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Grassley Defends Angry Tweet At Obama

President Obama "ought to know better" than to cajole Congress to continue working on health care legislation while he is vacationing in Paris, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tells CBS News political consultant John Dickerson on CBSNews.com's politics Web show "Washington Unplugged."

Grassley, the top Republican on a Senate committee responsible for health care reform, explains the angry message he fired off to the president via Twitter last weekend.

"Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said 'time to delivr on healthcare' When you are a 'hammer' u think evrything is NAIL I'm no NAIL," he tweeted. The president in his weekly address last Saturday said it was "time to deliver" on health care reform. Mr. Obama spent that wekeend seeing the sights in Paris following a trip to Europe and the Middle East.

"He ought to know better because since he has been sworn in office, those of us working on this issue who have been in almost constant communication with him," Grassley said. "I don't deny the president having a vacation with his family, sightseeing in Paris. I would enjoy doing that with my grandchildren. But to say what he said it did not need to be said. It did not help the cause and I resented it."

He also explains his "hammer" metaphor: "Don't you remember Tom Delay was know as a hammer because he was always trying to beat everybody over the head to get everything done just the way he wanted it?" he said. "Well, I interpreted the president's remarks about 'get the job' done as hammering us... he ain't hammering this nail."

The Republican party is bouncing back, Grassley says, because of Mr. Obama's policies. "It's the way this administration is scaring the people," he says.

You can watch the conversation below and watch the rest of Washington Unplugged here.


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