Walden: Obamacare a ‘Category 5 Political Hurricane’

House Democrats should apologize for the health care law, NRCC chair says.

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 04:  Majority Transition Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) answers reporters' questions about the upcoming transition of power in the House of Representatives at the U.S. Captiol November 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. Walden said that his committee will put out an actual "suggestion box" and ask new and returning members for suggestions on how to make the House more effecient.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
National Journal
Alex Roarty
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Nov. 15, 2013, 4:03 a.m.

The man in charge of House Re­pub­lic­ans’ cam­paign ef­forts said Fri­day that Obama­care will be the de­fin­ing is­sue of the 2014 midterms, but he de­clined to pre­dict how many seats his party will win next year.

“I be­lieve it more now than ever,” Rep. Greg Walden, chair­man of the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee, told re­port­ers dur­ing an event hos­ted by The Chris­ti­an Sci­ence Mon­it­or. “Now that it has be­come a cat­egory 5 polit­ic­al hur­ricane, it is not just caus­ing hav­oc in cer­tain re­gions of the coun­try, it is rip­ping apart every re­gion of the coun­try.”

On Thursday, Pres­id­ent Obama an­nounced that in­sur­ance com­pan­ies could con­tin­ue to sell ex­ist­ing plans for one year even if the policies don’t meet the law’s stand­ards. People los­ing their in­sur­ance, com­bined with the in­ab­il­ity of many con­sumers to pur­chase new health plans on mal­func­tion­ing Obama­care web­sites, have fo­mented a back­lash from the pub­lic.

Walden said House Demo­crats, like the pres­id­ent, needed to apo­lo­gize to the pub­lic for the can­celed policies. Re­gard­less, he said, voters will pun­ish them at the bal­lot box next year. “If you don’t like your Demo­crat­ic House mem­ber, you don’t have to keep him or her,” Walden joked, quot­ing a ra­dio host friend of his.

The NR­CC chair de­murred when asked if his party would win seats, but he said the GOP “clearly has the abil­ity to gain seats — a net-gain seats — in 2014.”

Demo­crats had boas­ted after last month’s gov­ern­ment shut­down that they were in a prime po­s­i­tion to gain seats in the lower cham­ber, in and of it­self an im­press­ive feat dur­ing a midterm elec­tion where the pres­id­ent’s party tra­di­tion­ally loses seats. Walden ac­know­ledged that the shut­down was not well re­ceived by the pub­lic, but said there was a key dif­fer­ence between that and Obama­care: Even­tu­ally, the gov­ern­ment was fun­ded.

“The thing about Obama­care is it con­tin­ues on,” he said.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
23 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×