Yesterday, President Obama aggressively hit back against Sen. Jim DeMint’s threat that health care reform will be his administration’s “Waterloo” and that a defeat would “break him.” “What they don’t recognize is, this isn’t about me; it’s about the American people,” Obama told PBS’ Jim Lehrer. “And things have gotten worse since 1993.”
On right-wing talker Mark Levin’s radio show Monday, DeMint upped his rhetorical fire against Obama, saying that the health care debate was “a real showdown between socialism and freedom.” DeMint also challenged Obama to a debate, a charge he repeated to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto yesterday:
DEMINT: Well, it’s really not about politics and its not about Obama. My problems are with really bad policy and my experience that tells me the government cannot run the most personal and private part of our lives, which is health care. Yeah, they know they’re slipping. They’re panicking a little bit. Any time the president of the United States goes after a freshman senator, he’s losing his grip a little bit. So, I’m glad to have the debate with him, but frankly, I’ve been working on health care for over ten years. I think I know a lot more about how it works than he does. So I’m ready.
On Levin’s show, DeMint said that if health care reform passes, it could be “Waterloo” for the conservative movement. “That’s why I’m using stronger language than I would normally use,” said DeMint.
Indeed, he is “using stronger language.” On G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show last week, DeMint compared the U.S. government under Obama to Nazi Germany under Hitler, saying “We’ve got national socialism.” At the National Press Club earlier this month, he declared that “we’re about where Germany was before World War II.” He also compared Obama’s America to Iran and Venezuela.
In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, DeMint refused to step back from his “Waterloo” comment. “It’s not personal. We’ve got to stop his politics,” he said.