"I think Gov. Romney will have to speak for himself on what was done in Massachusetts," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said today on Fox News Sunday.
And with that, McConnell showed that even a party that is in lockstep against a law can't cover all the necessary political ground. The result is that a door remains open for an attack against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who famously ushered in a precursor to “Obamacare” when he was the Bay State’s chief executive.
Republicans in Congress can only go so far in defending Romney and his record. They’d much prefer to focus on the penalty-vs.-tax issue, something they think will energize their anti-tax base. Romney himself, in an interview with conservative magazine Newsmax released on Friday, said that the Supreme Court ruling is good for his campaign. “I think that’s one of the reasons we’ll get more energy and passion in this election, more urgency in this election to replace the president than might have occurred had the bill been struck down,” Romney said.
And as long as Republicans can keep the focus on the tax issue, perhaps the health care law will play out in Romney's favor. But as McConnell said, the only person who can answer for Romney's record is Romney himself.
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Bain Attacks Make Inroads for President
[New York Times, 6/30/12] Democratic and Republican political strategists agree that obama's attacks on Romney's career as a venture capitalist are working, causing voters in swing states to question how closely allied Romney is with the middle class.
President Obama Asks Campaign Donors to Send Him More Money
[The Daily Beast, 6/30/12] “The majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time,” President Obama said in a conference call to donors, pleading for more money in advance of a fundraising deadline that will likely reveal Romney posting a significant money advantage over Obama yet again.
No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Wooing Hispanics
[Associated Press, 67/1/12] Immigration reform won't woo all Hispanics, so Obama can't quite count them as definite in his electoral tally. As the Associated Press reports, Hispanic voters, like all Americans, consider a variety of issues when choosing their president.
Romney’s Clintonesque Challenge
[Wall Street Journal, 6/30/12] Bill Clinton transformed himself from being disliked to well-liked in a few months during his first campaign, a task Romney must replicate in the next four months if he hopes to win the White House, as although he remains neck-and-neck with Obama in most polling, Obama beats him on favorability.
Mitt Romney’s Summer Vacation Full of Competitive Sports and Family Meetings
[Washington Post, 6/30/12] Romney and family began their annual summer vacation this weekend, a week marked by a series of competitive games they call the "Romney Olympics" and family pow-wows to discuss career and other issues.
Obama, Romney, 'Obamacare' and the Facts
[National Journal, 6/29/12] The Romney and Obama campaigns have gone into spin overdrive since the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. National Journal's Naureen Khan looks into what holds up to the facts and what doesn’t.
Obama Spanish Language Ad Blitz Aims to Wrap Up Latino Vote
[Politico, 7/1/12] The Obama campaign spent over $2 million on Spanish-language ads, and the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action added another $4 million to that sum, compared to a meagre $110,000 spent by the Romney campaign in the general election, indicating Obama plans to shore up the Latino vote in time for November.
The Battle for New Hampshire
[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/1/12] New Hampshire offers only four electoral votes, but with this year's election expected to be possibly that close, Obama and Romney are battling it out in the tiny state in hopes of coming out ahead.
Stung by Recession, Many Young Voters Looking Past Obama
[New York Times, 7/1/12] Hard times have hit young people hard, causing many to become disaffected with politics -- a trend that's dampened young voters' enthusiasm for both Romney and Obama, indicating either might be hard-pressed to bring out the youth vote this year.
GOP Lawmakers: Romney Needs to Distance Himself From Bush
[The Hill, 7/1/12] One of Obama's main lines of attack against Romney is that he will return America to Bush-era policies. Congressional Republicans are warning their nominee that he'll have to create space between himself and the former president, and offer forward-looking policies that aren't reminiscent of the last GOP president.
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