Political consultant Bob Shrum gave Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) a lesson in post-election politics on CNN Tuesday morning, when Shrum told the Senator to give up the dream of repealing Obamacare.
In the middle of a heated discussion about the fiscal showdown, CNN host Soledad O’Brien asked Johnson to give examples of what kind of spending cuts should be on the table. Johnson put the President’s signature health care reform law at the top of his list, saying that it costs more than people realize. “Not going to happen,” Shrum told Johnson, “You lost the election, buddy”:
JOHNSON: Let’s acknowledge that the primary driver of our debt and deficit is going to be health care costs. And we have a whole new entitlement — by the way, we’ve already got a trillion dollars of middle class, middle income tax increases cooked into the books under Obamacare. […]
SHRUM: This is fantasy land. It’s like saying Ronald Reagan invented the Apple iPad. Obamacare is not going to be on the table. […]
JOHNSON: Zero to 610 is the vote total of the last three votes on [Obama’s] last two budgets. Zero to 610. Do you think that’s a serious proposal? Here’s the bottom line: President Obama, show us a plan.
SHRUM: He can’t show you a plan. He gave you a plan, and his plan is not to repeal Obamacare. Not going to happen. You lost the election, buddy.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also proposed putting Obamacare cuts on the table. But if the goal of the fiscal showdown is to reduce the deficit, then Republicans seem to be taking the wrong approach: The Congressional Budget Office calculates that the health care law already reduces the deficit by billions of dollars in the next decade, and, in the decade after that, by more than $1 trillion.