Andrea Mitchell asked about Dean's belief that the Senate health care bill was so compromised it should be put to death.
"It's nonsense. And it's irresponsible. And coming from him as a physician, it's stunning. And he's wrong. Does that answer your question?" Rockefeller responded. He ticked off the good things that were still in the health care legislation. "This'll be good for people. Am I angry that the public option appears to have been dropped? Of course I'm angry about that," he said. "I proposed the original bill on the floor that was the tough one. ... Was I for the Medicare buy-in? Of course I was. ... So what do I do? Do I take my football and run home and sulk and complain?"
Mitchell cut in, but Rockefeller wasn't done. "I'm a grownup, you're a grownup," he added. "We've been around this business for a long time. And you never get everything you want. You don't sulk about it. You try to keep improving the bill."
Rockefeller wasn't the only Democrat to smack down Dean for his desire to kill the Senate bill. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said earlier in the day, "I don't think any rational person would say killing the bill makes a whole lot of sense at this point."