Axelrod: Dean Not Insane
White House adviser softens rhetoric in health care spat
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2009 11:30 AM CST
Sen. Olympia Snowe wants more time to work on health reform.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – David Axelrod and Howard Dean took their health care smackdown to the Sunday dial today, with Axelrod conceding that OK, maybe the former Vermont gov isn't crazy. “I didn't say he was insane," the White House adviser told This Week. "“What I said was, it would be insane to pass on an opportunity" to pass health reform. The former DNC chair responded that the complicated bill pending in the Senate would be a prime GOP target, and bemoaned the Medicare expansion Dems ditched last week. “That would have made 2010 a lot easier for us.”

  • Olympia Snowe won't vote for the health bill as it stands now, and she wants the president to give legislators more time to work on it. "It’s like the last train leaving the station, we’re going to dump everything in it," she told Face the Nation.
  • The GOP can't stop health reform, says John McCain, but he'll "fight to the last vote" to prevent "this terrible mistake" and "continue winning the battle of American public opinion."
  • The Copenhagen deal provides"some transparency that we don’t have today," but it's largely “ineffective,” Lindsey Graham told State of the Union. The Republican leading the charge on climate change bitterly complained that the "seedy Chicago politics" involved in health reform had "made it very hard for Republicans to sit down at the table."