Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s surrogates charged out Friday morning to slam President Barack Obama’s health care law as a job-killing, budget-busting, economy-slowing, freedom-choking anchor around Democrats’ election chances.
“This is a whopping tax on the citizens of the United States who are already suffering from too few jobs, too high energy prices, too much crushing and immoral debt on their kids and grand-kids,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
“It is a one-size-fits-all cumbersome mandate from D.C.,” he said in a morning press event arranged by the Republican National Committee.
The law “will decrease the quality of health care [and] it will break the bank… at a time when we cant even afford our current entitlement programs,” added Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The two governors’ statements combined a non-ideological criticism of Obama’s handling of the economy with an ideological criticism of Obama’s big-government vision.
That’s a one-two punch that is intended to draw support from non-ideological swing-voters and also boost turnout among ideological conservative supporters.
Their emphasis was echoed by a new TV ad from a GOP-affiliated group, Crossroads GPS, which is aimed at the Democratic candidate in the North Dakota Senate race, Heidi Heitkamp.
“The ad calls on Heidi Heitkamp to support a repeal of the tax-hiking and regulation-expanding law,” said a statement from Crossroads.
However, the two governors didn’t discuss the law’s relatively popular provisions, which were pushed by Obama in a brief White House statement shortly after a narrow five-four majority on the Supreme Court reanimated the law by rewriting its unconstitutional mandate on personal behavior as a tax provision.
The rival partisan perspectives likely will be maintained throughout the rest of the 2012 election, as each party tries to spur turnout by their base and also attract the votes of late-deciding voters.
To bolster their argument that they will win, Republicans cite the 2010 off-year election, when opposition to Obama and his health care law spurred a nationwide wave of GOP victories. Those victories gave the GOP a majority in the House, narrowed the Democrats’ huge Senate majority and won a a statewide amendment in the critical state of Ohio.
However, Democrats are arguing that the law will spur turnout and support among low-income Hispanics and African-Americans, as well as among younger voters.
For example, the law allows adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they reach 26. It also bars insurance companies from excluding people with preexisting conditions.
These popular aspects were touted by Obama during his June 28 White House statement.
Obama and his fellow Democrats are trying to downplay the GOP’s talking points. For example, Obama did not discuss his law’s tax-boost nor its huge cost while he was touting its advantages on June 28.
GOP leaders, however, are also trying to downplay the Democrats’ more popular claims.
In a concession to the Democrats’ argument, Romney said on Thursday that a GOP reform of the law would preserve some of those popular features.
“We have to make sure people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so,” Romney said a statement shortly after the court’s decision.
“We’ve got to make sure that those people who have preexisting conditions know that they will be able to be insured… We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their efforts to assure that every American has access to affordable health care,” he said.
Romeny’s statement also set the pattern for Friday’s economy-focused comments from Jindal and McDonnell.
“Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion dollars… [adds] billions to our national debt and pushes obligations to oncoming generations… Obamacare is a job killer,” he said.
“If we want good jobs and bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare,” he declared.
“Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive and is killing jobs across this country,” he concluded.