Bill Kristol Slaps Down ABC’s Matthew Dowd: 2014 ‘Will Be A Referendum On ObamaCare’

ABC News Political Analyst and former Bush/Cheney advisor Matthew Dowd attempted to downplay the impact ObamaCare will have in the 2013-midterm elections. Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on March 30, Dowd asserted, “2014 is going to be about the direction of the country, the economy, and how people feel in their lives. It's not going to be about ObamaCare.”

Despite the bizarre prediction from the ABC analyst, conservative editor of "The Weekly Standard" Bill Kristol slapped down Dowd’s ridiculous claim and shot back that “I’m happy to have a referendum on ObamaCare… and will be good for Republicans.” See video below.]

The confrontation began with host George Stephanopoulos hyping how “Bill Clinton’s coming out this week saying Democrats should not run away from ObamaCare.” Dowd used this as an opportunity to criticize the GOP by asserting that “Republicans have made a mistake by not acknowledging some success in it. I think they're not asking the right questions.” Dowd then went on to maintain, “2014 is going to be about the direction of the country, the economy, and how people feel in their lives. It's not going to be about ObamaCare.”

For his part, Kristol did not accept the liberal spin Dowd peddled and pointed out that:

Seniors are seeing cuts in Medicare Advantage that were only hypothetical when Mitt Romney ran. I’m happy to have a referendum on ObamaCare and I think it will be…I disagree with Matthew on that. I think it will be a referendum on ObamaCare and will be good for Republicans.

Kudos to Kristol for shooting down a supposed conservative in Dowd for using White House talking points over ObamaCare’s affect in 2014. Dowd seemed blindly unaware that ObamaCare does impact the direction of the country and thus is very likely to play a critical role in who controls Congress after the 2014 election.

 

See relevant transcript below.


ABC

This Week with George Stephanopoulos

March 30, 2014

10:36 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Matthew Dowd, echoing that point, Bill Clinton’s coming out this week saying Democrats should not run away from ObamaCare. 

MATTHEW DOWD: Well I think in the end, the 2014 election, if you look at the fundamentals of the election, is really not going to be about ObamaCare. There's flaws in it there’s successes in it. I think everybody can debate that. I think Republicans have made a mistake by not acknowledging some success in it. I think they're not asking the right questions. The right question is at cost. I agree with Bill on this, they should be coming up with a plan. But anybody can have success if you dump billions and billions and billions of dollars in this. But 2014 is going to be about the direction of the country, the economy, and how people feel in their lives. It's not going to be about ObamaCare.

DAVID PLOUFFE: I agree with that. I think the biggest issue for 14 is even less atmospherics. It's about where these contests are held. Democrats playing a lot of away games in the Senate. But even in these tough states. We did this against Mitt Romney, you can have an argument about health care, which is about there are some things we should fix about it, but you're going to have seniors now pay more for prescription drugs, you’re going to kick kids off health care plans, you’re going to kick millions of people off health care plan. That is not a winning message. And I think Democrats need to be a little more aggressive about selling the positive parts of the law. And by the way not just those that are covered. The people who already have coverage are getting a lot of benefits, saving a lot of money.

BILL KRISTOL: But most of it hadn't gone into effect when you defeated Mitt Romney and now it has gone into effect. Seniors are seeing cuts in Medicare Advantage that were only hypothetical when Mitt Romney ran. I’m happy to have a referendum on ObamaCare and I think it will be…I disagree with Matthew on that. I think it will be a referendum on ObamaCare and will be good for Republicans.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.