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TPMDC Sunday Roundup

McConnell: Health Care Bill 'Will Be A Big, If Not Central Issue' In 2010 And 2012
Appearing on This Week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an ambiguous answer about whether Republicans will run in 2010 on a platform of repealing the health care bill. After McConnell said the bill was a political problem for the Democrats, host Jake Tapper told McConnell that he hadn't answered the question. "Well, I'm sorry, I thought I did answer your question," McConnell responded. "There's no question that this bill, if it were to become law, and frankly even if it doesn't become law, will be a big, if not central issue not only in the 2010 election, but in the 2012 election."

Gingrich: Every Republican Will Run On Repealing Health Care Bill
Appearing on Meet The Press, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) predicted that Republicans will make repeal of the health care bill a top campaign issue: "I suspect every Republican running in '10 and again in '12 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill. The bill--most of the bill does not go into effect until '13 or '14, except on the tax increase side; and therefore, I think there won't be any great constituency for it. And I think it'll be a major campaign theme."

Specter: GOP Refuses To Be Bipartisan -- And I Remember Discussions In the Caucus
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) blamed the Republican caucus for a refusal to achieve bipartisanship on health care -- and said that this problem goes back to discussions he witnessed when he was a Republican: "Senator DeMint is the author of the famous statement that this is going to be President Obama's Waterloo, that this ought to be used to break the president, so that before the ink was dry on the oath of office -- and I know this because I was in the caucus -- the Republicans were already plotting ways to beat President Obama in 2012. Now, effective government in a democracy relies upon some bipartisanship, but there simply isn't any. And the process which was used was not good. The lead story today in the Washington Post is that after you reform health care, you ought to reform the Senate. And I would start with the process."

Van Hollen On Parker Griffith: People Don't Like 'A Finger In The Wind'
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) responded to the party switch of Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Parker Griffith, predicting that the Alabama Congressman will face a backlash: "I know he dressed it up as a matter of principle. The fact is he did a poll that showed that he might be in trouble. My view is he miscalculated politically because the fact of the matter is people will respect a person who will have differences. What they don't like is people with a finger to the wind."

Peter King: Administration Should REmind The American People About The War On Terror
Appearing on Face The Nation, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called on the Obama administration to remind the American people about the important of the fight against terrorism, in light of the Northwest Airlines attack: "You know, for the first three months of this administration, they refused to use the word terrorism. And even at a speech at West Point, the president did not use the word 'terrorism.' This is a teaching moment, to use the president's term. And I believe that he or the secretary or the vice president or the attorney general should be out there reminding the American people, saying this shows how deadly this enemy is. This shows how real this threat is and why we have to do whatever we possibly can to protect the American people."