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Rove: Obamacare Defeat Could Be ‘Opportunity’ for President

Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:13 AM EDT

Should the Supreme Court overturn his signature healthcare law, President Barack Obama would have an opportunity to pivot to the center and regain the high ground. However, he’s unlikely to take that approach, former Bush advisor Karl Rove writes in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Rove said the president could voice his displeasure with the ruling but add that “everyone needs to respect and accept the verdict.” He could then pivot to the problem that remains, affordable health insurance, and how it is the responsibility of both parties to do something.

“Voters would then see Mr. Obama more as he appeared in 2008 — reasonable and practical, open to dialogue and discussion, committed to bipartisan answers,” Rove wrote.

“But Mr. Obama appears unlikely to take this measured approach. He foreshadowed his possible response during a Rose Garden news conference on April 2, as the court prepared for private deliberations on its decision. Mr. Obama said he was ‘confident’ the court would not take the ‘unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.’ If ‘an unelected group of people . . . overturn a duly constituted and passed law,’ it would be evidence of ‘judicial activism.’"

Rove writes that if Obama loses at the high court, “it will deepen the impression that the president is simply not up to the job and that the healthcare debate that dominated so much of his first term was a colossal (and unconstitutional) waste of time.”

The Republican response is equally important and GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney and House Republicans are ahead of the game.

“Mr. Romney is offering an attractive healthcare agenda,” Rove wrote. “At an Orlando speech Tuesday, he touted his consumer-centered approach to replacing Obamacare. Among his proposals are letting families buy health insurance across state lines; increasing how much Americans can save tax-free for medical expenses; making health insurance portable so Americans can take it with them from job to job; and allowing small businesses to pool risk to get discounts like big companies do.”

House Republicans are planning a weeks’ worth of debate in July on healthcare.

“June has been a bad month for Mr. Obama. But it might get worse, depending on his response to the Supreme Court,” Rove concluded.

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Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:13 AM
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