CNN's Cafferty Slams Democrats' Closed-Door Negotiations on Health Care
Published: 1/6/2010 6:01 PM ET
On Wednesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty surprisingly blasted top Democrats, especially President Obama, over the secret negotiations being conducted to reconcile the House and Senate versions of health care "reform" legislation: "President Obama hasn't even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie."
The CNN commentator, who sang the praises of President Obama not even a year ago, devoted his first Cafferty File segment, which began 13 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, to berating the chief executive and congressional Democrats over their closed-door sessions. He even went so far to express his hope that "the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year."
CAFFERTY: How dare they- President Obama, Democratic leaders have decided to bypass a formal House and Senate conference committee, in order to reconcile those two health care bills. Instead, White House and Democratic leaders will hold informal- that's another word for secret - negotiations, meant to shut Republicans and the public out of the process. What a far cry from the election, when then-candidate Obama pledged to- quote, 'broadcast health care negotiations on C-SPAN, so that the American people can see what the choices are,' unquote. President Obama hasn't even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie that was told in order to get elected.Cafferty may just have a problem with the lack of transparency itself, and not with the left-wing legislation. Just over two months earlier, during an October 20, 2009 Cafferty File segment, the commentator highlighted a poll which indicated that most Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these two left-wing proposals.
The head of C-SPAN wrote a letter, asked Congress to- quote, 'open all the important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage,' unquote. When White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked whether the administration would support televising the negotiations, he refused to answer, instead mumbling something about 'I haven't seen the letter.' That wasn't the question, Mr. Gibbs. You either support openness or you don't.
The Democrats insist this is all on the up-and-up, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying- quote, 'There has never been a more open process for any legislation,' unquote. Oh, really? This is the same Nancy Pelosi who, you may recall, after becoming speaker in 2006, promised the Democrats would have- quote, 'the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,' unquote. Here's hoping the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.
Here's the question: should secret negotiations be used to reconcile the two health care bills? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog.
-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.