Cuccinelli: GOP Must Make Obamacare Centerpiece in 2012

Friday, 10 Feb 2012 12:40 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter

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Should former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination for president the key issue of Obamacare will lose some of its bite as an election issue, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli tells Newsmax.TV.

Cuccinelli, who led the legal charge against President Barack Obama’s signature law, said the issue politically is “a bit muddied in the presidential” race right now and that it is hard to predict what the race will look like once the Supreme Court rules in June.

“Will the president’s supporters be so fired up because they’ve lost what they thought they had that they will come out and give more money and spend more time or will it fire up the other side,” he said. “That’s very hard to predict. What I would predict with some confidence is that when we get a ruling it’s going to have a substantial impact on this race.”

However, if Romney gets the nomination the issue will be blunted.

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“It loses some of its bite,” he said. “Let’s face it, denying that would be unreasonable. But the fact is he is coming in saying he would repeal and to the extent he’s able to do that I believe him. The problem is if you not only want a volunteer but you want a fired up volunteer how fired up do they get to hire a guy who did the same thing but now says he’ll undo the current president’s?

“You want to undue and there’s a level of enthusiasm for that and when you add it in with the across the board assault on the rule of law that has gone on under this administration there’s plenty of other things to get excited about. But we lose some of the edge on this one, no question about it.”

On other issues, Cuccinelli said:

— Because the health care measure before the Supreme Court is a “question of first impression, meaning they haven’t seen a case like this before, you go in with a level of uncertainty that is very uncomfortable but I am cautiously optimistic that they will find the individual mandate unconstitutional. It is a power the federal government has never claimed much less attempted to exercise before under the Commerce Clause.”

— The Obama administration’s rule that religiously affiliated institutions like hospitals and colleges must provide birth control as part of their health care was “truly extraordinary” and “incredible.” Today, Obama backtracked on his original stance.

— He is running for governor of Virginia to “rein in the government and get it out of the way. You just provide a fair and level playing field and that’s it. We’re not going to start picking winners and losers we’re just going to try to reduce the burdens on business by limiting the power and the size of government while providing the very basic requirement of society, public safety, transportation, education that a government ought to.”

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