Health Care Politics: Anti-Abortion Group Attacks Romney; Axelrod Claims Huntsman Supported Obama Plan; Bachmann Vows Repeal
News outlets covered the political chatter swirling around health care issues this weekend.
The Associated Press: "President Barack Obama's chief campaign strategist is dismissive of the Republicans who want his boss' job, saying they are eager to criticize the Democratic incumbent without offering substantive ways to help the country. ... Axelrod said that when he was in China in the fall of 2009, he had a chance to talk with [former Utah Gov. John] Huntsman. "He was very effusive about what the president was doing. He was encouraging on health care'" (6/19).
Politico: "Axelrod said in an interview aired Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union' that Huntsman's recent criticism of Obama's 'failed' economic policy is 'in conflict with what he communicated to us in 2009'" (Barr, 6/19).
Politico: "Michele Bachmann used her Minnesota homecoming Saturday to focus on the economy. ... 'We're now approaching the Obama trench of a double-dip recession,' she told hundreds of conservative activists gathered here for RightOnline. ... She receive standing ovations for reminding the crowd that she was the first House member to introduce a bill to repeal the health care law after it passed in March 2010, promising to repeal the law if elected president" (Hohmann, 6/18).
Roll Call: "One of the nation's most outspoken anti-abortion rights groups is putting an unwelcome spotlight on Mitt Romney's anti-abortion credentials. The former Massachusetts governor's position on the issue, which has evolved over time, became a distraction during his 2008 run for president. Earlier this week, he stated on national television that he is 'firmly pro-life.' But the Susan B. Anthony List reported Friday afternoon that Romney was the only top-tier 2012 presidential candidate to refuse to sign its "Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge'" (Peoples, 6/17).
The Hill: "Romney penned an opinion piece on the National Review's website Saturday explaining his refusal to sign the pledge ... 'As much as I share the goals of the Susan B. Anthony List, its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. ... It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America,' [he wrote] .... Romney's stance could come back to haunt him in the GOP primaries. Potential presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) at Saturday's Republican Leadership Conference made a point of saying 'it saddens me when my fellow Republicans duck and cover in the face of pressure from the left'" (Wasson, 6/18).