For Perry, Romney And Huntsman, Health Care Records Highlight Differences
News outlets report that, to win over tea party supporters and other Republican voters, candidates are emphasizing their opposition to the federal health law but their records on health care vary.
The New York Times: G.O.P. Candidates' Stances On Health Care Mask Their Records As Governors
The three most prominent current or former governors running for president — Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Jon M. Huntsman Jr. — are firmly united in their commitment to repealing President Obama's health care law. But that unanimity masks a broad divergence in their approaches to the issue while in office, spanning the spectrum of Republican positioning (Sack, 9/3).
Related, from KHN: GOP Presidential Hopefuls: Where They Stand On Health Care
Politico: DeMint On Perry's Past: 'People Change'
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), widely seen as a king maker for the tea party movement, says that some liberal-leaning stances in Texas Gov. Rick Perry's past won't be a problem in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination ... "I want to find out more about him, obviously, but we know people change. Reagan was a Democrat," DeMint said on ABC's "This Week" after host Christiane Amanpour noted that Perry endorsed Al Gore for president in 1988 and said positive things about Hillary Clinton's health care efforts in 1993. ... [DeMint is] hosting a series of appearances by the GOP candidates in South Carolina on Monday (Gerstein, 9/4).
CNN: Seeking The 'Anti-Romney' In The Reublican Presidential Race
With the right-wing tea party movement playing the most dynamic role in the campaign so far, the GOP competition comes down to which of the handful of die-hard conservative candidates will emerge to battle initial front-runner Mitt Romney for the nomination. ... Romney, meanwhile, still must overcome distrust of his policies and background by many conservatives. A major vulnerability is the health care reform he passed in Massachusetts, including an individual mandate that is vehemently opposed by Republicans (Cohen and Silverleib, 9/4).
The Associated Press: Tea Party Bulling Its Way Into 2012 GOP Race
[T]he tea party is shaping the race for the GOP presidential nomination as candidates parrot the movement's language and promote its agenda while jostling to win its favor. ... Tea party groups have indicated they'll protest Romney's appearances. They are irked that as governor, he signed a bill that enacted a health program mandating insurance coverage. It served as a precursor to Obama's federal measure that the tea party despises (Blood and Peoples, 9/4).
USA Today: Passage Of Sponsored Bills Belie Power Of House Freshmen
The freshman class that swept Republicans into control of the House has sponsored more than 400 pieces of legislation since January ... Only a handful have become law. A review of bills shows Republican freshmen have hit themes they sounded on the campaign trail: At least 10 bills chip away at Obama's health care law (Alan Gomez and Fredreka Schouten, 9/2).
The Hill: Obama Faces New Conundrum In Selling His Healthcare Law
The Obama White House is grappling with an unusual reality as next year's election looms: the signature domestic achievement of the president's first term seems, at best, as much of a liability as an asset. When healthcare reform passed in March of 2010, Obama hit the road to tout its benefits. Supporters predicted that the law would grow more popular as temperatures cooled and the public learned more about what it actually does. Neither has happened: The law still polls unfavorably, and the public knows even less about what’s in it (Baker and Stanage, 9/3).
Meanwhile, in Iowa, business leaders are expressing doubts about the law.
Des Moines Register: Employers Skeptical Of Health Law
Business owners in Iowa, already pummeled by the skyrocketing cost of health insurance over the past decade, are also deeply skeptical of a health care overhaul many of them don't understand. Fifty-four percent of employers either strongly or somewhat agree the law should be repealed, according to the 2011 Iowa Employer Benefits Survey published by David P. Lind & Associates in Clive (Belz, 9/4).