"Sen. Lindsey Graham called President Barack Obama's address to Congress Wednesday "a "complete disaster" that demonstrates that "the president has lost his cool" on the healthcare reform issue.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, told National Public Radio that he was incredibly disappointed in the tone of Obama's speech and, at times, found the president's tone to be overly combative.
"[I] believe he behaved in a manner beneath the dignity of the office," Graham said. "I fear his speech tonight has made it more difficult –– not less –– to find common ground."
Graham said Obama appeared "to be angry at his critics" and "disappointed the American people were not buying the proposals he has been selling."
Obama's demeanor in delivering the address, which many in opposition to his health care overhaul plan found confrontational and bitter, increased the emotional and political divide, Graham said.
"I hope the President will learn that true bipartisanship begins with mutual respect," Graham said in response to Obama's fervent criticism of those who oppose him. "Not all criticism is demagoguery," he added.
Graham said when it comes to the public option, "the President is either being disingenuous or misinformed. The public option, contrary to the president's claims, will eventually lead to a government takeover of our health care system."
Graham believes Obama's address to Congress is the beginning of a "go it alone" strategy in the push for the government takeover of the health care system."
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