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President Obama Shows Republicans Why They Can’t Win By Running Against Obamacare

President Obama’s jokes about the ACA rollout turned what Republicans thought was the issue that could carry them to victory in 2014 into a punchline.

Video of Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner:

The president joked about Obamacare in two separate parts of his speech:

Of course, we rolled out That could have gone better. (Laughter.) In 2008 my slogan was, “Yes We Can.” In 2013 my slogan was, “Control-Alt-Delete.” (Laughter.) On the plus side, they did turn the launch of into one of the year’s biggest movies. (Laughter.)


Of course, there is one thing that keeps Republicans busy. They have tried more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare. Despite that, 8 million people signed up for health care in the first open enrollment. (Applause.) Which does lead one to ask, how well does Obamacare have to work before you don’t want to repeal it? What if everybody’s cholesterol drops to 120? (Laughter.) What if your yearly checkup came with tickets to a Clippers game? (Laughter.) Not the old, Donald Sterling Clippers — the new Oprah Clippers. Would that be good enough? (Laughter.) What if they gave Mitch McConnell a pulse? (Laughter.) What is it going to take? (Laughter.)

Republicans are running against the ACA like it is the end of the world, but in 2006 Democrats swept to victory by taking both the House and Senate. They won by campaigning against then President Bush leadership on the war in Iraq, and his administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.

The potency of the issues that the Democrats were running on was visible in Bush’s WHCD remarks. Nowhere in his jokes does he mention Iraq.

Video of Bush in 2006:

If Obamacare is such a damaging issue for Democrats, why was President Obama so willing to joke about it? Democrats see the poll numbers. The Republican position of repealing the ACA is not a popular one. The lesson that Obama delivered was that the Obamascare politics that Republicans have grown so dependent on won’t work this time. Thanks to gerrymandered districts and potentially low Democratic turnout, the House Republican majority if fairly safe, but Obamacare isn’t the game changer that Republicans dreamed it would be.

Instead of running away from the ACA, Democrats are embracing it and making jokes.

The message is clear. Democrats don’t think Republicans can win by bashing Obamacare

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