Cornyn has tried to paper over the differences between repeal and referendum before, so I asked whether voters would punish Republicans if they failed to deliver on a promise of repeal. He said they'd be forgiving.
"I don't think so, because obviously we don't have the White House, we don't have 60 votes in the Senate," Cornyn said. "As a practical matter that will be an obstacle. But I think certainly they will know what our goal is--to stop this bill--and that's really my first choice is to stop it before we talk about repeal."
Just because Republicans stand almost no chance of repealing health care reform, though, doesn't mean they won't pretend otherwise on the campaign trail. And the fact that they'd be hard pressed to actually carry out a full repeal is fairly obvious in an inside baseball sense. But it's good to have that on the record.