"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 1, 2012: Speaker Boehner, Senators Schumer and Coburn, Governors Walker and O'Malley
NORAH O'DONNELL: So you're advocating that Democrats should campaign on it?
GOVERNOR MARTIN O'MALLEY: I think we should tie it to the fact that we need to create jobs and expand opportunity. And one of the key things that kept us from being economically competitive was that instead of businesses being able to invest in job creation and plant upgrades, they had to just throw away more and more money on rising health care costs. That's why in Maryland we chose to be an early implementer. That's why we have an exchange that's up and going. And that's why we're going to have an economic competitive advantage over other states that decide to put their head in the sand and pretend that this isn't a problem.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Finally Governor Walker, what you did in Wisconsin, reining in public unions, you've said should be a model for the nation. Why then shouldn't what Governor Romney did with an individual in Massachusetts, why should that not be a model for the nation?
GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER: Well, I think, again, we should learn from it and the case here is simple. That-- that ultimately the thing I do agree with Governor O'Malley on is the fact that, one, we should have this be a key part of the debate come November and two, that it is about jobs, particularly about small businesses growing in each of our states and around the country. I just think people-- voters need to look at it logically and say looking to the future which do you think is more likely to drive down health care costs and make our states and our jobs more competitive having something driven by the government in terms of the mandate or having something that opens up the door so that all of us as consumers play a much more active role of having skin in the game when it comes to health care. I think the latter is the more appropriate approach. I think that's the approach that will ultimately create lower costs--
NORAH O'DONNELL: Mm.
GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER: --a better environment for creating jobs and will be better for America as well as each of our states.
NORAH O'DONNELL: All right. Governors, thank you. It appears the fight goes on even though the Supreme Court has decided. Thanks so much.
We'll be back in a minute with our political round-table.
NORAH O'DONNELL: And now for some perspective on all of this, we turn to our political round-table--Major Garrett of National Journal, John Harris of Politico, CBS's legal and political correspondent Jan Crawford, and our political director John Dickerson.
And we're going to start first with Jan because you've done some reporting. The big question was why did Chief Justice John Roberts do what he did? And you've learned some new details, right?
JAN CRAWFORD (CBS News Legal Correspondent): Well, that's right. I mean what was striking about this decision was that it was the conservative chief justice who was providing that decisive fifth vote, joining the liberals to uphold the President's signature achievement. And, Norah, that was something that no one would have expected back in 2005 when President George W. Bush put him on the Supreme Court and that was something that not even the conservative justices expected back in March when the court heard arguments in this case. I am told by two sources with specific knowledge of the court's deliberations that Roberts initially sided with the conservatives in this case and was prepared to strike down the heart of this law, the so-called individual mandate, of course, that requires all Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty. But Roberts, I'm told by my sources, changed his views deciding to instead join with the liberals. And he withstood--I'm told by my sources--a month-long desperate campaign by the conservative justices to bring him back to the fold and that campaign was led, ironically, by Justice Anthony Kennedy and why that's ironic is because it was Justice Kennedy that conservatives feared would be the one most likely to defect but their effort, of course, was unsuccessful, Roberts did not budge, the conservatives wrote that astonishing joint dissent united in opposition and Roberts wrote the majority opinion with the four liberals to uphold the President's signature achievement.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Has there been anything like this on the court before? I mean that's extraordinary that the chief justice, according to your reporting, about a month ago decided to do this and then was lobbied unsuccessfully.
JAN CRAWFORD: Yes, that has happened before and often in high-profile controversial cases, including Justice Kennedy who's changed his views in a very high-profile case involving a woman's right to an abortion back in 1992 and justices do change their mind. There is precedent for that. One justice told me that surprisingly enough it happens about once a term. But in a case of this magnitude with so much on the line conservatives believed they were-- they had Roberts' vote in this case and there's quite a lot of anger within the hallways of the Supreme Court right now.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Very interesting. Let's turn now to the politics of this and how it will play out. Major, you've done some reporting, I mean, do the Democrats-- does this White House want to campaign on this now? I mean they won this victory in the Supreme Court, but are they going to use it out on the campaign trail?
MAJOR GARRETT (National Journal): They will in a couple of contexts. David Plouffe has told Democrats that one thing that they learned from all their focus groups in the course of this campaign is that most swing voters are very numbed and fatigued by the health care debate. And so what they wanted is a-- is a resolution from the Supreme Court and then the first question they would ask themselves is does this affect me, my policy, my family? Oh, it doesn't? Let's get on with the campaign and let me get back to my life. And so that's the Obama campaign's approach to this. Leverage it a little bit. David Axelrod believes it can help the President recapture a bit of that changed dynamic that was so powerful in 2008, so he was the change agent. He has changed the country. He has taken big risks and if you're motivated by that, come along for the ride. But will it be front and center? Absolutely not, front and center will be, of course, we all know, the economy.
NORAH O'DONNELL: And John Dickerson, what about that for the Romney team, will they use it?
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, Romney does have an opening. You know if you think about this decision we've had these storms here in Washington, a neighbor of mine, a tree fell in his yard, just missed his car. Car is okay, but still has a tree in the yard and that's the way it is for the President--ducked the disaster but still has a bill that people don't like. Thirty percent of the country before this decision did not like the bill and Mitt Romney is benefiting from that. He's taking advantage of that. So he's raised over five million dollars after this decision and he's also been able to consolidate his conservatives and his Tea Party behind him. That was already happening but it's really happening now and also small business people. When you hear Governor Romney talk about this, he says it's a job killer, they hate this health care bill, but Governor Romney does have liabilities because of his Massachusetts experience.
NORAH O'DONNELL: And on that very point Governor Romney back in 2009--I want to just put this up on the screen--I mean he talked about the individual mandate and the tax penalty he used in Massachusetts saying, "using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages 'free riders' to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others."
So, John, does, I mean he was for a tax penalty that in fact was more punitive than the tax penalty under the President's Affordable CARE Act.
JOHN DICKERSON: If you will remember in the primaries Rick Santorum said, you know, the problem with nominating Governor Romney is he won't be able to take the fight to the President on this question of health care because of the liabilities in his past. So in your interview with John Boehner he's saying this tax that allows the individual mandate to happen, boy, that's terrible, it's a fatal flaw. But then you have Mitt Romney here in his past with these statements--not saying it's a fatal flaw--saying that it is in keeping with this Republican notion of personal responsibility that's a conflict, it's going to make it hard to use this to beat up the President.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Yeah, how do you see it, John? I mean, they are, you know, each of them is I think in some ways want to move on to the discussion about the economy and jobs.
JOHN HARRIS (Politico): I think they're not the only ones that move on-- want to move on. This election is going to be decided by a fairly narrow slice of swing voters. We're a highly polarized country. That means most people would know how they're going to vote right now and there's no chance of swinging them. There is a middle out there. It's a disaffected middle that is sour on politics and I think, increasingly sour with the choices that they face in this campaign. I think that group is desperate for a forward-looking argument. Tell me about the future and how you would make it better. The thing about this health care debate is it's almost by definition a backward-looking argument. Let's debate what we, uh, uh, tried to legislate and ultimately pass in 2009 and 2010. That's not the debate that people want. They want a forward looking debate.
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