Rick Perry's Response To SCOTUS' Obamacare Ruling Was Probably The Smartest Of All The GOP Candidates'
And now for some news that will come as no surprise: Republican presidential candidates were all sorts of disappointed Thursday when the Supreme Court voted to uphold Obamacare, allowing health care subsidies to remain in every state. The ruling was a huge victory for the Obama administration and the Democratic party as a whole, so naturally many within the GOP took the opportunity to make some major digs at SCOTUS. But not everyone was slamming the Supreme Court. Rick Perry had the smartest reaction to the Obamacare ruling; because unlike the other 2016 Republican candidates, he didn't blame the Court — he blamed the White House.
Yep, while most of the GOP was busy attacking SCOTUS for keeping the Affordable Care Act intact, Perry set himself apart by criticizing President Obama instead. And whether or not you agree with the Texas politician on that front, it was arguably a very wise move politically, given the tone he'd like to strike for his 2016 presidential run. In an official statement on his campaign website, Perry writes:
The Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again, and today’s ruling allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law. While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what’s in it. We need leadership that understands a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policy does nothing to help health outcomes for Americans.
It was a subtle move, but one that could prove very influential in the upcoming presidential race. By blaming the White House instead of SCOTUS, Perry essentially shifts the focus back onto the problems with the policymakers behind it all, in an attempt to show that he not only understands the ins and outs of what he thinks went wrong with the bill, but that he'd have the mind to fix it. (Of course, he also not-so-subtly implies that he would be a better leader than President Obama, but hey, this guy's gunning for his seat in the Oval, after all.)
While many of the 2016 Republican candidates made statements slamming the Obamacare decision, none of them were as strategic as Perry's, since most placed the blame on the Supreme Court or Congress. Shortly after the decision was made, Marco Rubio tweeted, "I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama... and Congress in forcing ObamaCare on the American people." Although Rubio points to "the mistakes made by President Obama," his blame is still cast at the feet of the Court. He never really explains what those so-called "mistakes" actually were.
Gov. Mike Huckabee also got in on the SCOTUS bashing, tweeting Thursday, "There isn't a 'do-over’ provision in our Constitution that allows unelected, SCOTUS judges power to circumvent Congress & rewrite bad laws... #SCOTUS can't legislate from the bench & pass trillion dollar 'fix' to ObamaCare because Congress misread the states." Notably, Huckabee was furious so at SCOTUS, he didn't even bring up the Obama Administration in his Twitter rant.
As for Jeb Bush, he made the bold move of not attacking anyone at all, saying merely that he was "disappointed" by the decision. In a statement on his campaign site Thursday, Bush wrote, "As President of the United States, I would make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities." That was definitely the most diplomatic route to take, steering the conversation towards what his presidency would bring, rather than specify what President Obama did "wrong." But some might argue it was also pretty safe.
In contrast to Bush, Perry was sure to explain exactly how he would seek to "fix" the system, writing on his website, "It's time we repealed Obamacare and replaced it with truly affordable, patient-centered health care reform, and I look forward to laying out my ideas on this issue."
The score so far? Ricky Perry: 1, other GOP candidates: 0. Now let's see if Perry can keep it up...