'Grab a Mop,' Obama Tells Health Care Overhaul Critics

The president lashes out at congressional opponents of health care overhaul.

ByABC News
October 16, 2009, 8:15 AM

Oct. 16, 2009— -- President Barack Obama Thursday night called out his critics in Congress for blasting Democratic attempts to overhaul health care without proposing solutions of their own.

"What I reject is when some folks sit on the sidelines and root for failure," he said at a fundraiser in San Francisco where he was joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

"I'm busy," he told the crowd. "Nancy's busy with her mop cleaning up somebody else's mess. We don't want somebody sitting back saying you're not holding the mop the right way.

"Why don't you grab a mop? Why don't you help clean up?

"You're not mopping fast enough," the president said, imitating his critics' comments.

"That's a socialist mop.

"Grab a mop!" he demanded. "Let's get to work."

Earlier in the event, in keeping with the housecleaning theme of his remarks, the president quoted Abraham Lincoln to describe the situation he inherited in January.

"It's a pretty mess you got me into, but I forgive you," he told his California supporters.

"That's how I feel about you. You're all forgiven."

Picking up on similar fiery comments he made at an event earlier in the day in New Orleans, the president warned his critics that despite the difficulties of his first nine months in office, he still has a lot of gas left in the tank.

"I want everybody to know who's standing in the way of progress, I'm not tired. I'm just getting started. You can throw whatever you want at me. Keep it coming.

"We're going to get this done. We're going to get health care done. We're going to get clean energy done. We're going to get climate change done. We're going to fix our schools. We're going to fix the problems internationally that I was elected to deal with."