Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who has taken a particular glee in pushing the argument that health care could be Obama’s unraveling, did little to calm the rhetoric between him and the White House on Sunday.
Appearing on “This Week,” the South Carolina Republican said the president was “out of control” and offering false promises and panic in an effort to get health care legislation passed.
“This is not personal against the president,” said DeMint. “I like the president. But he is out of control and he is leading a stampede of more spending and debt and taxes and government takeovers. He has taken a bad economy and made it worse. He used a lot of false promises, and bogus numbers and panic to push through the stimulus. And the promises have not panned out. And now he is using the same strategy on health care. And what I’m trying to do, and I think even Kent [Conrad] has reservations, is say, lets slow down and get this right.”
DeMint’s co-panelist, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D, is not, necessarily, the best defender for the White House, having refused to get on board such items as a public option for insurance coverage. But the North Dakota Democrat offered ample push back, saying that while he agreed that it is “critical” to get health care right – even if it means slowing down the process – DeMint’s objectives were far more sinister.
“Jim has been very clear,” Conrad said. “He wants to kill it. And I think that would be a tragedy because we’ve got a crisis here for the country.”
As for timing, Conrad refused to offer a clear outline for when the Senate Finance Committee – on which he sits – would produce a bill, telling host George Stephanopoulos that, “We are going to finish when we finish, and we are going to do everything we can to get it right… We will be ready when we are ready.”