Chuck Todd: Now That ObamaCare's Fixed, GOP Repeal Effort May 'Fizzle Out Completely'

On Tuesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd was eager to declare the ObamaCare disaster to be over and claim Republicans were now of the defensive: "With 750,000 visitors to the site yesterday without a crash and the Obama administration now confident that the website is functioning...the Republican repeal movement may actually now fizzle out completely." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd attempted to bolster his assertion by citing leftist Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who on Monday declared that supposed fixes to HealthCare.gov meant that "opponents of the Affordable Care Act have lost what may have been their last chance to do away with the law."

On Wednesday's show, Todd observed: "It's not like Democrats are suddenly winning the health care war, I'm not trying to leave that impression. But they haven't been losing it to the Republicans, they've been losing it to themselves."

Continuing to shill for the administration, he concluded:

The more Democrats are trying to get on the same page, the more Republicans will be forced to depend, not on administration stumbles, but a message of their own. And they perhaps look like they're struggling on that front if they don't have Democratic stumbles to lean on.... right now you can tell the Republican Party – without the stumbles, now that the website clearly is working a lot better today than it has been in a long time – they're suddenly looking for what to do next.


Here is a full transcript of Todd's December 3 comments:

9:55AM ET

TODD: Time for my Tuesday Takeaway. With 750,000 visitors to the site yesterday without a crash and the Obama administration now confident that the website is functioning – at least for consumers the way it was intended to, not necessarily yet for the health insurance companies – the Republican repeal movement may actually now fizzle out completely.

As Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post, "Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have lost what may have been their last chance to do away with the law." And that's the importance of the administration at least getting the website functioning. Getting rid of the law in its entirety may still be talked about in some corners, but the push from the party at-large to end so-called ObamaCare is silently going away. In the past two weeks, there wasn't a single Republican lawmaker who uttered the word "repeal" on a single Sunday show.

So with the law here to stay, the question now is how do Republicans run against it? We know some ways they're gonna try. Don't be surprised if more Republicans start talking up the need to fix this law but do so in a big way. As we write in First Read today, the rhetoric may sound similar to some, but the fact that repeal itself may be gone from the Republican lexicon would be a significant shift. So does the GOP now try to trump Democrats and become the party that fixes the law?

Keep an eye on this in the next few weeks and months as different Republicans perhaps test different messages on this front.

Here are portions of his December 4 comments:

(...)

9:02AM ET

TODD: Democrats are well aware that even with all of the problems with the health care rollout and the unpopularity of the law, voters prefer a candidate who wants to fix the law over someone who wants to repeal it, at least swing voters do. And Republicans are worried about losing their advantage by appearing to simply be the party of no.

(...)

9:04AM ET

TODD: But it's not like Democrats are suddenly winning the health care war, I'm not trying to leave that impression. But they haven't been losing it to the Republicans, they've been losing it to themselves.

(...)

9:05AM ET

TODD: The more Democrats are trying to get on the same page, the more Republicans will be forced to depend, not on administration stumbles, but a message of their own. And they perhaps look like they're struggling on that front if they don't have Democratic stumbles to lean on.

Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is taking a page out of the well-worn Medicare playbook. They're going back into the archives to attack Senate Democrats running for re-election in 2014 for cuts to Medicare providers. In one release aimed at Arkansas's Mark Pryor, the NRSC release is gonna say, quote, "Pryor's deciding vote for ObamaCare cut $717 billion from Medicare – including nearly 5.4 billion directly from Arkansas." Yes, it's a very familiar line of attack that was litigated and litigated and litigated and memorably discredited in the last election.

CLINTON: When Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama's Medicare savings as quote, "the biggest, coldest power play," I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. That $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget.

TODD: And that's always been a problem for Republicans on this line of attack. House Republicans tell us, though, that they're not looking at the Medicare attack line, that they want to continue to highlight individual stories when it comes to health care. Individual stories about canceled plans or higher costs.

And here's what we know they're not going to do. They're not gonna walk away from the health care issue. It's just too potent of an issue, particularly for their base, and what they believe swing voters' concerns are when it comes to how government has managed this. But right now you can tell the Republican Party – without the stumbles, now that the website clearly is working a lot better today than it has been in a long time – they're suddenly looking for what to do next.

(...)

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