DNC Pulls Health Reform Ad After Dole Complains
After a group of Republicans voiced support for health reform last week, the Democratic National Committee produced an ad featuring those comments but, withdrew it at the request of former Senate Majority leader, Bob Dole, R-Kan., The Associated Press/The Boston Globe reports. Dole and other Republicans were quoted in the commercial, with Dole saying "I want this to pass. We've got to do something." But the ad went on to suggest the current Republican leadership was siding with insurance companies. "'I just didn't think it was fair, when I've tried to be helpful in encouraging a bipartisan solution, for the DNC to run an ad that I interpreted and I know others did as a backhanded comment about Republicans,' Dole said. A DNC spokesman said Sunday: 'We have great respect for Sen. Dole and his commitment to reform. When Sen. Dole's concerns were communicated to us we immediately agreed to pull the ad'" (10/11).
Dole said he complained to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel about the ad, and that Emanuel told the DNC to withdraw it, The Washington Times reports. A DNC spokesman said, "We have great respect for Senator Dole and his commitment to reform. When Senator Dole's concerns were communicated to us, we immediately agreed to pull the ad" (10/12).
Dole "found it a bit ironic that 'all I've been doing is urging bipartisanship' and that (it) was used for partisan purposes," reports ABC News. "Dole also objected to any impression that the ad suggested he endorsed any specific legislation when he's tried to keep what he's supporting 'pretty generic.'" Still, Dole added, that he believes a compromise is possible and that lawmakers on both sides should be prepared for difficult concessions. "Congress ought to understand, there aren't any easy votes on this issue. Trying to avoid any political risk at all is going to be difficult," he said (Tapper, 10/11).
"Mr. Dole's complaint and the quick compliance by the Democrats reflect the intense and delicate politics swirling around the health-care debate as the Senate Finance Committee prepares to vote on its version of the overhaul early this week," The New York Times reports. "Mr. Dole said last week that top Republicans in Congress, including Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, had asked him not to endorse an overhaul but he ignored that request. Then the commercial pushed him too far" (Seelye, 10/11).