Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WH tried to bribe Mel Martinez into supporting Obamacare

You can add former Sen. Mel Martinez to the list of people that the White House tried to bribe into supporting Obama's health care bill:
Ex-Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) could have named his price for his vote on last year's stimulus bill, but he told the Obama administration there was nothing he wanted.

Martinez said he could have had his own "Cornhusker kickback", the derisive name GOPers have given to a deal cut with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) in exchange for Nelson's vote on health reform legislation.

During negotiations over the stimulus bill, Martinez said the White House asked him, "What do you have to have?"

"But I didn't have to have anything," he said he responded. "I didn't want anything. I wanted a better bill."

Martinez said the talks were disillusioning when it came down to "how can we bribe you" for a vote. "So I walked away from the table." he said...

A spokesman for the WH acknowledged an inquiry but did not comment, as did a spokesman for Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid.
In an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer last month, the President denied any involvement with the various sweetheart deals that were offered in exchange for support of his health care reform bill:

"Let's just clarify"," Obama proclaimed, "I didn't make a bunch of deals. There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked."

But of course - as I noted last month - Obama wasn't telling the truth, for indeed, the White House was clearly behind several of those deals.

Nevertheless, feel free to add one more sweetheart deal [albeit, a sweetheart deal that went awry] to the list.