Rendell Says Unifying the Country Is Not Enough
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D), whose state holds the nation's next primary, on April 22, implicitly criticized a key rationale of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, saying today that it is not enough to be a unifying figure.
"I think the important thing to understand is who's got the best solutions for the problems, not just unification. That's great, but unification is not going to bring us health care," said Rendell, a supporter of Obama's opponent, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Senator Clinton's health care plan is far more workable, far more achievable, and it will not only give universal health care, but it will drive down costs, which are essential," Rendell added.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and Obama supporter, countered that Clinton's plan "is a non-starter, because it starts with a mandate that is unachievable in the Senate." He was referring to Clinton's requirement that every American must purchase health insurance.
By contrast, said Kerry, Obama's plan requires purchasing health care coverage only for children, and it "works up to a system where, at the back end, you may have a mandate, you will get to universal coverage."
Kerry also said that it will be very difficult for Clinton to win the presidency because of her high negativity ratings.
"Her negatives are now higher than her positives. It is very difficult to win the presidency when that's true," he said.
Posted at 1:52 PM ET on Mar 30, 2008
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