The Corner

Spicer: I Hope Democrats Take the President’s Advice on Obamacare

The spokesman for the Republican National Committee wants Democrats to follow President Obama’s longstanding advice and talk about health care.

“It’s clear that Obamacare is still the number one, number two and number three issue going into this election,” Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee, said Sunday. “Democrats are running from it, distancing themselves from it, talking about things they’ve done [to modify the inceasingly unpopular law]. They won’t talk about the fact they were the deciding vote, that they were out there advocating for it, that they want to implement it. They’re talking about how they can distance themselves from it . . .  In my opinion, I hope they take the president’s advice, frankly, for our side. In race after race, the reason we’re expanding the map, that Oregon, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia are getting more and more into play is because it’s working.”

Spicer doubled down on Obamacare during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, along with Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee and Rothenberg Political Report’s Stu Rothenberg.

Spicer’s three interlocutors all tried to dismiss his claim that Obamacare’s unpopularity remains potent politically. CNN host Candy Crowley introduced him by asking whether the Republicans are “a one-note party at this point.” Elleithee claimed that only Republican leaders are concerned about the Affordable Care Act, which passed in 2010 on a close party-line vote that lacked the wide majorities that were enjoyed in the past by comparably broad laws expanding the scope and intrusiveness of government power over citizens.

“I hope you believe that,” Spicer told Elleithee, “because I can’t wait until we see Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner . . . ”

Rothenberg too objected to Republicans’ focus on the law, which has led to millions of insurance-policy cancelations and will next year begin penalizing individuals for not buying insurance. “It’s hard for me to believe Republicans can run from now to November,” Rothenberg said in a sing-songy voice, “just on ACA.”

Spicer cited a recent Gallup Poll showing 54 percent disapproval of the Affordable Care Act and noted that health-care policy losses continue to pile up. He pointed to a report by Alabama’s WHNT on a group of widows of county employees whose policies have been terminated.

Rothenberg labeled such stories “additional anecdotes.”

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