The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Health Care

Irked Grassley Tweets Obama in France, 'You Got Nerve'

Associated Press
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that President Obama has "nerve" to tell lawmakers that "it's time to deliver" on a health care overhaul while he spent Saturday in Paris.

Grassley, the top Republican on the Finance Committee -- a key panel as Congress considers Obama's demand -- issued two angry text messages on Twitter on Sunday morning as the president wrapped up an overseas tour

Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to call on Congress to enact legislation to reform the health-care system.

Grassley responded by texting, "Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us 'time to deliver' on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND."

A short time later, Grassley sent, "Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said 'time to delivr on healthcare' When you are a 'hammer' u think evrything is NAIL I'm no NAIL."

A Grassley spokeswoman verified that the senator wrote the messages.

Asked to respond to Grassley, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said: "President Obama is gratified that the Senate is working hard to bring a health reform bill to the floor on schedule. He looks forward to continuing his work with them upon his return from the commemoration of Allied heroism at D-Day."

The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Max Baucus (D-Mont.), has been laboring to come up with a health care bill that Democrats and Republicans can support.

Posted at 4:29 PM ET on Jun 7, 2009  | Category:  Health Care
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Dear Maggie Pie

When it comes to being nasty.....there is no one to compete with the liberal Democrats ...just read the WaPo comments.....every day, every article.....listen to MSNBC........

When you have nothing constructive to say, which is most often the case, you just resort to your usual nastiness.

Posted by: Keeptrying | June 8, 2009 8:55 PM

I definitely think Grassley's comments were rude and disrespectful. It was also no accident. He knows that when you twitter everyone can read it. He wanted to be seen as being rude to the President. I have had it with Repug's and there nasty agenda's. Anyone listening to anything they have to contribute is being led down a path of political lies.

Posted by: MaggiePi | June 8, 2009 7:57 PM

Grassley is beholden to a large extent to three principal entities:1-insurance; 2-agriculture; and 3-manufacturing, or what we have left of it here in Iowa. With that knowledge his votes become understandable. Not necessarily the votes I'd like to see, but understandable. For my money nationalized health care comes under the rubric of "a penny of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

HOTDEM: You expose your historical ignorance quite boldly regarding firearms confiscation in the world. That was one of Hitler's first moves. Stalin had done the same thing before him. Mao Tse Tung did the same thing. So did the Viet Cong and NVA after they took power in The Nam. In Myanmar the story is the same. Britain and Australia are "enjoying" a burgeoning crime rate (by criminals with guns) against the rest of the population,

A disarmed nation is a nation ready and willing to be ruled by any strongman or ideological group that finds it's way to near or at the seat of power. With 250 million guns in this country, more are being sold now than ever before because of Obama's past statements and votes in the Illinois and U.S. Senates, and his appointment of Eric Holder as A.G. and choosing Joe Biden "Mr. Anti Assault Gun Ban Himself" Biden as V.P.

Do you really find it any wonder that fully loaded ammunition manufacturers, case makers, primer makers, powder makers, and bullet makers are running 6 months to a year behind in order fulfillment Excepting the military for practice, and actual use in Afghanistan and Iran? For those who do not own firearms and/or are opposed to then, I have just one question: Assuming you have time to call the police, which in a street mugging or robbery or rape you will certainly not, and if you are in your home or auto when some street animal selects you as his victim, and you have called the police, just exactly what do you intend to do until the law does get ther?

Baseball bats, golf clubs, and the like come in 10th place when confronted with a firearm, which holds 1st place always. What are you going to feel when you daughter or son is being raped and murdered in front of you, or you are raped and murdered in front of them, be you man or woman. Not so well, I think.

To those of you who idolize Obama's very footprints, you people need to read "Obamanation" by Joe Corsey, Jr. The facts about Barry's essentially unreported and unknown (to the general punlic)history. will, I hope, at least open your eyes.

You may dismiss the facts as old history, of course, or twisted, deceitful, or even lies. My only question is why did he go to the home of Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, two of the most wanted bombers in the 60's for guidance? Couldn't he find a mainstream centrist Democrat in Chicago to seek advice from? You're damned right he could. I lived near the lake on the North side for seven yeas, and I know for a fact he could. This man will lead us to disaster, unless the Good Lord intervenes.

Posted by: connerdsmia | June 8, 2009 5:18 PM

Mr. Grassley obviously doesn't live where he works. He probably doesn't rise at 4am & work until midnight or so. He probably gets weekends off. He most likely is not pestered at all hours of the day. AND MOST OBVIOUSLY he doesn't have any major decisions to make.
Toni Mueller
Waldport, OR

Posted by: Tonisongbird34 | June 8, 2009 4:40 PM

Members of the Congress make rude noises every now and then. Sometimes they sound even stupider than they really are out of peevishness. Many of them are stupid enough but that sort of thing is a minor distraction.

The important thing, if you really care about the national interest, is to remind them of it frequently. They do care about votes.

Posted by: unclej0 | June 8, 2009 2:32 PM

Seems like old Senator Grassley's getting a little soft in the head. We've needed healthcare reform desperately for a very long time--Obama get's it--apparently Grassley does not.

Posted by: jsquires | June 8, 2009 2:07 PM

Congres, yes, you too Senator Grassley, just doesn't get it. While they circulate in a bubble...well paid, an expense budget, a retirement and very very generous healthcare for life, MANY Americans cannot afford ANY healthcare. Legislators are paid to work for the greater good of all reach consensus and make decisions...not to put off tough issues because their outcome may be somewhat discomforting. We cannot wait another 4 or 8 or 12 years....

Sign me, "Not Cynical, Just Experienced"

Posted by: skiloypet | June 8, 2009 1:01 PM

Too many Republicans are allowing themselves to be Obama’s NAILS. We don’t have to take it just because we lost an unwinable election. Keep fighting Senator Grassley! We haven’t lost the first amendment yet. We have the right to our opinions.

Posted by: XLiberalJack | June 8, 2009 12:01 PM


Howard Dean and the Democrats are correct.

"a" (Toothy, Robust, Affordable, Immediate, Triggerless, Medicare-Like ) "public health insurance option" (For All Who Want It) "is more important than bipartisanship, and Democrats should pass health-care legislation that includes the option with 51 votes if necessary."

"Democrats should have "no intention" of working with Republicans if it's not the strongest possible legislation that could be passed with a simple majority." (Howard Dean)

CONTACT CONGRESS and your representatives Now! And tell them you demand ALL of the minimum requirements above. This is the time for maximal, toothy, sustained pressure on Congress to get this done. Be creative. But be relentless.

This is what WE THE PEOPLE gave the Democrats all that power to do for ALL of us.

In medicine and healthcare there is only one acceptable standard. And that standard is the HIGHEST level of EXCELLENCE! you can provide for everyone. Nothing less is acceptable for a precious human life.

And the White House is right. "Good health care reform is essentially good economic policy." (Christina Romer)

BUT HEAR ME WELL! Just as I warned you before 911. Before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And before the US and Global economic crisis.

I must tell you now that healthcare reform is now a critical matter of NATIONAL SECURITY. A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) was yet another loud WAKE-UP! call. And there is MUCH! worse lurking, and poised to strike at any moment. Working against the clock, many of us have known this for a long time now. And this is why we have been pushing so hard for so long without fully saying why. But Congress and the American people are literally running out of time.

I'll tell you more later. But get healthcare reform done NOW!.


God Bless All Of You

jacksmith -- WORKING CLASS

Posted by: JackSmith1 | June 8, 2009 11:39 AM

Ordinarily, I'd think this was just another case of Repubs trying to garner some face and print time, since that appears to be all they're good for. However, I've seen Grassley work on healthcare via CSPAN, and while he seems to be another apologist for the health insurance industry, at least he listened to other views. He is, however, factually wrong. It IS time for the US Congress to enact meaningful "reform", preferably a single payer system that apparently all of the nitwits have refused to even discuss, including Obama.

I thought a major element of "reform" was at least, in part, to help alleviate the unsustainable stress that Medicare/Medicaid will put on our economy. I don't see how any of these quasi-proposals do that. While virtually anything these nitwits come up with is better than the status quo, they could, and should, do one helluva lot better.

Posted by: michael4 | June 8, 2009 11:35 AM

Behold old Senator Grassley
Acting, as usual, un-classily
He tweets and he twitters
Trashes and litters,
Mouthing inanities sassily

Posted by: HotDem | June 8, 2009 11:12 AM

Let me start by confessing that I voted for Dubya. I'm embarrassed about that now, and I will NEVER vote Republican again -- except maybe for Grassley. His head is usually on straight, except for occasional lapses into such as this little fit of pique. I can forgive him that.

What I have a more difficult time with are the following:
-- the apparently Republican-led defense of the health insurance industry. It's estimated that the insurance people take about 30% of everything we spend for health care. THIRTY PERCENT!

What's truly amazing about this is that the defense usually consists of some inane insinuation about the government being so inefficient that putting the government in charge would cost us even more. The insurance industry is willing to spent billions of dollars to perpetuate this fraud. You want health care to be handled like Social Security? we're asked. The insinuation is that Social Security is inept. Interesting that Soc. Security issues MILLIONS of checks almost every day, rarely makes an error, and does it without paying its administrators the millions of dollars taken by the insurance executives. Do I want health care to be handled the same way? You betcha! Sometimes it's the Post Office that's attacked. (Usually by the same business types that want the Post Office to handle their junk mail at a discount.) Sometimes it's the Department of Agriculture -- the biggest boondoggle ever! And no I certainly do not want HMOs subsidized the way we subsidize mega-sized agri-businesses.

What IS IT with this country and guns? (I own an even dozen of them.) But the paranoia about "they're going to confiscate our guns" is -- I'm sorry there's just no other word -- just plain crazy. Incidentally, I posed the question to The response was (I thought) incomplete, but it seemed to confirm my suspicion that no such confiscation has ever taken place anywhere on the planet at any time in recorded history. How in the world did we come to this?!

Without government "interference," the market will correct itself. Surely the current fiasco should have destroyed that myth, but some politicians are still preaching this line.

How did we come to the partisanship that seems to rule Washington? Whatever one party suggests, the other party complains about automatically.

There are other things that continue to puzzle me, but I'm running too long as it is.

Posted by: TheFrog1 | June 8, 2009 11:09 AM

Don't get all 'atwitter' over this. It's just one self important politician chiding another. Republicans ARE, at the moment, the party of NO. the Dems are the party of NO RESTRAINT. What a bunch of egotistic, self indulgent, attention hogs. Government of, by, and for the people, my foot! Some day, we may be able to clone Lincoln.

Posted by: roanns | June 8, 2009 10:57 AM

Congressmen, especially conservative ones, might want to focus on doing their jobs and not worrying that the president goes out to dinner or visits Paris while on a state visit. He is beginning to fit the definition of a Puritan as one who is terrified that someone, somewhere, is having fun. He lives in a glass house and might want to refrain from the stone throwing.

Finally, consider Grassley wants English to be the required language of the nation it would be nice for him to use it. Some of us, condemned as "liberals," really enjoy "old fashion English."


Posted by: Renaud21 | June 8, 2009 10:57 AM

Cosmiccanine: I agree, term limits NOW! Clean house on both sides of the isle. Eight years, two terms, senators, eight years, four terms, Reps. Obama can vacation every day for the good of America. And, SYWanda, our current pres. has done more than W. -- more damage to the Constitution and our pocketbooks than all the presidents combined since nationhood. Get a real job, Wanda, and stop pretending to know so little. Being a far left LIB is NOT as important as preserving our freedoms. Down with bailouts, handouts and socialism.

Posted by: dusanotes | June 8, 2009 10:44 AM

Grassley has nerve to send a tweet. His party destroyed the economy and committed high crimes and he complains to Obama? He is lucky that the Republican Congress and senate are not ALL charged along with Bush/Cheney as War Criminals and jailed. They shut the mouth of the Democrat Party for eight years by stuffing the Democrats mouths with the U.S. Flag while they sucked the economy and invaded other countries, now they have the nerve to be critical? Grassley is a criminal as well as Bush/Cheney because he supported their War Crimes. NO Democrat supported Bush/Cheney, The Democrat members of the House and Senate was Forced to vote with Bush or be labeled UnAmerican.

Posted by: rkz1964 | June 8, 2009 10:40 AM

So, Sen. Grassley, it would have been just fine for Pres. Obama to IGNORE the 65th anniver. of D-Day?!?!?!? Why don't you go home and tell your WWII constituents that their sacrifice shouldn't be acknowledged in such a public display from now on, after all, it was just a battle, right? What a Freakin PUTZ!!!!!

Posted by: StacyC1 | June 8, 2009 10:37 AM

What an idiotic twit. What an idiotic twitter. And how revealing that this idiot whines about having to work on a weekend. He should be introduced to the real world.

Posted by: JCinBelgium | June 8, 2009 10:29 AM

Grassley seems to be offended by what he sees as a patronizing attitude by the president. What's the problem with that? As for him being disrepectful of Obama, rude, etc., etc., it's not neary the disrepect, rudeness and downright viciousness that Bush was, and is subjected to by his opponents. Get a grip, you fools.

Posted by: Lilycat11 | June 8, 2009 10:28 AM

Where was Grassley when George Bush was on vacation for a MONTH in Crawford Texas in August, 2001? He was ignoring the memo, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In US" while Obama is in Paris for a DAY. The absolute disrespect to the POTUS in Grassley's Tweet is disgusting. He is (unfortunately) a member of Congress & needs to carry out policy disputes in a more mature, reasoned manner. Term limits, NOW. Grassley is well past his shelf life date.

Posted by: cosmiccanine | June 8, 2009 9:55 AM

Grassley should have said nothing and let Obama ramble on.

The president should have addressed the Congress directly, at home in the United States, instead of using a starry eyed, willing to please press corps as his audience to deliver the message.

There may be certain cases for TEMPORARY universal health coverage, but, passing a state law for mandatory health care for everyone, go to England or Canada and wait for your critical medical procedure to be approved.

Posted by: pielusztcontractor | June 8, 2009 9:45 AM

Hmmm....honoring American servicemen who were killed during the D-Day landing really isn't a vacation. It is a honor that I am proud, as an American, that President Obama could do. Sounds like Grassley is a tad bit cranky. Grassley says he goes home every weekend to farm but no one is complaining about that.

Posted by: BobMartin1 | June 8, 2009 9:36 AM

What?? Grassley's accusing Obama of not working hard? How inane!!

Posted by: kaeparker | June 8, 2009 9:33 AM

Obama has done more in 100 days that W. has done in his LIFETIME....since I am currently an Iowa resident, I would suggest to dear old Chuckie baby that he should ask to borrow some of O's "nerve" and pass a state law mandating health care for everyone in this state regardless of the insurance companies' complete rejection of universal health care. Iowa, with good old boy Des Moines being the insurance capital that it is, should just LOVE that proposal, love it....

Posted by: SYWanda | June 8, 2009 12:55 AM

Will you report on every inane, hostile tweet out there? Is there no editorial judgment happening at WP? Anyone can say anything. How do you choose what to report? This is why "papers" are going under.

Posted by: mediadecoder | June 8, 2009 12:15 AM

Senator Grassley, Obama is our President. He's on official business. Show some respect.

Posted by: info22 | June 7, 2009 11:09 PM

Harsh-ness! First rule of Twitter: your tweets are visible to everybody! Also, you get 140 characters, so you can spell out "you". Think before you Tweet.

Posted by: zydecoqueen | June 7, 2009 10:43 PM

Just silly.

Posted by: rlj611 | June 7, 2009 10:35 PM

Okay, if you think that Grassley's comments are as rude, disrespectful and juvenile as I do, then call and complain. I called Grassley at 202-224-3744 and Max Baucus, who is the Democrat trying to work with Grassley, at 202-224-2651 to tell him that he needs to listen to the American people. I email my representative and senators on a regular basis telling them that we are watching how they vote. We don't need representatives who are sitting in the lobbyists' pockets. That's not who they're representing. Remind them.

Posted by: laraine2 | June 7, 2009 5:56 PM

Oh my. The obots have their panties in a twidder over this. ha ha

Posted by: dweyenbe | June 7, 2009 5:23 PM

Since when is a weekend outing "vacationing." Please be more careful that your headlines are factual and don't propagate Mr. Grassley's disinformation.

Posted by: ch1123 | June 7, 2009 5:08 PM

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