The political skirmishes and name-calling over healthcare show no signs of ending.
Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican -- who raised President Obama's hackles by saying that a defeat on healthcare could be the "Waterloo" for his presidency -- didn't back down today. He might have upped the ante, saying it's time to "put the brakes" on Obama because he is on a dangerous spending spree.
"It's not personal," DeMint said this morning on NBC's "Today" show. "We've got to stop his politics."
UPDATE: Going after DeMint, the Democratic National Committee unveiled a hard-hitting TV ad this afternoon that will run in Washington and his home state.
"Jim DeMint will break families & small businesses," the ad says. "Putting special interests first, putting South Carolina last."
"The only health care plan Jim DeMint supports is no plan at all," the ad concludes.
“The politicization of health care reform by Senator Jim DeMint and Republicans is a desperate and shameful ploy by the ‘Party of NO’ to score a political win on the backs of struggling American families and small businesses," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. "What’s worse is that this strategy originates from the same Republican Party who ignored health care reform for the past eight years, letting costs spiral out of control while protecting their special interest friends."
Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, continued his assault with a web video that accuses Obama and congressional Democrats of jeopardizing the healthcare system.
Democrats "are in a hurry, a reckless rush and still can't answer some fundamental questions," the announcer says, including how much the overhaul would cost. The video also accuses Obama of opening the door to reneging on his pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year, though Democratic plans don't propose that.
“We won't be lectured by Eric Cantor and Republicans on being reckless," responded Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan. "While the President is offering a constructive way forward to get something done after we've been trying to reform health care for decades, Eric Cantor and Republicans are offering nothing more than partisan obstruction, the status quo and more cries of ‘NO.’
“What's reckless is saying you want to ‘kill’ health care reform when American families have seen 80 percent hikes in premiums this decade alone. What's reckless is saying you want to ‘break’ the President on health care when small business are going broke paying for insurance. What Eric Cantor and the Republican Party don't understand is that the most reckless thing we can do, as they propose, is nothing.”
The Republican National Committee is up with a web video of its own, a take-off on those TV ads for all kinds of prescription drugs.
With idyllic images of couples frolicking in fields of flowers, the video says that Obama and Democrats are trying to sell "Reforma" on healthcare.
But it warns of dangerous side effects, including government control of healthcare, higher medical costs, and bureaucratic gridlock.
"Not recommended for people who may need actual medical care," it says.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.