Gingrich to Obama: keep word on televising healthcare talks
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wants President Barack Obama to keep a promise he made on the campaign trail: televise the final talks on healthcare reform on C-SPAN.
Eight times during the campaign, Obama said he planned to put the talks on healthcare reform on television, Gingrich said — and he even has links to YouTube clips to prove it.
Now that the talks have reached the stage of reconciling separate House and Senate bills, it is the time to deliver on that promise, he said.
“It is in the long-term interest of America to let the light in and let people watch what’s going on and have the whole process on C-SPAN,” Gingrich told a news conference in Atlanta.
“This is too important an issue and too big a bill to rush it through in secret in order to meet an artificial deadline so they can have the State of the Union as a victory speech,” he said.
Gingrich, who is starting a petition to persuade Obama to keep his word, couches his call in the most conciliatory terms – saying he “agrees” with the president’s earlier promise.
Still, the potential for embarrassment is lost on no one. The last thing Congressional leaders want is to hold such sensitive talks in public and there is no evidence that the White House thinks differently.
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Photo credit: Reuters/John Gress (Gingrich in 2007)