President Barack Obama is "bowing down" to Republicans and corporate interests on health reform, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said Thursday.

Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a longtime advocate of single-payer healthcare, blasted the president for a perceived weakness in leadership on health reform.

"I'm getting tired of saving Obama's can in the White House," Conyers said on the liberal Bill Press radio show. "He only won by five votes in the House, and this bill wasn't even anything to write home about."

"The only way he could have got it through was that progressives held their nose," Conyers added.


The veteran Michigan Democrat had teamed with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to push single-payer options in the health reform bill, a battle which Conyers said was far from over.

But he castigated Obama for trying to reach out to conservatives and other adversaries on health reform, accusing the president of doing a "disservice" to what he'd once stood for.

"Holding hands out and beer on Friday nights in the White House and bowing down to every nutty, right-wing proposal about healthcare and saying on occasion the public option isn't all that important is doing a disservice to the Barack Obama that I first met, who was an ardent single-payer enthusiast himself," he said.