March 13, 2014, 12:52 pm
Pelosi: O-Care won’t hurt Dems
By Mike Lillis
Republicans are “wasting their time” using ObamaCare as an electoral issue, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.
Days after the healthcare law was seen as a decisive issue in her party’s special election loss in Florida, Pelosi insisted GOP attacks would backfire and that Democrats would embrace ObamaCare on the campaign trail.
She said Democrat Alex Sink’s loss to Republican David Jolly in Florida on Tuesday was an anomaly and blamed low turnout for her party’s loss of what was seen as a winnable race.
“The fact that it is an off-year election – in other words, a non-presidential year – and a special election is like a double-whammy in terms of reducing turnout,” she said at her press briefing.
“We feel confident about the fuller participation in November, and what that will mean for that election.”
GOP leaders have been energized by their victory on Tuesday, as Sink's defense of the Affordable Care Act was a central issue of the campaign.
“If you’re a Democrat in one of those crossover seats, I’d be panicked this morning, because their playbook they’ve given [Democrats] is to run on ObamaCare,” Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), head of the National Republican Congressional Committee said Wednesday. “Go support the president and go support ObamaCare, and they tried that out and it failed.”
But Pelosi insisted Republicans are misreading the results in Florida.
“I think the Republicans are wasting their time using that as their electoral issue, and they will find that out,” she said.
Pressed by a reporter whether Democrats should shy away from the issue on the campaign trail, Pelosi didn't hesitate.
“No, absolutely not,” she said.
Pelosi has long-argued that the healthcare law will become increasingly popular as more people recognize the benefits.
On Thursday, she said Democrats will embrace the law ahead of the elections.
"I'm very proud of our House Democrats and how they've, not only embraced the Affordable Care Act … but how proud they are of it," she said.
Of Sink's campaign message, Pelosi said she got it "just right."
"There are many good things about the Affordable Care Act that are good for the health and well-being of the American people. There're some things that need to be fixed, let's do that. And that is the message of our members," Pelosi said.