'Meet the Press' Panel: If GOP Wins Senate, They'd Better Not Oppose ObamaCare

At the end of Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd led his panel of guests in warning Republicans against any effort to oppose ObamaCare if they win the Senate majority in the upcoming midterm election: "...the biggest, I would argue, false promise of the...midterm campaign has been about [repealing] the Affordable Care Act....[Mitch McConnell's] never gonna have the ability to do it."

Politico's Manu Raju asserted: "That's right. Even if he gets the majority, it's going to be a 51-49 majority." Todd wondered: "Are Republicans over-promising here? Because their base is gonna expect to see that and it ain't gonna happen." Raju agreed: "It isn't gonna happen."

Raju proclaimed:

It's really a sign of the challenges McConnell's gonna have if he becomes majority leader. He's gonna have conservatives pushing very hard to do something on ObamaCare. And then he's gonna have a whole bunch of blue-state Republicans who are up for reelection in 2016....Who want no part of it. And then of course you have a Democrat in the White House and a very conservative House Republican conference. How he threads that needle is going to be very, very difficult. I'm not sure he even should want the majority, if you look at it.

Todd followed up: "And I've heard...a House Republican leader say to me, 'If of the first five things we pass, and one of them's health care, we've already failed.'" Andrea Mitchell chimed in: "They don't want to go anywhere near it. I mean, why reopen that?"

Here is a transcript of the October 19 exchange:

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11:25 AM ET

CHUCK TODD: I'm going to get to what Washington knows, what everybody in Washington knows, but isn't saying. And in this case, it's about health care. And the idea we've seen the biggest, I would argue, false promise of the 24 mid – midterm campaign has been about the Affordable Care Act. Listen to Mitch McConnell here.

MITCH MCCONNELL: I want to pull this law out root and branch. And if we had the ability to do it, we would.

TODD: He's never gonna have the ability to do it.

MANU RAJU [POLITICO]: That's right. Even if he gets the majority, it's going to be a 51-49 majority.

TODD: Are Republicans over-promising here? Because their base is gonna expect to see that and it ain't gonna happen.

RAJU: It isn't gonna happen. It's gonna – it's really a sign of the challenges McConnell's gonna have if he becomes majority leader. He's gonna have conservatives pushing very hard to do something on ObamaCare. And then he's gonna have a whole bunch of blue-state Republicans who are up for reelection in 2016.

TODD: Who want no part of it, right?

RAJU: Who want no part of it. And then of course you have a Democrat in the White House and a very conservative House Republican conference. How he threads that needle is going to be very, very difficult. I'm not sure he even should want the majority, if you look at it.

TODD: Well, I was just going to say, and I've heard, Andrea Mitchell, a House Republican leader say to me, "If of the first five things we pass, and one of them's health care, we've already failed."

ANDREA MITCHELL: They don't want to go anywhere near it. I mean, why reopen that? They just want to figure out, and they haven't figured out yet, what they want to throw up there as veto bait to try to put the President on the defensive as quickly as possible.

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