ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday lobbied Representative Jason Altmire, a Democrat who is undecided on the health care legislation, over what it will take "to change your vote from no to yes." The former Democratic operative turned journalist pressed for details: "Well, the House bill was about, what, $950 billion. The Senate bill came in about $875 billion. What number do you need to see?"
Stephanopoulos chided Altmire over whether he was ready to take down Obama's presidency. Citing another Democrat who changed sides, he argued, "You know, yesterday, when Congressman Kucinich said he was switching from no to yes, he said one of the factors guiding his vote was the fact that if this went down, it would cripple President Obama's presidency. How big a factor is that for you?"
The ABC anchor even concocted a hypothetical situation in which Altmire held the key to everything: "Okay, Congressman, it's Sunday afternoon. The vote's been called. The clock has run out. The Democrats are stuck at 215 yes votes. Speaker Pelosi comes up to you on the floor. The President gets you on the phone and says, 'It is all up to you.' Can you imagine voting no under those circumstances?"