Why Is Newt Staying In?

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I had one of  those “oh my gosh” moments about why Newt is staying in the game.  It is all about health care, Romney Care, and Obama Care.

William Jacobson picked up on something fascinating.

“…So what happens if the Supreme Court rules one way or the other.  Since I consider the issue mostly neutral for Newt, here are some possibilities as between Rick and Mitt:

(1) Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of mandate.  Bad for Mitt, because then there is nothing keeping Romneycare from going national, if there is a desire to do so.  Good for Rick.

(2) Supreme Court strikes mandate (with or without striking entire law due to non-severability).  Good for Mitt, who can say, see I told you so, not need to worry about me.  Bad for Rick, because his main argument against a Romney candidacy — the ability to confront Obama  on the issue — evaporates.  That leaves an economic argument between the two, which is a toss up.

By mid-June we may have a nominee.  But if we don’t, a couple of weeks after that a Supreme Court ruling could change everything..

In other words, disparate efforts like this, will be for nothing unless we have someone like Newt as our nominee.

“…Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Sen Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) wrote in the The Washington Times on Friday that a 2012 electoral debate focused simply on whether to repeal the law would “do our nation credit and do great service to the electorate.”

“Unfortunately, the clarity of that choice may soon be muddied, not by Democrats desperate to hide from their record, but inexplicably, by Republicans pushing a vote on a bill to undo one part of Obamacare: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB),” the conservative lawmakers wrote.

The push to repeal the Medicare cost-cutting board, once seen as an easy way to force House Democrats to buck the president, has turned into yet another headache for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Republican leaders forfeited any chance of getting significant Democratic support once they opted to pay for it by capping medical malpractice damages, and they are now facing a backlash from conservatives who worry piecemeal repeal bills can give vulnerable Democrats cover while making full repeal less likely.

Just before the newspaper published the lawmakers’ op-ed, an array of conservative groups sent Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) a letter calling the IPAB repeal vote “misguided.”

“We are gravely concerned that IPAB alone is being proposed for repeal and not part of a full repeal of Obamacare,” reads the letter spearheaded by the Conservative Action Project. “This legislation is part of a troubling trend to break off the worst portions of Obamacare for individual votes, which muddies the water in this election year between those who are adamantly opposed to Obamacare and those who want to see its implementation.”…”

In other words – if Mitt is nominated, the GOP must give up on repealing Obama Care!

“…Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, who has led the state’s fight against President Obama’s health care law, warned Thursday that Republicans would be “effectively giving up the issue” if they tap Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee.

The claim echoes the message of Rick Santorum, Mr. Romney’s chief opponent for the party’s nod, who has said the health care law the former Massachusetts governor signed is too close to Democrats’ national law to leave Mr. Romney any room to criticize it.

“One thing that people voting as between Romney and Santorum is, they’re deciding whether to give up that issue,” Mr. Cuccinelli said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program.

“I mean, for Romney to go out and say, ‘I’d repeal it,’ is fine, and I believe him, but it doesn’t have the power politically to motivate people to vote or volunteer that someone who has been a permanent opponent does. I mean, you are effectively giving that issue up if you select Romney as the nominee, and we may be doing that,” Mr. Cuccinelli said.

Three months into the nomination race, Mr. Romney holds a significant 495-252 edge over Mr. Santorum in the chase for the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

However, exit polls have shown that Mr. Santorum has had more success winning the support of self-identified “very conservative” voters and those who say they strongly support the tea party — two groups that abhor the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Mr. Obama signed into law in 2010….”

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