Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was on NBC’s Meet The Press today, and he gave the strongest indication yet that the GOP strategy for 2010 and 2012 is to run against the healthcare bill. He said, “I suspect every Republican running in ’10 and again in ’12 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill.”
Here is the video:
Gingrich said, “Well, you’ve got $513 billion in tax increases, $470 billion in Medicare cuts. You have a scale of, I think, bribery in the Senate we have not seen in our lifetime, with various senators getting all sorts of special deals in a way that I think the public is just appalled by. 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. This is a bad bill, written in a horrible way, and the most, the most corrupt legislation I’ve seen in my lifetime.”
Newt Gingrich is considered one of the great thinkers in the current GOP, and if his thoughts on the subject are any indication of how Republican candidates are going to approach 2010 then the Democrats should be very happy. It would be a huge mistake for the GOP to instruct all of their candidates to pledge to repeal the healthcare bill, because in large segments of the country, the bill is popular.
Plus, Republican candidates in 2010 should be running on the economy, not healthcare. The economy is the number one issue, and if Republicans ignore it again, and instead run on taxes, the Democrats will do pretty well in both 2010 and 2012. Gingrich still thinks that it is 1994, and his Contract With America campaign style will work. It won’t.
The easiest way for Republicans to motivate Democrats to go to the polls in 2010 would be to make healthcare the centerpiece of the campaign. It isn’t good politics to be viewed as opposed to an expansion of healthcare for 31 million people, and the Democrats could benefit from their shortsightedness is 2010.