tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC June 28, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
massachusetts say, about romney care, a policy which is nearly identical on a state-base level to what this does for all americans, people in massachusetts love their romney care. and so what i would expect is that most americans give them five years are going to be extremely happy with this. and the final thing is, every time mitt romney says, let's go back, let's go back to this other time in america health care, he's going to lose that argument. americans don't think that our past was a reasonable standard for our health care. we know that the system is broken. we are looking for, as president obama would say, to go forward. >> my thanks to all the guests that joined me for this hour. ed schultz in d.c., melissa. we're going to send it down to alex wagner hosting from washington, d.c. i expect a good hour out of her. it's a big day in d.c. vindication is the order of the hour at the white house. the supreme court upholds the president's signature piece of legislation. and change is alive of 33
million americans in the process. for the young, the poor, the sick and even the well, the affordable care act is no longer a question, but indeed, quite possibly, the answer. it's thursday, june 28th, and t&is is "now." joining me today, msnbc political analyst david corn of "mother jones," msnbc political analyst and former rnc chair, the notorious michael steele, former clinton white house chief of staff, john podesta, and jody cantor of "the new york times." we're expecting to hear from president obama in just a few moments on this momentous day for his administration and, of course, the country. in a 5-4 decision. the supreme court upheld the affordable care act. validating the president's most important domestic achievement. but republicans are not giving in on their vow to fight the law. house majority leader eric cantor's office has scheduled a
vote for a full repeal on july 11th. and just a short time ago, mitt romney spoke in washington. >> i disagree with the supreme court's decision, and i agree with the dissent. what the court did not do on its last day in session, i will do on my first day if elected president of the united states. and that is i will act to repeal obama care. >> joining us now from new york, is nbc's chief legal correspondent, savannah guthrie, and out on the west coast, host of msnbc's "the last word," lawrence o'donnell. great to have both of you guys with us today. savannah, i want to go to you first in terms of what exactly is in this ruling. we know there are two sort of big pieces that measurably change the affordable care act. one is the mandate and theç fa it is not being considered a penalty but of course a tax. tell us about that. >> this is somewhat of a surprise i think. all of the oral arguments seem to center around whether or not
the individual mandate, the requirement that every american purchase some minimum level of insurance, whether or not that was a valid exercise under the congress clausz. the government had a backup, this mandate, the policy attached to it operates as a tax. we don't call it a tax but it's in the tax code. it operates as a tax. it's on that that chief justice roberts, he was the ball game here, the whole ball game, determined, yes, it was a valid exercise of the government's power. the federal government's power. if you looked at it under the tax clause. it's a fascinating read. it's a very fractured court. because while the chief justice did side with the liberals in the ultimate result, their reasoning to get there was different in almost every case. and frankly, i'm looking at it and still trying to figure out where each justice came down on it. the bottom line was they upheld the mandate. the second piece of it has to do with the medicaid expansion. this was one of the huge innovations inside the health
care reform law. it's one of the reasons why coverage was expanded to so many in theory because medicaid was expanded and the states were going to have to pay for some of it. some of the states sued. what the court found today was, you know, if these states were forced to either accept this medicaid funding and start also helping to fund more patients, if they didn't do it, they would lose all éhdir medicaid funding all together. chief justice roberts said if we went with that scheme, that would be unconstitutional, but he said as long as you give states the choice, this portion of the law can survive. i think the practical effect, alex, is that it may undercut quite a bit of what the health care reform law was trying to do with regard to medicaid, but it still has been upheld and not struck down as unconstitutional. >> nbc's savannah guthrie, thank you, my friend, as always, for your time. we know you have a busy day today. we appreciate taking a little bit of time for us. >> you got it. sorry for the long answer. >> no, they were great answers.
lawrence, we've talked a lot about the president and his selling of this law. it is one of the best things to come out of this whole process has been i think more transparency with regards to what is actually in the affordable care act. what is, in effect, now, of course, 3.1 million young adults have gained insurance because they can be on their parents' health insurance up until the age of 26. children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage. the preventative care pieces. there are 12 million people in this country getting rebate checks from their insurance companies. we know the stuff that was slated to take place in 2014 will, in fact, take place in 2014. the biggest piece of that, of course, is adults with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage. that's going to affect 36 million to 112 million americans with pre-existing conditions. the president is going to speak in a few minutes, lawrence. what is his posture on this day? >> well, there's no question that today is a political win for the president and everyone
is reading it that way. it's definitely a political win when you see mitt romney is forced to goç to a microphone d say, okay, here's what i would do about health care. once mitt romney starts talking about pre-existing conditions and all these things. he is in political trouble. however, on the policy side of what happened today, there are some very big losses for the president which people don't quite realize yet. in fact, in the bill, most, most, i'm going to repeat this three times, most of the increased coverage comes from the medicaid expansion. the medicaid expansion is now not enforceable on the states the way the president wanted it to be. the president's version of the medicaid expansion got only two votes on the supreme court. justice kagan voted against it. justice bryar voted against it. 26 states brought a suit saying we don't want this. it is now optional. by the way, blue states like california where i am right now are saying they cannot afford the medicaid expansion. this state is talking about
cutting down the number of school days in order to fund what it has to do in its obligations. but on the tax piece, which is the big news of the day, a tenth of msnbc viewers are unsurprised, because literally for years i have been explaining to them that the individual mandate is, indeed, a tax. that is why all of this health care legislation is written in the tax committees. that is why the social security law was written in the tax committees. social security was justified on exactly the same basis. it is a tax. medicare is a tax first and a health care program second. that is how these things have always been justified constitutionally. so there really is no surprise there forç people who understa the previous use of the power to tax, to justify social programs. >> lawrence, if you were saying it, then i doubt it was only a tenth of the msnbc audience. aisle thinking it's more like nine-tenths. i want to open this up to my panel. >> i'm surprisingly ignorable it turns out.
>> not true. we're going to prove that point out on air today. >> go ahead. >> john, when we talk about sort of the battle to get a national health care plan enacted, wyour experience as white house chief of staff in the clinton administration and stewardship of the center for american progress, it is, i think, many ways a victory for the idea of health insurance for ordinary average americans. to lawrence's point, though, how much of the plan is in jeopardy? the medicaid piece, 17 million americans. >> i think he really overstates it. i'll tell you why. because i think when states look at that, in the early period, 100% of the costs are going to be covered by the federal government. 80% of the costs are going to be covered by the federal government. right now, lawrence notes in california, particularly because of the recession, but also i think because of somewhat dysfunctional government out there, they're struggling with their -- with their budgets. but i think when states look at what they can provide to their people, and particularly working
poor people in this country, which is where that big expansion comes from, people who don't -- they're working hard, but they're not being afforded coverage through their jobs. i think governors are going to have to say, we have to do this for our state. and i think most states will accept that çmoney, accept the expansion and the supreme court will allow them to do that. >> we heard from mitt romney. we haven't unpacked his comments yet. republicans are doubling down on the repeal obama care. the branding is still in place. we know eric cantor scheduled a full repeal in the house on july 11th. it has always been an awkward issue for mitt romney, an awkward candidate. but he seems to want to carry it through november. this is -- i will repeal obama care on day one continues to be a main plank of his platform. >> yeah, it is. i think, you know, he's going to ride that horse very hard because he has to. he's got a base that was excited going back in 2009, and certainly 2010, around this
idea. against nationalized health care of some form or any form. it's in contradiction, obviously, to the position he had as governor where basically implemented formula that he's going to have to figure out how to make that argument to independent voters. while the numbers are with him in a sense that this is still only 30%, 37% of the american people really like the idea of obama care, that is going to change now. i think the president is going to reframe the argument. onlying out with his speech in a little bit. i think lawrence makes a very interesting point, lawrence, you are right about the -- >> he's impossible to ignore. >> he's impossible to ignore. he's right about the tax portion of this. remember, obama didn't argue this is a tax and avoided like the dickens the point this is a tax. lawrence is exactly right, this was in the tax committee. took the supreme court to come back and say, now, this is, in fact -- how the presidentç mak that argument and fashions that argument, in an environment
where anything related to taxes is problematic. >> how far can you -- the tax argument, how much does that carry water, when the counter to that is what you're getting for it. >> the obviously counter also, is if this is a tax, it was a tax in massachusetts. >> right. >> you can't have tax in one place and not the other. you know, mitt romney's going to have a hard time, you know -- if the debate is framed over components of health care. people like the public opinion against it is in the abstract. the overall package. break it down. as i was walking up the building to come here today, after the decision had been announced, someone stopped me on the street. he said, tears are in my eyes. i have two kids. 22 and 24. one has a pre-existing condition. i didn't know what i was going to do if this was struck down. you know, emphasize that again and again. it puts mitt romney in a difficult place because when it comes to these issues that are very popular, he doesn't have anything to say about them. >> judy, magnificent book "the
obamas" which i'm three quarters of the way almost done with. you talk about the struggle internally in the white house around pushing forward on health care. and that, you know, the former chief of staff, rahm emanuel, said don't do it. it was really a personal issue for the president. tell us a little bit about the vindication that he must be feeling at this moment and sort of what it means in terms of his broader legacy. >> well, you know how people in washington say all the time, what does president obama really believe in? i want to know what he really believes in. what he really believes in is giving as many americans as possible health insurance. and reforming what everybody agrees is aç pretty dysfunctiol system. he made a very difficult choice. he stuck with this legislation. many times even though it looked tough. he paid an enormous political price that he's still paying in many ways. and today he avoided a disaster. i mean, if the alternative had happened, if the court had struck the mandate down, that would have sent a message to swing voters saying the president did something bad,
something unconstitutional. et cetera, et cetera. you know, we're going to see him get on tv. i agree with david. i think he's going to talk about real people. it's always been what this is about. i spoke to vicki kennedy a week or two about this and spoke about the president's and ted kennedy's commitment to everyday people struggling enormously with the system. >> i don't believe mitt romney has that type of commitment. he showed it a bit with individual mandates. he gets up there and talks about these things in the abstract. he doesn't connect. he doesn't identify with the struggles. he doesn't come up with a solution. >> what is the plan? i mean, it's not going to be a -- >> the house republicans have, too, repeal, repeal, repeal. nothing there. >> there is something there. i mean, you act like for the last two years the house republicans just sat there and did nothing. there were -- and committee after committee, pieces of legislation that touched on, you know, affordability and other issues that they put on individual pieces. not this mammoth 2,700 page
document. so i think that the republicans can make a very good argument about how health care can look in the future, without all of this massive government intrusion. and buildup with the panels that are going to be formed and the cost down the road. >> what is already in law. >> in place. >> the 3 million young people who are already getting coverage of their parents' policies. the fact that seniors are in medicare drug benefit are getting $600 back from the passage of this bill. you know, you go down each and every one. kids with pre-existing conditions can't be discriminated against. the votes now to repeal are going to be about these real things, not some abstract version of socialism. >> exactly. >> i think it's going to be very tough. >> the honest part of the conversation still has to center around the cost. not necessarily right now, but down the road. the taxes that start to come into play, beginning next year, $210 billion in -- >> look at the cbo numbers.
>> the evidence, we're raising -- >> i want to bring you in really quickly. we haven't asked about the dynamics on the supreme court. the president is going to approach the podium any minute. if we can get a question in here, i think we can. we can, because that's not the president in front of the camera. lawrence, one of the things that really surprised me was the fact it was justice roberts who wrote this, who sided with the sort of liberal wing of the court and not at all tony kennedy. >> well, he makes the point that it is the court's obligation -- >> okay. >> we're done. >> we are done. president obama's approaching the podium at the white house. responding to the supreme court's ruling. let's take a listen. >> of the affordable care act. the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago. in doing so, they've reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in america, in the wealthiestç nation on earth, n illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin.
i know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all this, about who won and who lost. it's how these things tend to be viewed here in washington. but that discussion completely misses the point. whatever the politics, today's decision was victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the supreme court's decision to uphold it. and because this law has a direct impact on so many americans, i want to take this opportunity to talk about exactly what it means for you. first, if you're one of the more than 250 million americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance. this law will only make it more secure and more affordable. insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive. they can no longer discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions. they can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick. they can no longer jack up your
premiums without reason. they are required to provide free preventative care like checkups and mammograms, a provision that's already helped 54 million americans with private insurance. and by this august, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and ceo bonuses and not enough on your health care. there's more. because of the affordable care act, youngç adults under the a of 26 are able to stay on their parents' health care plans. a provision that's already helped 6 million young americans. and because of the affordable care act, seniors received a discount on their prescription drugs. a discount that's already saved more than 5 million seniors on medicare about $600 each. all of this is happening because of the affordable care act. these provisions provide common sense protections for middle class families, and they enjoy broad popular support. and thanks to today's decision,
all of these benefits and protections will continue for americans who already have health insurance. now, if you're one of the 30 million americans who don't yet have health insurance, starting in 2014, this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable private health insurance plans to choose from. each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of cou covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too. i asked congress to help speed up that process and give states this flexibility in year one. once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any american with a pre-existing health condition. they won't be able to charge you more just because you're a woman. they won't be able to bill you into bankruptcy. if you're sick, you'll finally have the same chance to get
quality affordable health care as everyone else. andç if you can't afford the premi premiums, you'll receive a credit that helps pay for it. today the supreme court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance. this is important for two reasons. first, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums. and second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, but don't require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they're sick to buy the care they need. which would also drive up everybody else's premiums. that's why even though i knew it wouldn't be politically popular, and resisted the idea when i ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the affordable care act that people who can afford to buy health
insurance should take the responsibility to do so. in fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties including the current republican nominee for president. still, i know debate over this law has been divisive. i respect the very real concerns that millions of americans have shared. and i know a lot of coverage through this health care debate has focused on what it means politically. well, it should be pretty clear by now that i didn't do this because it was good politics. i did it because i believed it was good for the country. i did it because i believed it was good for the american people. you çknow, there's a framed letter that hangs in my office right now. it was sent to me during the health care debate by a woman named natoma cantfield. for years and years, natoma did everything right. she bought health insurance, she paid her premiums on time. 18 years ago natoma was diagnosed with cancer. even though she'd been cancer
free for more than a decade, her insurance company kept jacking up her rates year after year. and despite her desire to keep her coverage, despite her fears that she would get sick again, she had to surrender her health insurance and was forced to hang her fortunes on chance. i carry natoma's story with me every day of the fight to pass this law. it reminded me of all the americans, all across the country, who have had to worry not only about getting sick, but about the cost of getting well. natoma is well today, and because of this law, there are other americans, other sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, who will not have to hang their fortunes on chance. these are the americans for whom we passed this law. the highest court in the land has now spoken. we will continue to implement this law. and we'll work together to improve on it where we can.
but what we won't do, what the country can't afford to do, is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were. with today's announcement, it's time for us to move forward. to implement, andç where necessary, improve on this law. now's the time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time. putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an economy where people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead. but today, i'm as confidence as ever that when we look back five years from now, or ten years from now, or 20 years from now, we'll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward. thank you. god bless you. and god bless america. >> that was president obama giving his reaction to the supreme court's decision. joining the panel now, host of msnbc's "hardball," chris
matthews. chris, the president not really doing an end zone dance there. not really taking a victory lap but a measured policy specific speech outlining exactly what of course is in the affordable care act. what did you make of it? >> well, it very much challenged the statement made just a moment before, by the governor romney. romney said this is a political issue, we're going to fight this baby on each front. also arking he would offer a replacement for it in terms of offering the benefits of this program that the public likes like pre-existing krngs things like that, without offering a financing mechanism, i must say. the president basically tried to put the bill to bed politically. he doesn't want to fight about health care the next three, four months. i think that's pretty obvious. whereas romney, whether he wants wher not, mney, whether he wants probably feels he has to because it's not his issue. he did this in massachusetts, pretty much the same thing. so romney wins this election if he wins this election, because people wanted a businessman to be president. they want a guy who's been out there working in business.
swinging the pick, being a business guy. if he wins, that's the one reason he'll win. he doesn't want any diversion from that. so the house members, i said this earlier this morning, they love the health care bill because they'd be the ones to repeal it. >> right. >> they ran on it in 2010, they'll run on it again. i think romney and the republicans in the congress have digit missions here. romney wins as a businessman. they win as legislators. i don't think repealing health care is his big -- >> lawrence, you have to wonder, you know, how much fire in the belly does the american public have to sort of relitigate this fight? >> no, i think that the american public is going to be fairly satisfied with this outcome going forward. and feel like, look, it got the test. it went to the supreme court. it mostly passed that test in the supreme court. and i think the voter is going to want to move on. the president looked like he wanted to move on. i think that was the best, the single best statement the president has ever publicly made about his health care bill. because it was so short and it
was so clear. the longer you talk -- but it's serious because this subject is difficult. the longer you talk about it, the more confusing it sounds. he reduced it to a favorable presentation of key elements in the simplest way possible. i think he didç a perfect way describing what it was he set out to do, and interestingly, he squeezed in there a little reference to why he changed his mind about the individual mandate. he said that he, quote, resisted it during the campaign with hillary clinton, when he actually campaigned against it very strongly. but explained quite logically why you would need it, he believes, within the structure he was creating. >> john podesta, we may have seen the end of the individual mandate as bogeyman. >> i don't think -- i think we'll still hear about it from the republican. i think it will still be there. i agree with lawrence. i think the president took that on, explained it, explained why
it was necessary to make sure that everybody could have affordable coverage. and i think we're actually seeing the effect already. you know, people debate this, but we're already seeing health care costs stabilizing, not spiking like we had seen in the previous decade. so there's effect of this-happening i think in the health care system. >> it is amazing the president is still selling the plan and in many ways it's a perfect time to continue selling it. but that, you know -- >> quarter of a billion dollars trashing it on television the last couple years. he's been playing defense, at least now he's out there, as lawrence well said there, elevating the purpose of this bill and the function of it so the public can understand. >> i think there is health care fatigue amongst the electorate. and probably amongst the voters who don't pay a lot of attention to what goes on in washington. and if the republicans want to go out there and keepç playing this, it will help their base and help them individually in
their district. they have to get the base out. it's going to have a feel of flogging -- it's not going to make them look like they're forward looking. won't make mitt romney look good. the american public wants to say, okay, back to jobs, let's move on. the president when he talks about individuals and specifics, that's good enough. but the whole boogie monster, not of mandate, but obama care, is tiresome. >> if you look at the polling, american public is incredibly split on this thing. there's a sense they don't understand what is in the bill. that is probably hopefully coming to a close. >> i don't want to think about -- >> you have to read the bill to know what's in it. and the reality of it is, if this thing gets unpackaged to secretary's point a little bit earlier about, you know, how this plays out and how the taxes unfold, becomes the new reality for a lot of americans. i think chris' analysis is dead-on in terms of how both camps are looking at this right
now. the obama team sees this as a pure policy discussion that is, to your point earlier, impacts people. >> yeah. >> the romney team sees this as a political opportunity to talk about the role of government and the politics of government in our health care. and that's going to be where the lines are drawn and with the house next week coming out of the box with the repeal measure, the game is on. >> lawrence, i started asking you a question about the dyna c dynamics on the supreme court. vis-a-vis john roberts sidingç with the liberal majority here. what is your thought on that? i think a lot of us -- i mean, the general analysis was that this was tony kennedy's game and that he was going to be the swing vote. we never got your thoughts on that. >> yeah, that was the big surprise that anthony kennedy went as hard to the opposition side as he did. and completely, 100%, there, wanted to repeal the entire thing. and the chief makes the point in his opinion that it is the court's obligation to try to
find a way, to preserve laws that congress passes, unless it is absolutely impossible. and even if the petitioners in court don't cite the right provisions, even if, for example, the obama administration doesn't lead heavily on the tax argument in the supreme court, it is the justice's obligation to find their own justification, wherever they can. to preserve what the congress has done. and that is what the chief did here. absolutely. there are other big surprises in here. when you look at how that medicaid provision turned out and when you see that one of the justices that president obama appointed himself ruled against the president's version of the medicaid provision. there's some big surprises in way these votes came out. >> can i answer that? >> of course. >> i think lawrence's always brilliant about these things when it comes to policy especially. and i have to tell you, i think chief justice roberts is going to be dissected. he's going to be like an anthropological dig for the next couple weeks.
what in his soul led him to want to find at constitutional -- i know he said it, lawrence, that he -- >> it sounds like -- >> youç go look for a route to the indies. why did he want to find that route that allowed him to say comfortably it's within the law? i think there's a lot of reasons. i think history, the supreme court follows the election returns. i think he was following the public attitude toward this court. even before he got on it as being a right wing court and partisan court. because of the decision about florida, where they intervened in the state issue, which is county elections. the county votes. and when they -- when they basically permitted the absolute opening of the waterfall when it comes to corporate spending and campaigns. >> citizens united. >> most people i talk to who are liberals believe the supreme court is in the tank with the right. they just believe it. here he says, no, i'm not in the tank and i'm the chief justice. his name is on that court. everybody keeps forgetting that. anthony kennedy can swing back and forth. it's never going to be the kennedy court.
it's the roberts court. and his name is carried by this court. i think he really wants to be the guy that said, no, that robert's court has just ruled to keep health care. >> now we have the roberts principle, too, which is it's almost a duty and obligation to try to find laws constitutional. it's not to sit up there and just do what you think is best. like give the benefit of the doubt. and the fact that he came, worked in the white house years ago and was a big fan of presidential power is a little bit of a piece of this, too. >> i have to say something. social justice. always an issue, what is social justice? i think roberts and his wife, jane, i think decided, both lawyers, both seriousç attorne, they decided this is the right place to be. if you come out against -- if you come out against the only health care bill in town, there will be no other health care bill helping all those poor people and all those working poor people. tha that ain't going to happen. romney isn't going to push for a
health care bill. you're roger taney if you kill that. you don't want to be the second chief justice that's catholic and do the dastardly deed. >> warren came in, everybody, this great conservative. i think you're looking at a new updated version. >> we have a long way to go. >> unfortunately -- >> you have george w. down there putting away the -- >> we're going to talk -- >> wondering if he did the wrong thing. >> we are going to have analysis on the relationship between president obama and justice john roberts. we have to let lawrence o'donnell go. his opinions have shaped this half hour and no means been ignored. lawrence is, of course, host of "the last word" on tonight at 10:00 p.m. on msnbc. make sure to catch it. joining us now, former white house press secretary for president clinton deedee myers, and in austin, texas, mark
mckinnon, co-founder of no labels. mark, great to see you. >> thanks, alex. >> i'm going to start with you, first, because you've been sitting on this panel as we've been discussing something without being able to say anything. in terms of the relationship between president obama and justice roberts, president obama, of course, did not vote for hisç confirmation. if we have the sound, we have a little bit of sound from president obama explaining his decision to not vote to confirm justice roberts to the supreme court. let's listen to that. >> what we won't do, what the country can't afford to do, is refight the political battles of two years ago or go back to the way things were. with today's announcement, it's time for us to move forward. to implement, and where necessary, improve on this law. >> that, of course, was the president giving his reaction to the supreme court. not actually the sound bite that i was looking for.
nancy pelosi is giving her reaction. let's take a listen to what she's saying now. >> prescription drug and have access to free wellness and preventative visits. when the bill comes into effect, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing medical condition. victory for women. it's about wellness, it's about prevention, it's about the health of america. not just the health care. it's pretty exciting. earlier this morning i met with our caucus after the decision was announced. it was, as you know, no surprise to us. we knew that we thought that we were on solid grounds in terms of interstate commerce, solid grounds in terms of the constitution. just a question of what the vote would be. and with that confidence, we happily embraced the decisionç that came down. now we can move forward to the
full implementation of the law, and when that happens, for the american people the best is yet to come. i want to say a word about senator kennedy. i spoke to vicki kennedy this morning and patrick kennedy before coming here. thanking them for the important role that he played. a lifetime of commitment to making health care a right. not a privilege in our country. he called it the great unfinished business of our country. our society. i knew that when he left us, he would go to heaven and help pass the bill. until this decision came down. inspiring one way or another. and now he can rest in peace. his dream, for america's families, has become a reality. i'll be pleased to take any questions. >> the president has said,
himself -- >> that, of course, the former speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, who more than probably anybody in congress really s shepherded this bill to completion, to law. we talked about the reactions here. it was such a fraught moment in american history when the bill was passed. in some ways this is closure for the democrats who were slogging it out in congress and pushed this thing forward. she, of course, is invoking the legacy of ted kennedy, whose dream it was to see a national health care plan. >> right. obviously senator kennedy was in many ways the inspiration for the final push inç this bill. he didn't live to see it signed, but certainly without speaker -- then speaker pelosi's discipline, her ability to hold the caucus. there were a lot of democrats trying to find a way to get out of voting yes on that bill. nancy pelosi made sure that they had a majority and that that bill passed. without her leadership that wouldn't be possible. she paid a steep price, not only in terms of losing the house but her becoming a lightning rod. see her taking a victory lap today, basking in the glow of
this very important to her piece of legislation being able to move forward. >> i feel a sense of relief there. it's almost kind of an emotional -- it is done. >> i told you so, too. >> after the oral arguments a couple months ago, right, this all happened pretty fast. everybody said it's over, right? immediately in the aftermath. the individual mandate -- >> looked like a disaster. >> and then in the last week we've seen there's been a bit of a sea change. well, not so fast. this individual mandate might get upheld. and, you know, so you see -- you've seen a little bit of confidence coming back in today. a victory lap. >> mark mckinnon, you're out there in austin, texas. and, of course, as head of no labels, give us a beat on what the independent voter is thinking on this decision? how does this play out amongst that slice of the electorate in terms of november 2012? >> thanks. well, the big take away here,
most are not single-issue voters. when they're looking at presidential candidates they're looking at a constellation of attributes. the most important attribute by far is the perception of the candidate or the incumbent as a strong leader. so more than anything, what this does, and the big takeaway for a lot of voters is to reestablish or establish the president as somebody who's a strong and bold and effective leader. the last couple of months he got to looking where he was very small and sort of controlled by external events. this gives him an opportunity to wipe the slate clean again. step forward. be the guy in the big seat making the big decisions. he now has something to run on. his most important legislative accomplishment. you put that all together, the net takeaway is voters, indpe inagainst voters will see him as stronger which will help him in his re-election bid. >> mark's exactly right. it wasn't the usual liberal leaning majority in the supreme court. it was john roberts. that's the first time the bill passed with only democratic
votes. now it's been basically blessed by the chief -- conservative chief. by the conservative in chief. but that's -- nonetheless, that is a hugely important. if it had been kennedy instead of roberts, this would be a different feel. >> and chris, as mark says, the leadership question, the fact that the president once again is sort of has his hand on the wheel that this is his. he owns it. it is getting it inting impleme practical level. americans are going to see the fruits of his labor, stands him in good step in november insofar --ç >> i remember jimmy carter when he lost the marine marathon. he was running and he fell. that's not a good preview of the election. this time around, winning on this one, the most important thing happening today is he was not overruled, not struck down. that's far more important.
that it didn't get rejected by the supreme court. i mean, what's the most important thing in sky diving? the parachute. >> that's true. >> and, remember -- >> it's not the sky diving. it's the parachute. >> remember when the first -- when this first began, the administration said, bring it. we're happy for this to go to the supreme court. it was during oral arguments that, you know, there began to be some sort of uh-oh. maybe we need to make -- >> the president wants to have a contrast of visions in this election between him and romney. romney wants it to be a referendum on his care taking or stewardship of the economy. he wants to say, listen, i believe in a digfferent way of having government, different values. and health care is at the center of that. if that kind of was whisked away by a bad supreme court decision, he wouldn't have as much there there. now he's able to say, listen, this can work. do this with education,
infrastructure investment, things you talk about with bridges. his vision, which this is part of, has been ratified by justice roberts. >> a much broader mandate you think, david corn. we have to go to break. after that, we'll talk to you about the other big story, of course, the house's looming contempt vote of attorney general eric holder. we'lhç unravel the details and politics on that, next. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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a landmark, a landmark day in american history. as theç supreme court votes to uphold the president's piece of legislation known as the affordable care act. we have mark mckinnon with us on remote in austin, texas. mark, we know there's been strongly pa lly partisan reacti the decision. republicans in congress are doubling down saying they're going to vote to repeal -- house vote to repeal the affordable care act come july 11th. we talk about trying to find some kind of middle ground. to you think anybody in the republican party is getting the memo? i'm going to pose that same
question to a former rnc chair, michael steele, in a second. from your perspective, is there any sort of gazing right now happening within conservative circles? >> well, sure there is, because first of all, this caught everybody by surprise. the conventional wisdom was going exactly the opposite way, so there's a lot of huddling going on right now. i think the first instinct, as often as with the republicans, is to jump on the notion as this being framed as a tax now and president obama initially said it wasn't a tax and now the court affirmed that it is. i think there will be something generally headed in that direction. it's important that the party recognize, you know, what we're seeing through no labels is that people really want to see problem solving from both parties. they want to see problem solving put above party politics. and that's a real key demographic for whoever's going to win this election. so voters are going to look to see who they think is really solving the problems that are out there. republicans have to be careful whatever they're doing is not seen as something that's political but that it's actually going toward solving a problem. and that's the way they have to
keep the frame as they go forward on this issue. >> okay. given that, michael steele, we know that there's the repeal vote on the 11th and$# course in a few hours there are two votes, a civil and a criminal vote. a criminal contempt vote and civil contempt vote holding attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. is this good for the republican brand to do this on the heels of a decision, this momentous decision -- >> it's not about the brand. it's about getting in and getting out of this vote. they're very comfortable with this vote coming where it is, because the focus, the first three quarters of our time has been on health care and it's happening all across the country right now. this vote will happen. it will be part of the conversation. chris will definitely cover it this evening on "hardball." the main focus will likely be on health care. as far as the leadership is concerned, that's a good thing. i think mark makes an important point for the naval gazers within the party, get their heads out of their navals and tune into what the american
people are -- put it in context of the ceconomy and health care and big issues is not enough for mitt romney to come out and say this is inefficient, unconstitutional in our view. it's incumbent on his team to lay out a clear alternative to obama care. if you don't want this, if the house is going to strike it down next week in a vote, you better be prepared to put something on the table for those independent voters out there, particularly the moms out there who have a sick child at home or caring for a parent who has still a lot of questions about all this. if you're not answering those questions, you're going to have a real problem. >> are we going to hear any clear policy outlines from mitt romney's campaign before november? that doesn't seem to be part of the strategy. >> make this election a çr referendum on the president and leave as much of the future agenda fuzzy as possible and make it all about president obama. this, you know, one of the unintended koconsequences for t romney campaign. this may make that impossible. if they vote to repeal, then
what? >> it used to be repeal and replace. now it's just repeal. they're going to strike down popular provisions, be on record for we're saying we'll throw your kid off your policy without telling you what we'll do to keep your kid on the policy. they're setting themselves up for a counterargument that may neutralize what they think is an advantage. >> can i talk about this eric holder thing? >> yes. >> i think the republicans get a win out of this because they put the focus on an aorney general who has not been politically adjoined most of his term. he's not a politician. eric holder. he just isn't. >> or should he be? >> he gets the worst jobs in the world he has to handle like guantanamo. >> voter i.d. >> if i were running the obama campaign, i'd point out the fact romney is not romney. he's a prisoner of zenda. he's been held -- grover norquist owns him on tax policy. the neocons led by dan and the whole crowd of robert king own him. he'll push the button on iran
the day they tell him to. honorary degree, liberty so-called university down there. he's got that. now the nra put the handcuffs on the guy. he is totally owned. and the day he pulls the sister soldier moment, the day he stands up to one of those five forces of the republican party, will be the first day he's done it. the man is completelyç sold ou to the right on all the issues that matter. i don't think he's a right winger. i think most americans i talk to think he's sort of a pragmatic business guy. his current business is politics. but he has signed so many papers -- >> don't forget immigration. >> with so many guys. >> don't forget immigration. >> he's adopted the rhetoric of -- >> is there a mitt in that mitt romney, is there a person in there that says, no, i'm not there on this? no, waitress, i'd like to make a change for the orange juice, can i have tomato juice? just one time. don't take the blue plate special. >> his dad walked out of the
1964 convention. you might remember this. i don't. he walked out of the 19 4 convention because he opposed barry goldwater's position on opposing civil rights. >> would this guy do it? >> would he do it? he inherited his father's hair but not his spine. >> you've been saving that for how many hours? >> mark, are you -- are we going to see that mitt romney? if he is, in fact, the man chris presumes him to be? >> well, i think we've got to. if he has any chance of winning the election in the fall. i think it's really true that -- i've been waiting for one of those moments myself. i had hoped to see that on immigration. i know there's got to be an evolution on that issue. as well as a number of others. he's got time. no question about it. but the cement is starting to harden on perceptions about him. i think chris makes a great point. it's something that bothers me, as i've watched the campaign, is that iç haven't seen any real independence on his part to step away from a lot of the special
moneyed interests that are imposing themselves on the party. and so i want to see where mitt romney would go, where he's really willing to step out, say, here's my plan, here's where i lead without somebody pulling me around by a leash. >> it's hard to do this, you know. george senior, everybody loves george senior now. >> romney. >> george herbert walker bush. remember how he made his promise -- peggy noonan wrote the speech in new orleans "read my lips: no new taxes." the minute he cut the fiscal deal back in '90, you know, with darmen and baker, he was whacked and pillied through history. it's not so easy to break these shackles once you cut the deal. >> let's keep in minds, as the supreme court handed down its decision, the romney campaign started tweeting out the fact they were getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. setting aside the actual fiscal reality -- >> we don't know if they raised
a nickel. >> the reality is, they are -- the romney campaign -- whoever it is, moneyed interests, as mark said, play a huge role in dictating -- >> the koch brothers. >> it cuts both ways. the obama team has, i'm sure, as well. their political operations prepared should this have fallen the other way. >> the jim messina e-mail went out before the -- messina sent it out this morning. >> we're not going to blame these guys for the politics of what their campaigns are going to do to get the money in the door. we know how that'sç played. i think the broader question for both of these men right now is how do they frame this argument? i think mark is right. romney has time, but the cement is hardening. i would say it's actually hardened on some issues like immigration, where it's going to be really hard to pull the hispanic vote in a direction toward the party. can you afford to let the cement harden on this issue? for example. >> where has romney demonstrated
leadership? he did it when he was governor on the mandate issue. where has he since? i think the president's statement that we talked about earlier today, he talked about his idea of leadership. he had to change his mind to do this. it was not politically popular. you know -- >> it was anything but politically popular. >> every day, rahm emanuel came to his office and said, mr. president, there's a way to go smaller here. he would say, no. >> this is the narrative. you give this, you know, noble aspiration to obama making this move without any political calculation at all, where if romney makes those -- >> you're the first out here saying he's flip-flopping on an issue. this goes to the broader point of definition, of how these guys have allowed themselves to be defined. i think romney up to this point has ostensibly been defined as someone if he changes his mind, it's a flip-flop. if obama changes his mind, it's -- >> the nature of the --
>> romney is so well established on so many of these issues from being pro choice to being, you know, for his health care plan whichç included a mandate. there isn't a single example of a time where he took on the base of his own party. as a candidate for president. >> why do you change? the president explained his change. to make health care work, i looked at the policy. >> he hasn't made that counterargument. >> he did something that was politically unpopular. what we see with romney's changes, they tend to be toward the side of pandering. >> i disagree with that. >> you -- i mean, surely you understand the point that inside the sort of guise of mitt romney presidential candidate is probably a moderate republican. >> screaming, trying to get out. >> that he can't -- whatever his natural instincts are doesn't matter. he sold his decision making
authority to the interest groups in the republican party. independents who think, i think he's instinctively a moderate, better look closely at how much latitude he'll have in governing given the way he's running the campaign. >> he can't flip on abortion again. >> ever. >> he can't take a 10-1 deal. he said he wouldn't. very specific commitment. >> simpson/bowles versus the grover norquist. it will be an interesting campaign. thank you, everyone. david, chris, deedee, mark mckinnon in austin, texas. catch chris tonight on "hardball" at 5:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. that's all for us here now. i'll see you back in new york tomorrow at nooneqáuq)n. 9:00 a.m. pacific. "andrea mitchell reports "can is, of course, next. andrea, over to you. thanks so much. coming up next, we have a power panel as well. pete williams, david gregory,
chris cillizza, chuck todd. the impact of the decision. plus rachel maddow, zeke emanuel, bob mcdonnell, deval patrick. stay with us. we have it all covered right here on "andrea mitchell reports." in every bag of kingsford charcoal. kingsford. slow down and grill. the teacher that comes to mind for me is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" supreme decision. the president's health care law is upheld by the roberts court. a majority crafted by the chief justice, himself, and the court's four liberals. president obama gets a defining political victory. mitt romney gets an answer. >> whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the supreme court's decision to uphold it. >> this is a time of choice for the american people. our mission is clear. if we want to get rid of obama care, we're going to have to replace president obama. my mission is to make sure we do