CNN's King Plays Up CBO's ObamaCare Projection; Wonders Why Dems Won't 'Go On Offense'

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."

The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

JOHN KING: Where is the Democratic super PAC to run this message you see on the screen – to say, hey, Republicans were wrong – we got the enrollment up; it's not as expensive as we thought. Why won't Democrats, Jonathan, decide, in this tough environment, the only way to change it is to go on offense?

King raised the role of ObamaCare in the 2014 midterm elections during a segment with Jonathan Martin of the New York Times and Julie Pace of the Associated Press. After King touted the projection, and wondered about the Democrats' strategy, Martin replied to the CNN personality's question by noting he had "asked that same question now for a few weeks. And I think it's because they'd rather still change the subject."

The anchor interjected that "Republicans won't let them change the subject...Conservative super PACs are running ads, essentially saying the bad weather is ObamaCare's fault; the traffic jam is ObamaCare's fault." The New York Times correspondent answered that "if you're Democrats, you would think you've got this, sort of, stack of good news here over the last few weeks that, perhaps, you see an opening. We've seen one super PAC ad...talking about the case of one lady who is now able to get coverage, even though she had cancer before. That's an element that's in the Affordable Care Act. But...we're not hearing anything from Democrats."

Pace also pointed out that some Democrats are "sending mailers to women...to young people who could benefit from the health care law...not, sort of, the wide-ranging statewide ads on health care, but more targeted outreach to people who might find the law more popular." King replied that such efforts are "hard to do in such a loud environment against it." When Martin then underlined that "independents – the polling is still pretty rough there [on ObamaCare]," the CNN journalist went back to his main point: "The question is, can you try to change it? If you don't try to change it, you won't change it."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the John King segment from Tuesday's New Day on CNN:


JOHN KING: I want to move on to the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is promoting – trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare. Here's my question: the CBO – the Congressional Budget Office – yesterday comes out with new numbers. It says, yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change. We know, after the disastrous rollout, they got the enrollment numbers up – above seven million, plus Medicaid.

Where is the Democratic super PAC to run this message you see on the screen – to say, hey, Republicans were wrong – we got the enrollment up; it's not as expensive as we thought. Why won't Democrats, Jonathan, decide, in this tough environment, the only way to change it is to go on offense?

[CNN Graphic: "Latest CBO Projections: ObamaCare Cost: 104 Billion [Dollars] Less Over 10 Years; ObamaCare Coverage: 12 Million Fewer Uninsured; Source: Congressional Budget Office"]

JONATHAN MARTIN, NEW YORK TIMES: I asked that same question now for a few weeks. And I think it's because they'd rather still change the subject. Now, when does that fact change itself?

[CNN Graphic: "ObamaCare Will Cost Less"]

KING: Republicans won't let them change the subject. The Republican super PACs-

MARTIN: Right-

KING: Conservative super PACs are running ads, essentially saying the bad weather is ObamaCare's fault; the traffic jam is ObamaCare's fault.

MARTIN: Right. So, if you're Democrats, you would think you've got this, sort of, stack of good news here over the last few weeks that, perhaps, you see an opening. We've seen one super PAC ad – Mark Begich, the senator in Alaska – talking about the case of one lady who is now able to get coverage, even though she had cancer before. That's an element that's in the Affordable Care Act. But in terms of the expansion of coverage and the cost of this actual law, we're not hearing anything from Democrats.

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: One thing that White House officials are talking to, though, with some of the committees – the DSCC in particular – is having candidates target their outreach on health care – so, sending mailers to women, in particular – to young people who could benefit from the health care law – so, not, sort of, the wide-ranging statewide ads on health care, but more targeted outreach to people who might find the law more popular.

KING: Hard to do in such a loud environment against it-

PACE: Absolutely-

MARTIN: One fast note: independents – the polling is still pretty rough there. I think Democrats are watching that.

KING: The question is, can you try to change it? If you don't try to change it, you won't change it. But we'll see how that one plays out.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center