While Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act appear increasingly quixotic – House Republicans voted last week for the 50th time to suspend or repeal the president’s signature health care law – Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz shows no signs of giving up.
“You know what they say, ‘50th time is the charm,’” Obama joked. “Maybe when you hit your 50th repeal vote, you will win a prize.”
ABC host Jonathan Karl was incredulous. “We can acknowledge that that’s not going to happen while Barack Obama is president, right?”
“If there’s one thing that unifies politicians of both parties, you know, their top priority is preserving their own hide,” Cruz responded. “And if enough congressional Democrats realize they either stand with Obamacare and lose, or they listen to the American people and have a chance at staying in office, that’s the one scenario we could do it in 2015. If not, we’ll do it in 2017.”
Asked if he honestly believes President Obama would agree to repeal his most significant legislative accomplishment, Cruz shifted his attention to the media: “You know, what’s funny, Jon, is the media treats that as a bizarre proposition.”
“Well, it is,” Karl responded. “Because he’s not going to sign it. It is a bizarre proposition.”
Cruz was undeterred. “It is the most unpopular law in the country,” he told Karl. “Millions of people have lost their jobs, have lost their health care, have been forced into part-time work, have their premiums skyrocketing. And right now, Washington isn’t listening to those people.”
Fighting for repeal is “how we win elections,” Cruz continued – a strategy he says will leave Democrats with no choice but to join Republicans in repealing Obamacare.
So far, only a minority of Democrats have joined Republicans in voting to delay parts of the health care law, and few have voiced support for repeal.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be a very popular program,” former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “[Democrats] ought to strengthen up. The president’s a smart guy and he’s doing the right thing, and God bless him for it.”
Crist, a newly converted Democrat who is running to take back the governor’s seat from Republican incumbent Rick Scott, said Obama is leading well and that Democrats need to support him.
“I know the numbers aren’t great right now, but I know in his heart and in his soul he’s doing what he thinks is right and that takes courage and strength,” Crist said. “I think that will make November very good for Democrats.”