Public Option vs. Republican Options

GOP strategists discuss possible responses to health care reform

Thursday, August 20, 2009

While Democrats debate whether health care reform should include a government-funded "public option" health insurer, most Republicans have been opposed to the Democrats' conception of reform from the get-go. Democrats are now pressuring Obama to abandon bi-partisanship all together and “go it alone.” But what would that mean for Republicans? Would they be “left out,” “left behind,” or, if reform were to fail, wind up as the "last party standing?"  We host a Republican strategy session with Fred Barnes, the executive editor of the Weekly Standard, and Reihan Salam, a fellow at the New America Foundation, and author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

"Look, here's how politics works. The out-party succeeds when the in-party fails. The polls on the Republicans don't matter now; what matters is the polls on the Democrats. And they're in power, they have votes in Congress, they have the White House. If they overreach, or they fail, or both, then Republicans will triumph in the next election, whatever their numbers are right now in approval ratings by the public. It's the failure of the in-party that leads to the out-party winning."
—Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, on why he's more interested in Democratic poll numbers than Republican ones


Fred Barnes and Reihan S Salam

Hosted by:

Amy Holmes

Comments [2]


If I want to hear what Fred Barnes thinks about anything, I will tune in to Fox. I listen to the Take Away for insight and smart ideas. If you can find a conservative with anything meaningful to contribute to solving any of our country's problems, I am all ears. Mr. Barnes does not qualify.

Aug. 20 2009 09:22 PM
Amos Elroy

The public popular rejection of the health-care reform is a complete fiction, they simply oppose the fictive issues Republicans claim are embedded in it. I am convinced that lies do not stand for long, and once those absurd claims are debunked there is going to be a ground-swell in favor of the reform and the optional public option.

Aug. 20 2009 05:22 PM

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