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Obamacare Stance Makes Kasich a Tough Sell

Image: Obamacare Stance Makes Kasich a Tough Sell
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich. (Matt Rourke/AP)

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Friday, 12 Feb 2016 10:17 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Fresh off his second-place showing in the New Hampshire primary, John Kasich seemed charged and ready — even as some House members were clear on their opposition to the Ohio governor.

The main reason? Kasich’s unapologetic defense of taking his state into the Medicaid exchange — a step, critics say, toward cementing a key part of Obamacare and making it more difficult to eventually repeal the plan.

“If he gets the nomination, let’s see if he’s changed his position,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said. “Let’s just wait and see where he is [on Obamacare] if he gets the nomination.”

Gohmert and other lawmakers spoke at “Conversations with Conservatives,” a monthly session on Capitol Hill between conservative Republicans in the House and the press.

Gohmert said that he endorsed friend and fellow Texan Ted Cruz for president. Noting that he and Cruz don’t agree on everything, the Lone Star State congressman said “I agree with him more than I do with any of the other candidates. But I have a problem with any Republican who tries to outdo the Democrats on any issue.”

Underscoring the importance of a nominee committed to repealing Obamacare, Gohmert said “we’ve had too much damage, too much suffering because of it.”

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas agreed, saying “Kasich has a problem here.”

“I would hate to wake up a year from now and find a Republican president” who was not committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare, he said. “I always said that [Mitt] Romney had a fatal flaw as a candidate in 2012 and that was Romneycare [the Massachusetts health care reform measure Romney backed as governor that Obama claimed inspired the mandates in his own plan],” Huelskamp said, adding that a less-than-total commitment to repealing Obamacare was a similar “fatal flaw” for Kasich.

“I wouldn’t rule anyone out for support,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a backer of Rand Paul until the Kentucky senator ended his campaign last month. “I supported Rand Paul but I even disagreed with Rand on some things. I even disagree with my wife on things.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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Fresh off his second-place showing in the New Hampshire primary, John Kasich seemed charged and ready — even as some House members were clear on their opposition to the Ohio governor.
cruz, kasich, election, rand
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2016-17-12
Friday, 12 Feb 2016 10:17 AM
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