Democrats are firing back at this weekend's Republican radio address, stressing much of Rep. Parker Griffith's (R-Ala.) criticisms are incorrect.
Griffith, who defected to the GOP last December, charged Saturday morning that his former party had "lost its way" in the healthcare debate. He specifically railed on Democrats for cutting Medicare, adding a host of new fees and sneaking a series of secret "sweetheart deals" into their healthcare bill.
As it has before, the DNC aggregated a handful of statements from both congressional Democrats and the White House, showing the party has no desire to cut Medicare, harm seniors, takeover the healthcare system or impose wild tax hikes.
But strategists took particular issue with Griffith's insinuation that Democrats planned to introduce new "sweetheart deals" to their final healthcare bill.
“Even as public opposition continued to rise, Democrats refused to let up, stuffing these bills with sweetheart deals for lawmakers and giveaways to Washington special interests,” Griffith said in the address, later adding that Senate Democrats' desire to use the 51-vote reconciliation process would assist them in this aim.
But DNC leaders soundly disputed that charge. They pointed out that House and Senate Democratic leaders agreed weeks ago to remove the deal that has generated considerable criticism: the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback" that granted a key Medicare exemption to Sen. Ben Nelson's home state of Nebraska.
The DNC later defended Senate Democrats' use of reconciliation, noting that GOP leaders have invokes the procedure many times before -- most notably in 2001, when Republicans passed former President George Bush's tax cuts into law.