Karl Rove Calls GOP’s Obamacare Defunders ‘Self-Defeating’

Republican strategist Karl Rove wrote Thursday in The Wall Street Journal that the effort by some in his party to gut the new health care law is a “self-defeating” strategy, the second time this week that criticism of the defunders appeared on the newspaper’s conservative editorial page.

Rove highlighted polling conducted in “10 states likely to have competitive Senate races and in House districts that lean Republican or are swing seats” by Crossroads GPS, an arm of his political action committee American Crossroads. The poll showed that despite widespread opposition to the Affordable Care Act, voters are also against defunding the law if it risks a government shutdown.

“This may be because it is (understandably) hard to see the endgame of the defund strategy,” Rove wrote. “House Republicans could pass a bill that funds the government while killing all ObamaCare spending. But the Democratic Senate could just amend the measure to restore funding and send it back to the House. What then? Even the defund strategy’s authors say they don’t want a government shutdown. But their approach means we’ll get one.”

GOP leaders in the House said Wednesday that they intend to pass a continuing resolution this week that defunds the healthcare law. The measure, widely seen as a way for Republican leaders to placate their tea party caucus, has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate and it’s unfathomable that President Barack Obama would ever sign such a bill that undermines his signature legislative achievement.  

The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial earlier this week that took aim at the GOP “backbenchers” who have insisted that the Affordable Care Act be defunded or delayed even if it risks a government shutdown.

“Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots,” the editorial said.


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