Sen. Max Baucus' office Monday denounced a widely viewed Internet video that suggested Baucus was drunk on the Senate floor last week, calling it an "untrue, personal smear" designed to attack Democrats’ health-care reform legislation.
"This is beyond the pale, and this type of gutter politics has no place in the public sphere," said Baucus spokesman Ty Matsdorf.
The video, posted over the weekend on the popular Internet video Web site YouTube, is a five-minute clip of Baucus speaking last Tuesday during floor debate on the health-reform bill that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve.
Baucus, a key figure in Democrats’ crafting of the health-reform bill, is angrily answering Republican criticism that Democrats fashioned a partisan bill and locked Republicans out of any meaningful talks on the bill.
The video on YouTube is headlined "Senator Max Baucus drunk/intoxicated on Senate floor — shouts down Wicker," and was the top item Monday on the Drudge Report, a prominent right-leaning news Web site.
The video speaks for itself. Max Baucus was either drunk or is dealing with some type of medical condition. No attempt to "smear" here.