Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday assailed the White House for purportedly wasting a year vying for Republican votes on health care reform, alleging that the protracted debate weakened the bill and damaged the party’s standing among progressives.
“We have wasted month after month negotiating with people who do not support serious reform,” he said at a progressive media summit on Capitol Hill. “It’s been a year now and I think the White House finally got that message.”
President Obama advocated for a bipartisan bill last year and worked extensively to court Republican votes, offering major concessions in the process. But only one Republican – Rep. Joseph Cao (LA) – in Congress wound up voting for it, and even he has since backed out.
But Obama has struck a more aggressive tone in recent weeks, demanding an up-or-down vote on the health care bill and championing the use of reconciliation to amend it. Better late than never, said Sanders, who also claimed Democrats made a strategic blunder by ignoring the single-payer option.
“I think [Sen. Max] Baucus [(D-MT)] made a mistake and would admit it when he said single payer was not on the table,” the senator said.
A self-described Democratic socialist, Sanders is an ardent proponent of a Medicare for all insurance system. He ripped Democrats in his speech for refusing to seriously consider the idea — if even to use it as a bargaining chip for a stronger bill — noting that it has support among millions of progressives.
The Vermont senator blamed the White House in part for the Democratic timidity, alleging Obama should have focused on the substance of the bill “from day one,” rather than dwelling on the elusive goal of bipartisanship.
He said the senate has 50 votes to pass strong health care legislation and urged Democrats to move forward aggressively with the proposal, describing it as flawed but nonetheless an important step forward.
‘We have been under siege’: Trump falsely claims he has been ‘violently’ attacked by his critics
President Donald Trump claimed to be the victim of "violence" during his official campaign kickoff in Orlando, Florida.
"Many times I said we would drain the swamp and that’s exactly what we are doing right now. We are draining the swamp," Trump claimed, despite having the most scandal-plagued administration in American history.
"And that is why the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently," Trump argued.
"For the last two and a half years we have been under siege and with the Mueller report we want and now they want a do-over. They want a do-over," he repeated.
‘He wants the spotlight back’: CNN commentator says Trump is jealous of all the attention Democrats are getting
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump held a rally in Orlando, Florida to formally kick off his re-election campaign for 2020.
And as CNN's Gloria Borger explained to John Berman, Trump desperately needed this event — because he was jealous of how much coverage the Democratic presidential candidates are getting.
"One source told CNN campaign officials are hoping this event will satisfy the president's thirst for the spotlight and reset the campaign's efforts," said Berman. "This is the 60th campaign rally for the president. So is there any reason to think that this event could move the needle?"
Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied ‘proudly and with impunity’ because she was raised to be ‘impervious to reason’: WH reporter
Outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was blasted by a White House correspondent for her brazen lying from the White House podium.
"Sarah Sanders is a true believer. Conditioned by an upbringing rooted in Christian rhetoric that's impervious to reason, she views the world through a lens in which everything exists in absolutes," Playboy magazine White House correspondent Brian Karem wrote.
Her father, Mike Huckabee, is an Evangelical pastor who served as the Republican governor of Arkansas prior to unsuccessful presidential bids.