Rendell: 'Bad Person' Wouldn't Support Obama's Universal Health Care

August 25th, 2008 6:47 PM

What are you if you don't support Sen. Barack Obama's health care plan? Well, a "bad person" according to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. Sticks and stones may hurt your bones but words can always be blogged:

"Hillary has fought for universal health-care for all her life. The McCain plan is respectfully a joke. Sen. Obama has a real good plan to bring health care to every American," Rendell told CBS "The Early Show" co-host Harry Smith on August 25. "She cares about that. If she didn't she'd be a bad person and she's a very good person."

Rendell, who supported Clinton in the primary, said Obama's proposal to offer a government-run health insurance program should persuade Clinton supporters to back Obama.

There are plenty of female opponents of Obama's plan who might not appreciate being called "bad."

"I think that a lot of women, when they think about moving towards government run system of health care, which is really what Sen. Obama is talking about, they're going to be a little bit cautious," Carrie Lukas, Vice President for Policy and Economics at the Independent Women's Forum, said to the Business & Media Institute.

"They recognize that while free health care, or however Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama wants to bill it, could be really expensive at the end of the day and create lower qualities of care and higher quality of care is really what most women are concerned about," Lukas said.

"He touches all the bases, so he very definitely is targeting women and he needs to because without consulting Hillary or even pursuing her for the vice president position, he's lost ground with women and he obviously thinks his health-care plan will be something that will get women on board," said Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the think tank for Concerned Women for America.

Obama has struggled to win over Clinton's supporters after defeating her in the Democratic primaries.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed Aug. 24 that in June, 75 percent of registered Democrats who wanted Clinton as the nominee, backed Obama. Now the number is at 66 percent. Sixteen percent of these voters said they would support McCain last June, but that number has jumped to 27 percent.

Rendell took a shot at the media Aug. 24 at a media panel, calling coverage of the Obama campaign, "embarrassing."