There were proper fireworks bursting over the bipartisanship flickers at Thursday’s health-care summit. We bring you the best of the barbs, the bloopers, and yes, the story about the dentures. PLUS, Peter Beinart on the case for ramming health-care through.
Obama Chides Cantor for Using Contents of an Entire Tree to Make a Point
In an effort to drive his point home, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) brought along about a thousand printouts to represent the proposed health-care bill. Let’s just say Obama was not amused. “These are the kind of political things we do that prevent us from actually having a conversation,” he chided Cantor. Maybe next time Cantor should try puppets…
Obama to McCain: "The Election Is Over"
Looks like old feuds die hard: After a long statement from Sen. McCain about health care, President Obama cut off his 2008 opponent by saying, "the election is over." But give McCain credit for the comeback: "I'm reminded of that every day," he said.
“She Wore Her Dead Sister's Teeth.”
Throughout the proceedings, quite a few statements gave way to homespun anecdotes as the politicos tried to give a human face to all the legal tousling. But Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) came out with a story that was less folksy and more what the hell did she just say? No, really— what?
McConnell Gets Testy Over Speaking Time
Was Obama playing fair? It was only a little more than an hour into the morning session of the health-care summit and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested that the president was not allotting equal speaking time to both Republicans and Democrats. Obama begged to differ: "I don't think that's quite right."
Obama to Boehner: People Would 'Profoundly Disagree' with You
It wasn’t quite as feisty as his visit to the Republican lions’ den back in January, but Obama wasn’t afraid to call out the GOP when they were wrong. At the Health-Care Summit, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) attacked the Democrats' health-care reform plan bringing up the issue of taxpayer-funding of health plans that cover abortion. Obama quickly shot him down and criticized the minority leader for resorting to “standard talking points” that disrupt the discussion.
Xavier Becerra Spars with Paul Ryan Over CBO ‘Ref’
What spices up a bipartisan summit on health-care reform? Sports references! Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) got into a little bit of a spat, when Becerra called Ryan out for attacking the Congressional Budget Office. Becerra says we can’t talk about the rules of the game without a referee on the field. Not Ryan’s use of an Obama favorite: “Let me be clear.”
Biden: It's Easy Being Veep
It’s not easy being green, but it apparently is easy being vice president. So said someone who would know—Joe Biden. The veep was caught on microphone saying, “It's easy being vice president. You don't have to do anything.” Now, now, GOP, don’t rush all at once to disagree!
Sen. Alexander Sets the Tone
Well, how's this for compromise? Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) took some shots at the current bill as being akin to "giving someone a ticket to a bus line where the buses only run half the time." It’s going to be a long day...