What Ted Cruz Gets Wrong About Obamacare

Contra his pronouncements, Americans oppose defunding the president’s health care law if it means government shutdown.

U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz speaks during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas,  Saturday, June 9, 2012.  Cruz and David Dewhurst are locked in a fierce fight for the Republican nomination to fill Texas' open U.S. Senate seat. 
National Journal
Lucia Graves
Sept. 23, 2013, 12:07 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s man­tra for some time now has been the GOP needs to listen to the Amer­ic­an people and de­fund the pres­id­ent’s sig­na­ture health care law. And he’s cor­rect that three years after its pas­sage, most every poll shows that Obama­care re­mains un­pop­u­lar with the Amer­ic­an elect­or­ate. But Cruz has failed to grasp an im­port­ant nu­ance — namely, that Amer­ic­ans are even less ex­cited about the idea of bring­ing the gov­ern­ment to a halt to block the law.

Amer­ic­ans op­pose de­fund­ing Obama­care by a plur­al­ity of 44 per­cent to 38 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a new CN­BC poll of 800 people around the coun­try.

Yet as re­cently as Sunday, Cruz was mak­ing the pop­ular­ity case on na­tion­al air­waves. “Amer­ic­ans trust Re­pub­lic­ans more than Demo­crats on health care,” he told Chris Wal­lace on Fox News this week­end. “The whole reas­on why,” he ad­ded, “is be­cause we’ve been stand­ing up, lead­ing the fight to de­fund Obama­care.”

There are vari­ations in sur­vey res­ults. A poll con­duc­ted by Rasmussen earli­er this month in­dic­ated that 51 per­cent fa­vor gov­ern­ment shut­down un­til Con­gress cuts health care fund­ing. But as shut­down looms, that res­ult is sound­ing in­creas­ingly off.

The CN­BC poll found that op­pos­i­tion to de­fund­ing Obama­care in­creases sharply when the is­sue of shut­ting down the gov­ern­ment is in­cluded. And a poll con­duc­ted by Dav­id Win­ston, the House GOP lead­er­ship’s poll­ster, found a full 71 per­cent of re­spond­ents op­pose “shut­ting down the gov­ern­ment as a way to de­fund the pres­id­ent’s health care law.” The ap­prov­al num­bers? Twenty-three per­cent.

What’s more, Win­ston told The Wash­ing­ton Post, in his sur­vey, even the Re­pub­lic­ans say shut­down is a bad idea, 53 per­cent to 37 per­cent.

Can’t let facts get in the way of a good talk­ing point.

What We're Following See More »
AT LEAST NOT YET
Paul Ryan Can’t Get Behind Trump
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Preet Bharara Learned at the Foot of Chuck Schumer
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."

Source:
DRUG OFFENDERS
Obama Commutes the Sentences of 58 Prisoners
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.

STAFF PICKS
Trump Roadmapped His Candidacy in 2000
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"

Source:
‘NO MORAL OR ETHICAL GROUNDING’
Sen. Murphy: Trump Shouldn’t Get Classified Briefigs
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
×