Deeds takes heat online over public option comments
Left-leaning blogs and Democratic twitters are giving Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds a hard time over his comment at Tuesday night's final debate in Salem, indicating that he would consider opting out of a public health insurance option if Congress extended that possibility to the states. Daily Kos has run some items taking Deeds to task over his wishy-washy support for the public option, for instance. That's not to mention Virginia bloggers Ben Tribbett and Lowell Feld.
After the debate, Deeds tried to explain to reporters that he believed the public option might help reduce health care costs and expand coverage, but he is not certain it is the best way to achieve those goals. "It may be one way, it might not be the best way," he said.
(His campaign also circulated a statement today about the issue saying that "if the public option proves to be the best way" to reduce costs and expand coverage, "he'd support having Virginia participate. He'll examine all of the proposals on the table and choose the option than provides Virginians with the most affordable and quality coverage.")
But his attempt to clarify his position has now been turned into a new Republican video that is making the rounds, much like the Fairfax Count post-debate scrum.
And now it appears Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner is embracing the public option more vigorously, at least slightly, than Deeds.
It's hard to know whether the online world will filter into the rest of the world on this issue. But it's clear Deeds needs to energize committed Democrats behind his efforts--and some of them were not at all impressed with his answer on health care.
Just check out some of the tweets.
bencannatti: Why again is President Obama going to Virginia for Creigh Deeds? He just jumped ship on the public option. http://j.mp/Ow4X8 #vagov
mhabegger: Well, I got to the VA-Gov game late, but Creigh Deeds really sucked. And tonight he said he'd opt out of public option. What a tool.
marklainer: @janehamsher: Creigh Deeds Might Opt Virginia Out Of the Public Option//As much of a turd as McDonnell is, Deeds deserves to lose this race.
Here's what we got from Wagner campaign manager Elisabeth Pearson on the issue:
"As a small business owner and the wife of a doctor, Jody feels very strongly that we must take steps to expand access to health insurance and lower costs for Virginians. If a public option helps to put patients in the driver's seat by accomplishing those two goals--expanded access and lower costs--without raising taxes on Virginians, then she would support it. Frankly, it's disappointing that Bill and Bob are rejecting out of hand a mechanism that could help to provide coverage and lowers cost for families and businesses in Virginia, all while they plan to rob $5.4 billion from education and health care to pay for transportation."
Democratic attorney general candidate Steve Shannon's position, according to his campaign: "I'm against the federal government taking over health care, but at the end of the day if they are talking about expanding the Medicare program so that small businesses and individuals can buy more affordable health care through fair competition with private insurers, I don't think we should rule that out right off the bat. I trust Senators Warner and Webb to get it right."
October 21, 2009; 7:15 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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