Jim DeMint’s Revisionist History of Obamacare

“Because of Romney and Romneycare, we did not litigate the Obamacare issue.”

South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint speaks at the Voters Values Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington on September 17, 2010.
National Journal
Lucia Graves
Sept. 30, 2013, 10:49 a.m.

As Jim De­Mint sees it, Re­pub­lic­ans were ham­strung from truly cam­paign­ing against the Af­ford­able Care Act in last year’s elec­tion be­cause of … Rom­ney­care.

“Be­cause of Rom­ney and Rom­ney­care, we did not lit­ig­ate the Obama­care is­sue,” he told Bloomberg Busi­nes­s­week in a story pub­lished Thursday.

At first glance, De­Mint is mak­ing a val­id point and he’s cer­tainly not alone in mak­ing it. As Slate’s Dave Wei­gel points out, Rick San­tor­um of­ten told his audi­ences that Rom­ney was “the single worst Re­pub­lic­an to run on the is­sue of Obama­care.”

But there are also a few prob­lems with that state­ment. As gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts, Rom­ney spear­headed re­forms that served as a mod­el for the Af­ford­able Care Act, but that cer­tainly didn’t stop him from cam­paign­ing ag­gress­ively against Obama’s sig­na­ture le­gis­la­tion.

In last year’s cam­paign Rom­ney re­peatedly vowed to re­peal Obama­care on day one of his pres­id­ency. For any doubters, here’s the video:

Per­haps De­Mint, the former GOP sen­at­or who left Cap­it­ol Hill this year to head up the Her­it­age Found­a­tion, meant oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans were afraid to drive home the mes­sage, or as he put it “lit­ig­ate”? Well, here’s what Rep. Paul Ry­an, then the Re­pub­lic­an veep nom­in­ee, had to say:

“The Amer­ic­an people will be the judge and jury on this law come Novem­ber.” Usu­ally a ver­dict comes after lit­ig­a­tion, and Ry­an made clear he wasn’t set­tling for the Su­preme Court’s ver­dict.

That elec­tion has long since come and gone, and Rom­ney lost — but not be­cause Re­pub­lic­ans failed to cam­paign against the Af­ford­able Care Act. The Amer­ic­an people have made their ver­dict on Re­pub­lic­an re­peal ef­forts quite clear: Amer­ic­ans say con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans should ac­cept that the Af­ford­able Care Act is the law of the land by a mar­gin of 50 per­cent to 43 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a Sept. 20-23 Bloomberg poll.

They “screwed it up bey­ond be­lief, and now they want to go back to noth­ing,” John Beck, a 57-year-old liber­tari­an Re­pub­lic­an from Aus­tin, Texas, told Bloomberg.

Yet De­Mint, who’s been in the van­guard of the move­ment to de­fund the 2010 health care law, ap­pears to be rolling straight ahead with his talk­ing points. As re­cently as Au­gust he was telling sup­port­ers as part of Her­it­age Ac­tion’s nine-city “De­fund Obama­care” tour that Pres­id­ent Obama may ac­tu­ally sign a bill that guts his sig­na­ture le­gis­lat­ive achieve­ment.

Real­ity check: as re­cently as last week Obama re­it­er­ated that he won’t back down from ef­forts to block or delay the im­ple­ment­a­tion of his health care law. He called Re­pub­lic­an threats to tie the is­sue to rais­ing the na­tion’s debt ceil­ing “black­mail.”

“The Af­ford­able Care Act is here to stay,” the pres­id­ent said at a com­munity col­lege in Largo, Md., a sub­urb of Wash­ing­ton. “I will not ne­go­ti­ate on any­thing when it comes to the full faith and cred­it of the United States.”

Then there’s the fact that De­Mint ac­tu­ally sup­por­ted Rom­ney in part be­cause of Rom­ney’s health care ac­com­plish­ments as gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts. Here’s part of an in­ter­view with Byron York in the Na­tion­al Re­view (my em­phas­is ad­ded):

“He has demon­strated, when he stepped in­to gov­ern­ment in a very dif­fi­cult state, that he could work in a dif­fi­cult par­tis­an en­vir­on­ment, take some good con­ser­vat­ive ideas, like private health in­sur­ance, and ap­ply them to the need to have every­one in­sured,” De­Mint says. “Those kind of ideas show an abil­ity to bring people to­geth­er that we haven’t seen in na­tion­al polit­ics for a while. We don’t need the na­tion to be more po­lar­ized.

That’s where he was in 2007. It’s been an in­ter­est­ing “evol­u­tion.”

What We're Following See More »
IN ADDITION TO DNC AND DCCC
Clinton Campaign Also Hacked
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
1.5 MILLION MORE TUNED IN FOR TRUMP
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.

Source:
AFFECTS NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
North Carolina Voter ID Law Struck Down
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law, saying it was passed with “discriminatory intent." The decision sends the case back to the district judge who initially dismissed challenges to the law. "The ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo identification from voters in future elections, including the November 2016 general election, restores a week of early voting and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect."

Source:
NORTH DAKOTA TO ILLINOIS
Massive Oil Pipeline Approved for the Midwest
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

An oil pipeline almost as long as the much-debated Keystone XL has won final approval to transport crude from North Dakota to Illinois, traveling through South Dakota and Iowa along the way. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the final blessing to the Dakota Access pipeline on Tuesday. Developers now have the last set of permits they need to build through the small portion of federal land the line crosses, which includes major waterways like the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. The so-called Bakken pipeline goes through mostly state and private land."

Source:
DISAPPOINTING RESULTS
GDP Grew at 1.2% in Q2
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% in the second quarter, "well below the 2.6% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast." Consumer spending was "robust," but it was offset by "cautious" business investment. "Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. "The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle, 2.1%, remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949."

Source:
×