March 27th, 2012
05:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Carville: A Supreme Court loss will help Democrats

(CNN) - While the Obama administration fights to protect the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor James Carville said a Supreme Court overruling may not be such a bad thing for the president, politically.

"I think this will be the best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic Party," Carville said Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

He added: "You know, what the Democrats are going to say, and it is completely justified, 'We tried, we did something, go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority'."

Carville, who gained fame working on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, predicted health care costs will only increase in the future, in which case Republicans will be to blame for leading the drive to expel a federal program designed to help Americans cover those costs.

"Then the Republican Party will own the healthcare system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin," Carville said.

Republican and editor Erik Erikson, meanwhile argued that an overruling would represent more mainstream sentiments than not.

"Both sides, not just the Democrat side, even if the laws were upheld or struck down, there is a 5-4 conservative majority, and historically you see Republicans picking justices who have a greater propensity to gravitate to the left than you see Democrat judges propensity to gravitate to the right," Erikson, also a CNN contributor, said. "This will be an undercurrent issue for both sides, though."

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soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. ETEE

    When the Government takes, by force, the hard earned money from my pocket that I worked for and saved for me and my families healthcare and places it in the pockets of others who refuse to work and save for their healthcare, they are no longer MY government.

    March 28, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  2. RS

    Carville is right, this takes away the biggest issue the Repubs had to hammer Obama on. It will also give the economy a kick in the pants. But the way the Repubs keep it a winning issue is by reminding everybody it was a Republican appointed court that overturned it, otherwise, Obamacare would have been a reality.

    March 28, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  3. Diogenes

    Way to spin in advance, Jimmy!

    No, I think the Supreme Court finding that Democrats championed and pushed for the enactment of a monstrous law that violates the Constitution will prove to be a negative for them.

    March 28, 2012 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  4. Ken Pittman WBSM

    Maybe you'll remember how lopsided the victory was for Republicans in 2010 and to the point that Massachusetts handed the seat once held by the architect of Romneycare and thus Obamacare, Senator Ted Kennedy (Monarchist Democrat – MA) to Scott Brown (R-MA)

    James I haven't seen you look this bad since the time you walked down the alien space-ship plank to greet Richard Dreyfuss.

    Ken Pittman AM 1420 WBSM

    March 28, 2012 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  5. SoundOfMind

    The court is far right? Ginsberg tells audiences in Egypt that they shouldn't model a constitution after ours, because it doesn't have enough "social justice". Sotomayor is reliably left. If Kagan had even a shred of ethics, should would recuse herself.

    The mainstream media talks only about the votes of the non-leftist members, because the leftist are all in the bag – are they even acting like judges or simple rubber stamps?

    Should the gov't require you to buy burial insurance just as they want be able to force you into a contract to buy obummercare? If so, they can bury me with the constitution, as the leftists turn our once great nation into another socialist backwater with the "new" bill of rights.

    March 28, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  6. netshark

    Sorry Carville, this is about the constitution, not assigning political blame. The next step after striking down that monstrous legislation (which by the way would never "fix" healthcare but only put a bandaide on the inevitable collapse of healthcare). If you people are truly concerned about people you will help remove all the anti-free market policies which have been put in place over the years and allow the insurance industry to function properly.

    March 28, 2012 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  7. justanobservor

    The best thing that ever happened to the Democrat Party? Hmmmm. Let's see. I think this marks about the fourth time Carville has tried over the years to spin some potential Democrat reversal with a “that would be the best thing that ever happened” to the Democrats.

    Of course too, what should one expect from some ideologue who has failed so miserably for almost 20 years to even come close to duplicating or exceeding his dubious Clintonian accomplishment in 1992? Frankly, with such a poor track record I find it very telling that any network would still be clamoring for Carville's opinion or input on anything.

    Then again, when you pause today to analyze the lack of real leadership among national Democrats should anyone be even mildly surprised that CNN is forced to go yet again to the empty well that is James Carville?

    March 28, 2012 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  8. Maxwell

    Remind Carville that he hasn't done anything since 1992, and that Obama said his health care plan "will not add one dime to the deficit" well it now cost $1.7 Trillion, twice what Obama said it would cost and is no longer "paid for"

    That means cost have already gone-up under Obama so the blame clearly falls on Democrats for passing this plan before reading it.

    When ObamaCare fails.. Obama fails, and so do the Democrats that pushed this failed and illegal plan through Congress.

    March 28, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  9. Slappy

    Ignorance abounds with you people. Who appointed Justice Souter? How about Kennedy? Thats is who Mr. Erikson was referring to. It's either ignorance, or intellectual dishonesty.

    March 28, 2012 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  10. Chief B

    oh my! listen to the liberals whine! They can feel it slipping away.......and they are scared!

    the only activist judges on the supreme court are the liberals sitting there! there are four of them!

    March 28, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  11. Old_Boy_Ntwk

    Yeah, you have millions of people living on the dole and we're carrying $16.3 trillion in federal debt alone and trillions more at the state and local level, so you think the average unemployed person cares about the federal mandate? Get serious. When they do get working and realize what they are going to have to pay in premiums – then you're going to hear it.

    March 28, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  12. vrajavala

    The COBRA Act, which invluded EMTALA, (1986) forced hospitals ti accept everyone for treatment. Even illegals.
    It should have been vetoed by Reagan. It was an unfunded mandate.

    March 28, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  13. JP

    Republicans have won 7 of the last 11 Presidential races with the current healthcare system. Carville is a little blind as usual, Democrats own the energy, education, and debt mess. Wake up James, healthcare is not a serious problem for most Americans.

    March 28, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  14. m derosa

    Carville.....the King of Spin. A Supreme Court win....good for Democrats. A Supreme Court loss....good for Democrats. Carville should quit politics and write comedy.

    March 28, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  15. FloridaE

    Really? "We have a Supreme Court Controlled by politically motivated right wing radicals"...? Just like we had a House, Senate, and WH controlled by Progressive Liberals who passed this crap in the first place? Carville is beginning to spout the spin now because it's clear SCOTUS will strike down the mandate, as they should.

    March 28, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  16. Anonymous

    James Carville missed the point.

    The Bill (this thing called ObamaCare) was and is a bad bill. Republicans and many Democrats did not like it one bit. The only reason it got passed was by FORCE.

    Democrats were bribed, threatened or lied to. This was a power-grab from the far Left. The fringes of the political left rushed this aberration.

    The Bill was also divisive and unpopular The Country did not want this: remember how the People of Massachusetts (a Blue State) elected Scott Brown TO THE SIT OF TED KENNEDY with a mandate to KILL the BILL.

    James Carville missed the pint: to reject ObamaCare is the sensible thing to do, not because of any political game, but because we want a Law that makes sense: something American.

    March 28, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Carville is a perfect example of a lib/dem ideologue. Under no circumstances can a liberal/democrat ever admit they are wrong. Ever. This is typical statist rhetoric: it's not our Utopian ideal that is at fault, it was sabotaged by (insert rivals name here). If we just had more power it would have worked etc, etc.... Ad nauseum

    March 28, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  18. Jack Kennedy

    the scotus are going to get one chance to save the country and the loons are to partisan to see it............unfortunate for the country

    March 28, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  19. The Fly

    The point of all this is the federal government shouldn't be able to make a person buy something just because they are breathing. A national healthcare system is clearly constitutional, however. Look at Medicare. Tax everyone and scrap the "insurance" company middle man and you will have your social dream, Democrats.

    March 28, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  20. nealjking

    I agree with Carville: If the SCOTUS overturn the individual mandate, they will have to toss out the "no pre-existing conditions clause" exclusion, and that will upset people. Then the issue will be on the GOP's plate: "How are WE supposed to fix health-care insurance"? And they don't have a better answer, because the individual mandate was originally a Republican free-market proposal: You get the mandate or you get pre-existing condition exclusions, one or the other. The health-care problem will become a weight around their neck; whereas right now, they can just say "get rid of Obamacare".

    March 28, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  21. mec

    Right-and if the court lets obamacare stand, that will be the best thing that could happen to the democrats. All of the democrat media is predicting the triump of Obamunism regardless of what happens... anywhere. Whatever effect it might have on the upcomming election, it is important for the Court to toss O-care as unconstitutional. If Carville and the other leftists are right-the democrats will remain in power and it is better that they return to office without this piece of power-grab legislation. Oh and:
    "We don'e need a Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum replacing a weary looking Ruth Bader Ginsberg."
    YES WE DO.

    March 28, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  22. Rick

    You can always tell when libs are getting desperate, they start screaming about the "far right" SCOTUS. Your obamacare bill is going down libs and you know it. Then, the only thing left to do is get rid of the Marxist obama in November.

    March 28, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  23. Franksam

    We have a Supreme Court controlled by politically motivated pinko surrender monkey radicals that are arrogant about what they see as their right to impose their personal opinions instead of following the law.
    These are the activist judges who socialists complain about – but only when they aren't doing their bidding.

    For example, I'm thinking Kelo.

    March 28, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  24. Anthony

    You people seem to forget that a majority of Americans, anywhere from 54 to 74% depending on the poll, are against this bill. Maybe the Dems should've read it first?

    March 28, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  25. Danny

    Carville is trying to sell snake oil. When the SCOTUS goes against the Obamacare mess, it is a major defeat for the Dems. No way around it.

    March 28, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
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