As a run-up to tomorrow's historic case at the Supreme Court, news outlets covered some of the political rhetoric.
USA Today: Obama Aide Defends Health Care Law, Legally And Politically
As the Supreme Court takes up President Obama's health care law this week, the White House dispatched a top political aide to the Sunday talk shows to make the case for the law that will go far in defining Obama's legacy. "As it relates to the Supreme Court, we're confident that it's going to be upheld," senior Obama adviser David Plouffe said on ABC's This Week. ... In the meantime, Republican presidential candidates -- while hoping that the Supreme Court strikes down the law -- have vowed to repeal the law (Jackson, 3/25).
Politico: Plouffe: Romney 'Godfather' Of Health Law
"Mitt Romney is the godfather of our health care plan," Plouffe said on NBC's "Meet the Press. "If he is president, remarkably he is running away from that past, and he says he is going to try to throw all this away. We’re goign to have a big fight about health care again." As Massachusetts governor, Romney put into place a health care law that includes an individual mandate, which Obama replicated on a national scale (Budoff Brown, 3/25).
The New York Times: Kennedy Helped Shape Romney’s Career, and Still Haunts It
When Gov. Mitt Romney signed legislation in April 2006 requiring most Massachusetts residents to have health coverage, Senator Edward M. Kennedy stood by his side, beaming like a proud father. ... Mr. Romney’s complicated relationship with Mr. Kennedy, from campaign foe to health care partner, helped shape both his political career and his image. Today, as a Republican candidate for president, he is courting conservative voters, a constituency that does not look kindly upon Mr. Kennedy or the Romney approach to health care ... But try as he might to distance himself, Mr. Romney cannot escape Mr. Kennedy’s influence (Stolberg, 3/24).
National Journal: Graham: Health Care Law A 'Big F-ing Mess'
Alluding to [Vice President Joe Biden's] now infamous whisper to President Obama after the bill's passage—saying it was a “big f---ing deal”— [Sen. Lindsay] Graham said the law is now damaged political goods for Democrats. “Well, now, it’s becoming a big f-ing mess for the Democratic Party and the country as a whole,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. ... Graham said there are several aspects of the legislation that he liked. But instead of the large overhaul that’s in place, he called for the passage of several small bills (Vasilogambros, 3/25).
ABC News: Michele Bachmann Says Party Will Unify Behind Nominee
[Former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.] said that arguments over the president’s health care law, which is being challenged in the Supreme Court this week, will instead be the main focus of the general election. "The real issue that most Americans are concerned about is the constitutionality of the government forcing Americans to pay for a very expensive insurance policy,” Bachmann said (Stephanopoulos, 3/25).
Fox News: Tea Party Rallies In Washington Against ObamaCare
"We want our freedom back," former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told hundreds of ralliers standing in the rain in Upper Senate Park, a few hundred yards from the steps of the Supreme Court. ... The rally largely marks the big return to Washington for the Tea Party, a loose organization of grassroots groups that helped conservative Republicans take over the House in the 2010 wave election. ... The legislation "takes a huge leap toward socialism," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told the Tea Party crowd, including some holding signs that read "Repeal or Revolt" (3/24).
The Associated Press/ABC News: Decibel Alert: Partisans Dial up Health Care Noise
With formal arguments off-limits to cameras, supporters and detractors have laid elaborate plans to compete for the public's attention outside the Supreme Court building. ... The Obama re-election campaign is also talking up the law's benefits, and there is a steady stream of cheery press releases from the Department of Health and Human Services. Will any of it make the slightest bit of difference? Polls show Americans are as divided as ever over the president's signature domestic policy achievement (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/24).