A consistent talking point from Democrats and their media minions is that the 2012 election was about ObamaCare and that as a result of the President's win, the American people gave the program a mandate to be fully implemented.
Surprisingly breaking with this trend Sunday was New York magazine's John Heilemann who said on ABC's This Week that because Mitt Romney was the Republican challenger, given his ties to Massachusetts' healthcare program, he couldn't make that the central theme of his campaign, and as such, ObamaCare was not litigated as the President and his allies claim (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well this is part of the problem with the Virginia result is that there's no real way to know what happened. And if you think about the spending disparity that Paul talked about, you think about the shutdown having its effect. But also there's no question that at the end, this ObamaCare issue became central. And so for a lot of people who are on the right who believe that it's a winning issue to continue to fight ObamaCare, they look at the Cuccinelli result and they think it actually gives ballast to their argument.
It is an issue that is, unfortunately, and this is one of the things that we write about in the book as well, Governor Romney could never really litigate the issue fully in 2012. So because of RomneyCare he was kind of boxed in. And we never really got, the president can't really claim the kind of mandate, if Rick Perry had been the Republican nominee or Newt Gingrich had been the Republican nominee, ObamaCare would have been front and center. And if the President had won, he could have stood up and said, I won, I have a mandate now for Obamacare. That didn't happen.
A lot of people in the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party feel like it wasn't really litigated in 2012 and now all the things that have happened with the problems of the website, the problems of the rollout, the apparent misstatements by the President, have only fueled the fire more to keep fighting this fight. And there's no political clarity about whether it's a winner or a loser for Republicans which is why it's not, the results from Tuesday are not a clear victory for establishment Republicans, Tea Party people feel emboldened...
COKIE ROBERTS: Right.
HEILEMANN: ...and not dampened down.
Romney of course made it clear that if elected, he was going to repeal ObamaCare.
However, he couldn't attack the program in the same way another candidate could have and likely would have because of RomneyCare.
This was always the concern conservatives had about nominating him in the first place.
Rather shocking to hear an Obama-loving "journalist" make such a claim.
Of course, he's trying to sell his new book "Double Down."
What better than a little controversy with a dash of supposed impartiality to do so?