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Molly Weasley

    Poor Scott Brown. Of course, he voted for this EXACT SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN when he was a state senator in Massachusetts. The people of Massachusetts like it. And if you look at current polling, there's been a turnaround: People like what's in this health care plan, and they want it passed.

    If Republicans want Democrats to stop talking about health care, they should stop obstructing every piece of legislation and get out of the way.

    March 13, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Unpopular with whom you nude model? Everyone I know wants healthcare with the public option. The party of NO continues to obstruct what the people want.
    You are just a poster boy.

    March 13, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Roger in Minnesota

    Hey Brown, it's your party of NO that has made this detour! If you and yhour pals at "NO" GOP could have steped up and it would havbe been done long ago! It's your fault!

    March 13, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Good attempt by a Sen. Brown, a man that understands exactly what the American People want done about Healthcare. The Dems understand too, but don't care. They have a progressive full control agenda and nothing less is acceptable to them. Losing a high number of seats is also alright, if the agenda can go forward and be built on at a later date. America was caught asleep at the wheel in the last election. It will take years to recover from this trip into Socialism.

    March 13, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Edward

    How about the disastrous 8-year debt detour under Pres. Bush? How quickly Republicans forgot–or ignore.

    March 13, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Frank P

    Wow, a true start has been born!! This guy has a lot of potential and if he can prove to us that he is not your typical Washington politician, in actions and not just in words, I believe President Brown is in the horizon! So much for talking about Obama's ability to deliver a speech; this guy is 10 times better, connects better with the audience, and most importantly doesn't have the arrogance that comes out of Obama every time that he opens his mouth! Senator Brown, please show us once again that we can believe in someone in Washington to do the right thing, and please try to lead us in the right direction!! Thank you.

    March 13, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Yesterday I wondered if he would slam the health care plan after he voted for health care in Massachusetts. He didn't disappoint. I guess we can say he's been indoctrinated into the GOP DC Culture. Wonder how long it will be before he's anti-choice for women's reproductive rights.

    As far as an "entire year gone to waste," I have to disagree. Anything worthwhile is worth waiting for, and especially fighting for. I know he's received a salary and benefits from the taxpayers for years now. He must not be aware of the fact that we're getting crushed out here on Main Street under enormous medical and insurance costs. Makes you wonder what was he doing while traveling the state in that pickup truck. Apparently not listening to real people and their problems. Anyone surprised?

    March 13, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |

    Obama and his group of dissidents to a free country are steadfast
    in the ruiniation of all that we have fought to preserve since the very
    beginning of our great nation. We as americans cannot submit in a
    time of peril to our country.

    Nam Vet from nh

    March 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Right on Scott......

    If Obamacare gets passed, let's repeal it in 2012 before it even gets started.....get rid of the Dem. Congress in 2010 and dump Obama in 2012....we can repeal it just like Prohibition was repealed....

    March 13, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. elana

    Seems as though Mr. Brown crossed the road to get to the other side where all of the Republicans are standing. i was hopeful Mr. Brown would be the "Independent" he was elected to be and represent the people of Massachusetts accordingly!

    March 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    Mr brown, they in power don't care. Majorities only count when honest
    folks vote. Honest elections come from us who are hard working
    and contribute,as we have all of our working lives,

    March 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. John in WV

    I find it interesting that Mr. Brown does not suggest that what he'd like to see has nothing to do with millions of middle class Americans that want affordable health care but has everything to do with protecting health insurance company's profits at the expense of middle class America.

    March 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Jon In Madison

    I like this guy. I thought he was going to be another Republican cronie, but he has shown that he is not owned by any party. When the independents, like Brown, speak try to listen. If people took away the bickering we would realize that everyone wants to reform health care, but this bill is not the way to do it. We waited 70 years to get this close to true health care reform, let's take another year and get it right.

    March 13, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Bill in Austin

    Another shill for the GOP put out front to assail the Dems and their policies. Over the last year, we've seen a host of these unknown and inexperienced politicians carrying the water for the Republican leaders. The good thing is that we seldom hear from them again. They got their 15 seconds in the national spotlight. So when was this guy elected, yesterday? So, now he is an expert? I hear he is already gonna write a book. Is that the best way to make money these days, ala Palin? Gimme a break. I gotta get me an agent and get some of that easy money.

    March 13, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. j

    I seem to recall a number of jobs related bills being passed in the past week. Maybe Sen Brown was off taking a nap with that happened.

    March 13, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Mike in MN

    My goodness!!! What a great speech. Brown nailed it exactly as it is. I am clapping and cheering. Well done Senator Brown, it is obvious why the people of Mass. sent you to Washington. If only more of his Democrat colleagues on the other side of the aisle were as tuned into the will of the people and saw things as clearly as Senator Brown. Let's send more like Brown to Washington in November and take our nations checkbook and credit card away from Obama and the progressive Democrat leadership and stop their dangerous agenda. Let's end this in November!

    March 13, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. RJ Koser

    Looks like he's not the "independent" Republican he claimed to be in getting elected and he voted for Romneycare. Just another obstructionist with a prettier face.

    March 13, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. maf

    I wrote too soon about Brown and his comments on getting the jobs bill going again. The GOP have leashed him in and he is now on the same page with the same old blah, blah, blah!

    How did a year go by without any health care reform, more jobs being lost and trillion dollar spending? The party of NO being obstructionist and pledging government failure so they come out as heroes. What a misguided party! There is lots of good in the health care bill, the President has adopted many Republican strategies and the GOP can't get on board with the bill because it is a true step in the right direction!

    Mid-terms and 2012 are coming. Show these pompous politicians the door and get some work done!

    March 13, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. kk-ohio

    Since he know's so much "Why didn't he apply for the job?

    March 13, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Michael from Ventura

    Scott Brown doesn't need great healthare- he already HAS it thanks to Teddy Kennedy!

    March 13, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Xavier

    Funny, usually the republican talking head adresses what the democratic talking head talked about. Obama talked about education, and Brown repeated his old talking points. All in all, he had that deer in the headlights look. I think Brown's 15 minutes are up. I know the GOP loves the guy, but he just looked like a stiff out there.

    March 13, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Kent

    I'm an Obama supporter and can't help but think Brown is right. But he's jumping the gun too. He forgets that the job isn't done. And instead of repeating the do nothing Republican ploy of ignoring the health care problems, let's fix it since we're this close. THEN, let's get on with the jobs issues as he says. The only waste would be to walk away from the reform that so close at hand and caving to critics like Brown and others on both sides of the isle. This issue isn't popular, but it's right. Years from now we'll be wondering why we didn't do more, mark my words, I'm right about that.

    March 13, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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