Rep. Salazar denounces his Web support of public option

A Web site operated by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean claims U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., as a supporter of the public option for health care.

Republicans pounced on the characterization, and a Salazar spokesman sharply renounced it.

The site,, lists Salazar, as well as the other four Democrat representatives as “supports the public Healthcare option.”

Salazar has taken pains to distance himself from the so-called public option unless it was “the only way to pass reform” as he said in the Sentinel last month.

The appearance of Salazar’s name on Dean’s list was enough to spark the National Republican Central Committee to fire off a news release declaring that Salazar “has finally fallen into line behind his radical party leaders with support for their government healthcare takeover.”

Not so, Salazar spokesman Eric Wortman said.

“Any implication that the congressman has signed anything of the sort is nothing but a lie, and I would hope it would be treated as such,” Wortman wrote.

Salazar’s position is unchanged, he said.

“I don’t really think it is a mystery that the congressman would like to see health care reformed and would consider many options in an effort to accomplish reform,” he wrote.

There was no immediate response from, Dean’s umbrella organization, about the criteria it used to claim Salazar’s support for the public option, as claimed on

Howard Dean, a former Vermont governor, also is a physician.


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