CNN's GUT CHECK | for March, 27 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: NEW CNN POLL SHOWS FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH STILL GETTING THE BLAME FOR THE ECONOMY; BARACK OBAMA APPROVAL OVER 50% FOR FIRST TIME SINCE THE DEATH OF OSAMA BIN LADEN.
Forget ‘Get America Working,’ Time to Get the GOP Working:
– 37% have a favorable view of Mitt Romney
– 56% have a favorable view of Obama
– 35% have a favorable view of the GOP
– 48% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party
– 56% blame Bush and the GOP for the economy
– 29% blame Obama and the Democrats for the economy
General election matchups: Obama up by double digits: 54% – 43% against Romney; 55% – 42% against Santorum; full results.
Name the law that turns 10 this week, yet is still a haunting legacy for its two lead sponsors: Both have derided the system the law has created, and one was voted out of office.
As we pay close attention to the health care hearings before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, Gut Check decided to look at the lobbying expenditures and political donations made by the health sector in this election cycle.
The numbers are staggering.
The health sector spent nearly $500 million on lobbying in 2011, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Of the $500 million, CRP data shows the pharmaceutical/health products industry accounted for $237.5 million, hospitals/nursing homes $99.5 million, health professionals $80.4 million, health services/HMOs $72.4 million, and additional $10 million was categorized as miscellaneous health.
As for political donations, it should come as no surprise that the health sector is on track in the 2012 presidential election year to eclipse the $145.7 million it contributed in 2010. Democrats received 51% of the donations in that midterm election. (In the 2008 presidential election, the health sector donated $174.6 million with Democrats receiving 55% of those contributions).
But in this election cycle the tables have turned. So far, more than $72.3 million has been donated by the health sector to Republicans and Democrats, according to CRP. This time it is the Republicans who are benefitting from the sector’s largesse, raking in 56% of donations.
The top recipient of all donations, though, is a Democrat: Barack Obama has received more than $2.5 million from the health sector. Mitt Romney received $1.6 million in contributions – making him the second-biggest recipient of donations from the health sector. As for the three other active Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul raked in $572,500, Newt Gingrich received $335,300 and Rick Santorum took in $160,600 from the health sector.
Health care has been and will continue to be a major issue on the campaign trail no matter how the Supreme Court rules. Even though how to address health care reform is a national discussion, it is still a really personal issue and challenge whether you are an individual struggling to pay health bills or a small-business owner grappling with health care costs.
And in Washington, there are many people with deep pockets trying to influence the debate.
And moments ago, on the steps of the high court, Paul Clement, the attorney opposing the individual mandate, made a promise that will likely mean even more money flowing from the health sector to the halls of Congress.
“I don’t think anybody thinks if all or some part of this statute is struck down that Congress is just going to call it a day,” he said. “So, I think that whatever the court decides if it strikes down part of this law, the Congress is going to revisit this issue.”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNN Politics: Bush 41 to endorse Romney
In another sign the GOP establishment is coalescing behind Mitt Romney, former President George H.W. Bush is scheduled to formally endorse the Republican front-runner on Thursday. LINK
Leading Drudge: HOODIE ON THE HILL
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, lost his right to speak on the House floor after he violated rules by putting on a hoodie and sunglasses in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen shot last month. LINK
Leading HuffPo: COULD THE WHOLE THING GO?
The Supreme Court is signaling it could throw out some other key parts of President Barack Obama's health care law if it first finds the individual insurance requirement unconstitutional. LINK
Leading Politico: Justices take up fate of health law if mandate goes
The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday with a question that looks increasingly significant after conservative justices battered the individual mandate: Should the rest of President Barack Obama’s health care law stand if the requirement to purchase insurance falls? LINK
Leading New York Times: Justices Ask if Health Law Is Viable Without Mandate
On the third and final day of Supreme Court arguments over President Obama’s health care overhaul law, several justices on Wednesday indicated a reluctance to pick and choose among the law's other provisions should the requirement that most Americans have health insurance be struck down. LINK
The political bites of the day
- Car talk, SCOTUS Edition -
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG AT HEALTH CARE HEARING: “Why should we say it is a choice between a wrecking operation which is what you are requesting or a salvage job. And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything.”
- If wreckage, who will foot the bill? -
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT AFTER THE HEALTH CARE HEARING: “Here is the crux of the issue: the individual mandate would be the funding stream that makes all of the rest of the act work. If the funding stream falls, and all the expensive provisions in the act remain … the pre-existing condition, allowing Americans to stay on policy until age 27 and 2,700 pages worth of different items that are in this bill - if that stays in place - who will pay for it? Who will pay for it? Where will the money come to pay for these provisions?”
- McCain: Obama playing fast and loose with security -
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA, ADDRESSED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S OPEN MIC MOMENT AT A NEWS CONFERENCE: “The president is playing fast and loose with national security in my view. This should be a lesson to all of us who are worried about an unfettered second Obama term as president of the United States.”
- Yes, he went there. Yes, it was uncomfortable -
FORMER SEN. ARLEN SPECTER OF PENNSYLVANIA TELLS AN X-RATED JOKE ON MSNBC’S “MORNING JOE”: “The Republican Party has moved so far to the right, you can’t recognize Mitt Romney. What Mitt Romney will appear in October? Mitt Romney has changed positions more often than a pornographic movie queen.”
- What would Newt do for $200? -
JIMMY KIMMEL JOKED ABOUT THE GINGRICH CAMPAIGN’S MONEY WOES ON HIS SHOW “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE”: “Newt Gingrich is hoping to cut into his campaign debt by charging people $50 to take a photo with him. Just imagine, a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a personal picture with a man who will never be the president of the United States. I would pay the 50 bucks if he agreed to wear a prom dress in the photo. For $50, you get a nice formal portrait. For $100, he'll eat pellets out of your hand like a llama. And for $200, he will plank you.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin)
From #scotus pressroom . . . Big issue today: does whole law follow mandate into oblivion? Bad to worse for @BarackObama?
Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
Kennedy fretted just nixing mandate would be "more extreme than to strike it in the whole"
Meredith Shiner (@meredithshiner)
Bobby Rush dons a hoodie on the House floor. This was not in line with wardrobe rules. Mic is cut. LINK
Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller)
Newt is only doing one campaign event per day through Saturday.
Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody)
What is "overtime?" NYT reporters who work more over 35 hours are "entitled to put in for the overtime." LINK
CNN’s Gut Check (@GutCheckCNN)
TAKE 5: WashPo releases #Peeps pictures. Our Favorites? #29 & #30 but then there IS #36….that hair! LINK
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, teamed up to pass the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (also known as McCain-Feingold) over a decade ago. President George W. Bush signed the law on March 27, 2002. While their careers have taken drastically different courses – McCain made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency and Feingold is no longer in the Senate – their law has been on a similarly unpredictable path.
When the U.S. Supreme Court decided that money equals speech in their historic 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, their law was ostensibly undermined. “We put a brick on top of a wall, and the brick is intact, but the wall was smashed by the Citizens United decision,” Feingold told Roll Call for an article released today.
McCain has been equally critical. At a Newsweek/Daily Beast forum yesterday, McCain called the current state of campaign finance the “the worst joke in Washington.” In light of the ruling, the duo does seem to be using similar messaging on campaign finance. Not only have they both compared unrestricted super PAC spending to “a joke,” they have also agreed that the only way a similar campaign finance reform bill will get passed again is if “a huge scandal” forces action.
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