1) PRESIDENT OBAMA
Obama campaign manager calls Romney ‘Godfather’ of healthcare: “‘Mitt Romney is the godfather of our health care plan,’ Plouffe said on NBC’s Meet the Press. ‘If he is president, remarkably he is running away from that past, and he says he is going to try to throw all this away. We’re going to have a big fight about health care again.’” [Politico]
2) AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
This morning begins three days of arguments in the most significant Supreme Court case in decades. The central question: Will the Affordable Care Act stand?
Solicitor General warns of ‘grave’ consequences if Supreme Court overturns health reform – Q:) What is at stake in this hearing? A:) If the Supreme Court struck this down, I think that it wouldn’t just be about health care. It would be the Supreme Court saying: ‘Look, we’ve got the power to really take decisions, move them off of the table of the American people, even in a democracy. And so it could imperil a number of reforms in the New Deal that are designed to help people against big corporations and against, indeed, big governments. The challengers are saying that this law is unconstitutional, which means even if 95 percent of Americans want this law, they can’t have it. And that’s a really profound thing for an unelected court to say. Q:) What are the possible outcomes? A:) The two main outcomes that one can predict — the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate as unconstitutional because it’s unprecedented or it upholds it and says it is part of Congress power over commerce and over taxation. The latter is far more likely because it is such a grave thing for unelected judges to take a decision of such a magnitude for American people. I expect the Supreme Court’s ruling at the end of its current term, June 30. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone else was surprised in this case, and the court didn’t reach a standard 5-to-4 judgment with the five Republican justices — those nominated by Republican presidents on one side, and the four nominated by Democratic presidents on the other.
Tea Party to rally against health care law: “‘We want our freedom back,’ former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told hundreds of ralliers standing in the rain in Upper Senate Park, a few hundred yards from the steps of the Supreme Court. … The rally largely marks the big return to Washington for the Tea Party, a loose organization of grassroots groups that helped conservative Republicans take over the House in the 2010 wave election.” [Fox News]
3) RICK TANTORUM
I ask Santorum if Romney is "worst Republican" to run. He says: “Quit distorting my words It's bullshit." He says he was talking health care—
Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) March 26, 2012
Rick Santorum Swears At New York Times Reporter - Jeff Zeleny earned the curse for asking Santorum what he meant by saying that Mitt Romney is the “worst Republican” to face Obama. Here’s a look at some other times Santorum’s temper got the best of him, often at the press.
Santorum campaign denies equating ‘sworn enemy’ Ahmadenijad with Obama – The ad calls Iran a “sworn American enemy” and then briefly switches between images of Ahmadinejad and Obama. But campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said it was “ridiculous” to think that the ad equated the two men. “He’s the president of the United States, Ahmadenijad is the president of our sworn enemy,” he told Politico. “I’m don’t know that it was ‘interspersing,’ I’m confused by that. Obviously I’m not trying to say anything about Obama and Ahamdenijad.” John Brabender, who made the video, also denied that it equated Ahmadenijad with Obama. Watch…
“Pretend It’s Obama” – So says an unseen woman as Rick Santorum displays his masculinity by shooting a menacing paper silhouette. Also unseen: millions of cheering teabaggers.
4) ROMNEY – feel the excitement!
Paul Ryan Would ‘Consider’ Romney-Ryan Ticket - Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday asked Ryan if he would accept the VP slot if the Republican presidential nominee wanted him to be on the ticket to help sell the GOP’s controversial new budget that slashes government spending. “It’s not a bridge that I’ve even come close to crossing,” Ryan explained. “It’s a decision that somebody else makes and a long time from now. … I can’t answer that question because I haven’t given enough thought to that.” “But you’re leaving the door open,” Wallace noted. “You’re saying, ‘If I were asked, I would have to consider it.'” “I would have to consider it,” Ryan agreed. “But it’s not something I’m even thinking about right now because I think our job in Congress is pretty important.”
Mitt Romney Introduces Erick Erickson To The Individual Mandate – Red State’s Erick Erickson has been a relentless Mitt Romney critic. In this 2006 interview with Erickson for the Red State podcast Romney introduces him to the individual mandate. It was all down hill after this interview.
Plouffe: Romney the ‘godfather’ of Obama health reforms – “Most of the law doesn’t take effect until 2012,” Plouffe explained. “We’ve hand hundreds of millions of dollars of propaganda spent against it. Now, you are seeing parts of the law come into effect. Kids between 21 and 26, over 21 million of them, now have health insurance. They can stay on their parents plan because of the health care reform law. You’ve got over 5 million seniors now getting $600, roughly, for prescription drug assistance. Women are treated equally as men in our system. There are free preventive care like mammograms and cancer screenings.” “So, we just have to tell the story of this,” he continued. “One thing I’m confident of is by the end of the decade, we’re going to be very glad the Republicans termed this Obamacare. Because when the reality of health care is in place, it’s going to be nothing like the kind of fear mongering that was done.” Plouffe added that the White House was “confident” that the Supreme Court would uphold the law.
Doctors doubt favoritism in Cheney transplant – CHICAGO (AP) — Doctors say it is unlikely that former Vice President Dick Cheney got special treatment when he was given a new heart that thousands of younger people also were in line to receive. After spending nearly two years on a waiting list, Cheney received a transplant Saturday. The 71-year-old underwent surgery at the same Virginia hospital where doctors implanted a small heart pump that has kept him alive the past few years. Cheney was recovering Sunday at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va. He had severe congestive heart failure and had suffered five heart attacks over the past 25 years.
You might remember when Ross Douthat in 2008 wrote about watching Sarah Palin winking on tv and described that experience as “starbursts ricocheting around the living rooms of America” (and, one assumes, his pants and the carpet)? Well, it’s happening for him again: Ross Douthat wants to bear Tebow’s little Christian babies – “O ye of little faith. Did you think that the Lord God of Hosts, having raised Tebow up as a Gideon of the gridiron, would pass up the opportunity to put his faithful servant to the test? Did you think that the angelic screenwriters responsible for scripting last year’s succession of Tebow-related improbabilities had nodded off after the Broncos were dispatched in the A.F.C. playoffs? …No, this was where the Tebow story was always destined to end up. Denver was his Galilee; New York will be the Roman Colosseum. Or to be pop cultural rather than scriptural: Denver was District 12 in Suzanne Collins’s Panem, and the Meadowlands will be the Hunger Games arena.”