TPMDC Sunday Roundup

September 6, 2009 9:09 a.m.

Axelrod: Public Option A “Good Tool,” But Shouldn’t Define Whole Debate
Appearing on Meet The Press, White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod said that President Obama “believes the public option is a good tool.” However, Axelrod also added, “It shouldn’t define the whole health care debate, however.”

Van Jones Resigns
Van Jones, President Obama’s adviser on green jobs, has resigned in the wake of controversy surrounding past attacks on Republican, and his having signed a petition by 9/11 Truthers years ago. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in his resignation letter, also adding: “I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.”Gibbs: People Will Know Where Obama Stands On Health Care
Appearing on This Week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Obama will make his case clearly on health care in his upcoming speech to Congress. “People will leave that speech knowing where [Obama] stands,” said Gibbs, “and if it takes whatever to get health care done the president is ready willing and able to do that. We are closer George than we have ever been before.”

Ben Nelson Supports Trigger Option — But not “Hair Trigger”
Appearing on State of the Union, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) said he would support a “trigger” public option, which would kick in only if the market did not respond favorably to other reforms. “I don’t mean a hair trigger,” said Nelson. “I mean a true trigger – one that would only apply if there isn’t the kind of competition in the business that we believe there would be.”

Klobuchar: “I Would Like To See Us At 60” Rather Than Use Reconciliation
Appearing on State of the Union, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said she would prefer to not use reconciliation to enact health care reform. “I would like to see us at 60. I would like to see some bipartisan support for this bill,” said Klobuchar. She later added: “The problem with going down to 50 is we just have more limited tools in terms of getting the kind of work that needs to get done to help people.”

Duncan: If Obama’s Speech Motivates One Student, “It’s All Worth It”
Appearing on Face The Nation, Sec. of Education responded to criticism from the right over President Obama’s upcoming address to schoolchildren. “At the end of the day, if the president motivates one C-student to become a B-student or one student who is thinking about dropping out to stay in school and take their education seriously, it’s all worth it,” said Duncan. He also added, “It’s amazing to me the last time the president spoke to the nation’s children was in 1991,” and that 18 years is such a long time — and perhaps subtly pointing out that the last President to do was a Republican, George H. W. Bush.

Alexander: Dem-Only Health Care Bill Like War Without Authorization
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) attacked the idea of the Democrats using reconciliation to pass health care — likening it to waging war without Congressional authorization. “Thumbing their nose at the American people by ramming through a partisan bill would be the same thing as going to war without asking Congress’ permission,” he said. “You might technically be able to do it, but you’d pay a terrible price in the next election.”

Dean: “If You Don’t Use Your Majorities, You Lose Your Majorities”
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, former DNC Chairman Howard Dean called on President Obama and Congressional Democrats to be strong on health care. “The president is the president. He was elected by a very big majority,” said Dean. “We have very big majorities in the House and the Senate. My experience in politics is if you don’t use your majorities, you lose your majorities.”

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