By Paul Bremmer
President Obama’s signature health care law continues to lose support, but NBC’s Chuck Todd sees no problem with the law itself. On Thursday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, he chalked up the declining support to bad messaging by ObamaCare supporters.
Host Joe Scarborough announced that 57 percent of Americans now oppose most or all of the law, according to a recent CNN poll. In addition, the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor union and a prominent Obama backer, formally criticized ObamaCare in a resolution approved at its convention on Wednesday. When faced with those facts about the law’s slipping support, Todd replied, “Well, and the White House has done nothing to try to fix the PR on this and the Democratic Party has done nothing to try to fix the PR on this.”
Todd elaborated: in 2010, Democrats seemingly “passed [ObamaCare] and ran away. Democrats on Capitol Hill who were running for re-election in 2010 practically begged the White House, don’t bring it up again. Let’s try to ignore it for eight months and hope it goes away.”
Shouldn’t that tell you something about the law, Chuck? If the same Democratic congressmen who passed ObamaCare didn’t want to own it afterwards, maybe it’s not a very good law. But Todd concluded that the lack of lipstick on the pig was the problem, not the hog itself: “Republicans dominated the messaging on health care in 2010, dominated again in 2011, no response from supporters of health care, no response at all.”
It’s not that the president and others haven’t tried to defend ObamaCare, but some of their original talking points have already been discredited. Obama has often claimed, for example, that if you like your current health insurance, you can keep it. But the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 7 million people will lose their employer-based insurance coverage because of ObamaCare.
Todd remained optimistic that a stronger White House PR campaign can restore support for ObamaCare: “[I]f they did spend some time building support for it, they’d get the Democratic base back in favor of it at a minimum, and it would be closer to being, you know, like most every issue now in the country that is polarizing between the two parties, back at parity, but they’re not even trying.”
Who knows if Democrats just need to try harder to convince us of the wonders of ObamaCare. One thing we do know is that they don’t need to convince the journalists of NBC and MSNBC, who appear to remain firmly in support of the health care law despite its flaws.
Editor’s note. This appeared Thursday at newsbusters.org.