NYT Never Wrote ‘Obama Can’t Get It’ on Health Care in 2009

The sign over the west entrance of the New York Times building at 620 Eighth Ave. April 28, 2016 in New York. / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump bemoaned the negative press coverage of the Republican-majority Senate’s failed attempt at repealing Obamacare, while speaking with the New York Times during his interview on Wednesday. One of the Times reporters, Peter Baker, assured Trump that the Timeshad been just as tough on former President Barack Obama in their coverage of his attempts to pass Obamacare in 2009.

“We wrote the same stories, though, in August of 2009. ‘Obama can’t get it,'” Baker told Trump.

The other Times reporters in the room, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, doubled down on Baker’s claim, telling Trump that Obamacare “died several times” before the Democrat-majority Senate passed it in March 2010.

The Times never ran a story with the headline “Obama Can’t Get It,” in August 2009, but the paper did cover the former president’s efforts to garner public support for the bill. The reporting, however, is nowhere near as pessimistic as the Times‘ recent coverage of Trump’s health care bill.

Here are the New York Times headlines from August 2009 concerning the debate over Obamacare:

With Health Care Talks Uncertain, Democrats Consider a Last Resort (August 02)

Obama Pushes Democrats for Unity on Health Plan (August 05)

Centrist Democrats Upbeat on Health Care Bill (August 06)

Tumultuous Environment Makes a Health Care Compromise More Unlikely (August 10)

As Bombast Escalates, a Primer on the Details of the Health Care Overhaul (August 10

White House Adapts to New Playbook in Debate on Health Care Overhaul (August 11)

Obama Offers Reassurance on Plan to Overhaul Health Care (August 12)

Insurers’ Survey Points to Big Bills as Health Care Problem (August 12)

As Health Care Debate Rages, Obama Takes to the Stump (August 12)

Thousands Wait in Line For Health Care That’s Free (August 13)

Obama Taking An Active Role In Health Talks (August 13)

Health Debate Fails to Ignite Obama’s Web (August 15)

Obama Says Some Insurers Are Trying to Block Change (August 15)

Health Care’s Generation Gap (August 17)

Age Divide on Health Care (August 18)

Baucus, and the Debate on Health Care, Go West (August 19)

Obama Calls Health Plan a ‘Moral Obligation’ (August 20)

Obama Sees G.O.P. Plan to Derail Health Proposals (August 21)

Where Elderly Back Obama, Health Bill Anxiety (August 21)

Fighting Health Care Critics (August 23)

Obama Team Lacking Most Of Top Players (August 24)

In Health Care Debate, Bioethicist Becomes a Lightning Rod for Criticism (August 25)

Stronger Prospects For the President On a Health Care Bill (August 31)

This list only includes the Times‘ straight news stories. It excludes the numerous editorials (with headlines such as “Why We Need Health Care Reform”) that the newspaper ran all throughout August 2009.

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