Thomas Roberts | August 19, 2013
>>> yet another battle in the tea party to defund obama care. the knives are out. now it's the republicans on the chopping block . that is today's topic for our agenda panel. joining me is viviana and lee and timothy. great to have you all here. lee, the tea party groups want to defund obama care the ratcheting up their efforts. this week, their targets are within their own party. republican senators who said that they are opposed to shutting do you know the government, not something they want to do. if we take a look at a new attack ad launched against south carolina senator lindsey graham it tells the tale.
>> senator graham, conservatives don't need a chicken when it comes to obama care. you said it yourself. now it's become a big f'ing mess for the democratic party and the country as a whole. avoid the mess. be a leads who will fied to defud fight to defund it now.
>> will it still work? it's worked in the past.
>> maybe three years ago the scorched earth tactics made sense from a partisan point of view. we are here on the eve of implementation and we have leading republicans embracing big parts of the law like the medicaid expansion and preexisting condition forums. many have written to the obama administration praising the law privately and asking for health reform money so it's no longer a black and white issue. i think the republican party risks having special interest groups like this heritage foundation lead them to defeat.
>> let's talk about the heritage foundation . jim demint and the heritage foundation are staging a town hall meeting this week and pointing a finger at the president. take a peek.
>> the only person threatening to shut down the federal government is the president.
>> shut down our government.
>> president obama has threatened to shut down the government because he wants to replace the sequestered cuts with more tax increases. we want to shut down obama care.
>> what is the end game for these groups? october 1st being the big date.
>> i think right now really it's going to be determining what this debate is, not letting democrats and president obama to find the debate but go on the offensive and turn it around and say it's not the gop that wants to shut down the government. it's president obama . interesting thing with heritage action they kick off their town hall tour in arkansas. they are out there. if you look at the numbers of health care coverage in that area it doesn't bear out. in a community that is serviced by the community clinic, you've got 90% of their client base at a household income of 200% under the federal poverty level and 40% of their clients don't have insurance. while this may be good politics and it really rallies up the base, you have to look at the policy and how, in fact, these people that need insurance are going to be covered. don't hear a lot of those positive gop solutions.
>> there is confusion out there. politico is pointing out that opposition to obama care exceeds opposition to implementing medicare and says the administration's task in launch is the health law since the creation of medicare in 1965 is hardest thing they have had to face. you would think we would have been able to advance in this highly connected digital age to be able to advance how we educate each other about what is going on in the country.
>> the environment is much more partisan today than it was back in 1965 . remember, back in the mid 1960s there was such a thing as liberal republicans and conservative democrats . speaking of the heritage foundation . i just tweeted a link to a 1993 paper that heritage produced that was proposing in effect obama care. if you look at timothy noah 1 you will see a link to that piece. heritage is campaigning against a plan that it helped devise 20 years ago. butler of the heritage foundation in 2008 was expressing mild displeasure a plan that was developed at heritage. why is heritage spending its do do donors' money to something it tried to implement years ago?
>> it's that odd. lee, let's talk about 2016 . i know it's far off. there is an article in " wall street journal " that is stirring some talk in the direction of joe biden saying political allies of vice president biden have concluded he can win the 2016 presidential election even if hillary clinton enters this contest. can the vice president go up against hillary clinton or do you think he will bow out?
>> i think a lot of folks are rolling their eyes at the 2016 race starting so early. in my view, i think there are some benefits. first and foremost, political competition is a good thing. if biden does run he is going to pressure hillary clinton to propose better solutions hopefully a health reform and other issues. even for the republican side with rand paul and chris christie debating they are bringing ideas about civil liberties , about changing the status quo in terms of foreign policy into the republican party . that's a good thing. these are healthy debates.
>> so early to be talking about 2016 ! but i guess