NBC's Gregory Scolds McConnell for Opposing 'Law of the Land' ObamaCare

In a contentious exchange with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory lectured the Republican for writing a letter to the NFL opposing Obama administration efforts to use the sports league to promote ObamaCare: "...it was striking how political it was....You refer to it as a bill; it's actually the law of the land....How can you write such a letter at a time when don't you feel the need for people to understand what the new law is?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

McConnell stood by his opposition: "It's a massive, complicated, unpopular bill. Obviously, if we had the votes, we would repeal it." Gregory ranted: "But, Leader, it's not – but you support the democratic process. This is not a bill. This has been passed; this is the law of the land. You refer to it as a bill. Doesn't that undermine? I mean, if the shoe were on the other foot and it were a law that was passed by Republicans in Congress, would you not refer to it as the law of the land and want to see it implemented as best it could be, despite the fact you disagree with it?"

McConnell also cited the delay of the employer insurance mandate as evidence of ObamaCare's failings: "Well, the President himself seems to not think parts of the law ought to be implemented. I mean, he is selectively delaying parts of it..." Gregory desperately tried to defend Obama: "Well, but a delay is not a failure to execute. A delay is not a failure to execute."

Gregory's treatment of McConnell echoed chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd decrying supposed GOP "sabotage" of the health care law on the July 7 Meet the Press.


Here is a transcript of the July 14 exchange between Gregory and McConnell:

10:59AM ET

(...)

DAVID GREGORY: I want to talk about ObamaCare and the implementation, which of course is controversial. A lot of senators on your side talking about repealing ObamaCare. As they've tried to publicize this law and get people familiar with what is possible, as they're setting up exchanges around the country, this was a letter that you wrote to the NFL commissioner, one of the leagues that were going to help in publicizing this.

You wrote: "Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of this bill, it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion."

I read the letter, Leader McConnell, and it was striking how political it was, that letter you wrote to them. You refer to it as a bill; it's actually the law of the land, which has even been affirmed by the Supreme Court. How can you write such a letter at a time when don't you feel the need for people to understand what the new law is?

MITCH MCCONNELL [SEN. R-KY]: Well, the President himself seems to not think parts of the law ought to be implemented. I mean, he is selectively delaying parts of it as if it's all just kind of a smorgasbord of options for him to figure out, you know, which ones to execute, and which part of the law not to. For example-

GREGORY: Well, but a delay is not a failure to execute. A delay is not a failure to execute.

MCCONNELL: Well, for example – for example, they just decided to say "never mind" on the employer mandate. Well, what about the individual mandate? Does the President get to decide which parts of the law to comply with and which parts not? It's a massive, complicated, unpopular bill. Obviously, if we had the votes, we would repeal it. But the President...

GREGORY: But, Leader, it's not...

MCCONNELL: ...himself-

GREGORY: But you support the democratic process. This is not a bill. This has...

MCCONNELL: No, I know it's the law.

GREGORY: ...been passed; this is the law of the land. You refer to it...

MCCONNELL: Yeah.

GREGORY: ...as a bill. Doesn't that undermine? I mean, if the shoe were on the other foot and it were a law that was passed by Republicans in Congress, would you not refer to it as the law of the land and want to see it implemented as best it could be, despite the fact you disagree with it?

MCCONNELL: Well, of course it's the law of the land. And I wonder why the President himself is delaying various parts of it. He, you could argue, is not executing or implementing the law that he thinks is such a wonderful thing for the country. Look, this is a big controversial issue. It's not going away. It's, in all likelihood, going to be the premiere issue in the 2014 election. The American people dislike it even more now than they did when it was passed. And they hope that the Congress will respond to their desire to stop this train wreck before it happens.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC