White House adviser David Axelrod says Sen. Chuck Grassley's attempt to raise funds by attacking "Obama-care" was a bridge too far.
"If you're sitting at a table negotiating in good faith, then you probably don't send out mailers saying, 'Help me stop Obama-care.' That's just common sense," Axelrod told the Wall Street Journal, adding that Grassley's actions, along with those of Sen. Mike Enzi, suggest "they don't want to participate" in constructive health care negotiations.
"They're satisfied with the status quo. We are not," Axelrod said.
Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that, by lending credence to the "death panel" attack, Enzi had turned over his cards and walked away from the table.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee will likely have the ultimate say in who's allowed to negotiate for health care reform, and who won't. But as far as the White House is concerned, the gang of six is down to four, and they're now looking to more moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe for support.