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During an exchange with President Barack Obama at a Republican retreat in Baltimore, Rep. Tom Price, a Republican from Georgia, complained that Obama has been hostile toward GOP suggestions on health care.
"You have repeatedly said, most recently at -- at the State of the Union, that Republicans have offered no ideas and no solutions," Price said on Jan. 29, 2010.
"I don't think I said that," Obama replied. "What I said was within the context of health care -- I remember that speech pretty well. It was only two days ago. . . . I said I'd welcome ideas that you might provide. I didn't say that you haven't provided ideas. I said I'd welcome those ideas that you'll provide."
Price then said, "Mr. President, multiple times from your administration there have come statements that Republicans have no ideas and no solutions, in spite of the fact that we've offered, as demonstrated today, positive solutions to all of the challenges we face, including energy and the economy and health care."
Because Price appeared to correct himself after Obama's reply, we decided to focus on the second claim, that people in Obama's administration have made "statements that Republicans have no ideas and no solutions." Price spokesman Brendan Buck provided a couple of examples and we found a couple of our own:
• At a picnic with labor officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sept. 7, 2009, Obama complained that the critics of health care reform -- he didn't identify them as Republicans, but it was clear he was referring to them -- were not offering their own solutions. He said, "I've got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What's your answer? What's your solution? And you know what? They don't have one. Their answer is to do nothing. Their answer is to do nothing."
• A White House blog post attacking the Republican health care plan said it offered "no ideas." (The posting appears to have a typo. It reads: "The Republican bill offers new no ideas.")
• White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on April 19, 2009, described the Republicans as "the party of never . . . the party of no new ideas." (He was referring not just to health care, but also to fiscal discipline.)
• At a White House briefing April 28, 2009, press secretary Robert Gibbs made a similar comment: "I think you heard me and others say that you can't just be the party of no or the party of no new ideas."
The White House doesn't dispute that aides have portrayed Republicans that way, but a spokeswoman said the Democratic health care plan includes many amendments that were proposed by Republicans.
Still, Price is right. Obama and his aides have said the Republicans have no ideas on health care and other issues. We rate Price's statement True.
White House, Remarks by the President at Labor Day Picnic, Sept. 7, 2009
ABC News, "Rahm Emanuel: GOP is Party of No" This Week, Apr 19, 2009
White House, "Press Briefing by Robert Gibbs" Mar 26, 2009
White House, "Press Briefing by Robert Gibbs" Apr 28, 2009
White House Blog "House Republican Health Care 'Plan' Putting Families at Risk" Nov 4, 2009
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