How Should GOP Address Obamacare, Shutdown? Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio Differ

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: October 22, 2013 3:55 AM
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio

Two Republicans from Florida who are both possible presidential candidates in 2016 offered different takes on what direction the GOP should go after the recent deal ending the federal shutdown and raising the debt ceiling.

Both former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to the national airwaves on Sunday morning to weigh in on how Republicans should respond to President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law.

Bush appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and criticized the congressional GOP’s decision to attach the funding of the federal government to the health care law.

“It was a mistake to focus on something that couldn’t be achieved,” Bush told ABC News. “And that’s what that was. It was tactics.”

Bush also slammed Republicans for failing to provide an “alternative” to Obama’s health care law.

“I think the best way to repeal Obamacare is to have an alternative; we never hear the alternative," Bush said. “We could do this in a much lower cost with improved quality based on our principles, free-market principles.”

Bush called for Republicans in Congress like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who are pushing to repeal the law, to show a “little bit of self-restraint.” Bush added there could be political dividends if Republicans do that, insisting the law will lead to “massive dysfunction.”

While Bush warned about the global economic consequences of not raising the debt ceiling, the former Florida governor insisted he was not taking aim at his fellow Republicans.

“I’m not blaming Republicans,” Bush said, "I think we have a systemic problem in Washington right now and the void of leadership is making it harder to get to a better place.”

Bush called for more “civility” and “dialogue” to find a “common ground” in Washington.

Rubio appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and continued to push the idea of defunding Obama’s health care law.

“I didn’t want to see us waste any more money on Obamacare, which has proven to be a disaster,” Rubio said. “We’re already seeing these exchanges, the sign-up on the exchanges, which was supposed to be the easy part of this endeavor, has turned into a fiasco that the administration is struggling with. Why would we waste a penny more on that?"

Rubio insisted there remained major implications as the fight over the health care law continues.

“I think what is important to remember here, is what’s at stake,” Rubio said. “The American dream is under assault. People every single day who are stuck in jobs that don’t pay enough to live off of or people that haven’t been able to find a job in months. And this growing sense in this country that this is the new normal. We can’t accept that. This can’t be the new normal. We can restore what was the American dream, but we can’t if we leave all of these issues unaddressed.”

Rubio also ripped the launch of the federal health-care website.

“You know, they need to get 7 million people on this thing,” Rubio said. “At the rate they’re going, even by their own numbers, it’s not going to get there. Of course, many of these people that have filled this out certainly made mistakes, some won’t qualify. Beyond that, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of getting people on there, and there is no mechanism for them to be able to do that.

“In the 21st century, setting up a website where people can go on and buy something is not that complicated,” Rubio added. “People do this every single day. The inability of the federal government to set up a website where people can go on and buy something like health insurance does not bode well for the much more complicated elements of this law that are yet to be rolled out.”

Rubio continued that line of attack on Monday, warning consumers about the continued problems with the website.

"It is clear the Obamacare roll-out has been a disaster that has further eroded the American people's confidence in the federal government's ability to keep basic promises,” Rubio said on Monday. “With all the problems and errors with the Obamacare website, people should collect as much evidence as they can from their experiences in order to protect themselves from potential fraud, double billing, and penalties once the mandate is enforced. While the errors with the website have been well-documented in the media, it's important that every consumer who is unable to register keep a record of the specific errors they encounter on the website because of the threat of potential government fines for failing to enroll in the future. Make no mistake, the IRS will go after anyone who fails to meet the Obamacare requirements, so it's important that consumers document the online problems."

During Bush’s time in Tallahassee, Rubio was an ally of his in the Florida House. Bush was an early backer of Rubio’s U.S. Senate bid back in 2010.

As the two Republicans possibly look to running for president in 2016, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) started running robocalls against Rubio on Monday.

“Senator Rubio was an architect of the strategy that shut down our government and took us to the brink of economic collapse,” the narrator of the call says. “Marco Rubio's shutdown cost our economy $24 billion and his refusal to pay our nation’s bills risked raising mortgage rates, crashing the stock market and even put Social Security payments at risk. And now Rubio is signaling that he’s willing to do it all again in a few months ... tell him please stop. Stop his dangerous actions right now.”

Rubio defended his role in the debate over the shutdown and the debt ceiling on Sunday.

“I never was in favor of shutting down the government,” Rubio said. “I was never in favor of defunding the government. I was in favor of funding the government fully, voted to fund the government fully, made efforts to fund the government fully. The only thing I didn’t want to see us waste any more money on is Obamacare.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (5)

Talk About the Kool Aide
5:57AM OCT 24TH 2013
They must spike that Kool Aide for their extra special useful idiots like Ralph!

Fast & Furious. Holder lied to congress and Obama invoked Exe Privilege. What about the Holder phone taps of the media?

Benghazi. Truths that Obama was supplying his Muslim Brotherhood friends (rebels) in Syria with weapons from Libya.

IRS attacks Tea Party and other (real) conservatives [not the Bush, McCain, Boehner, Rubio and so many others] compassionate, aggressive conservatives.

Can't blame Obama for the NSA and Homeland Security mess because George W. Bush invested that nightmare and appointed John Roberts (old friend who volunteered to help GWB in the Florida hanging chad scandal) Chief Justice so he could load the NSA Courts with all the right judges.

One with intelligence could go on and on for hours about "how remarkable a man has to be - intelligent, charismatic, articulate and organized to become president carrying any name" especially BUSH after all the wars they have started and profited from. Samuel Bush (Remington Arms) munitions providers for WW2. Prescott Bush Union Bank (Wall Street) financier and training for Adolph Hitler.

While Jeb Bush was placed in charge of creating a hispanic Bush offspring of new politicians the CIA side of the Bush dynasty was busy cloning Obama, the man that was just too good to be true (like Adolph Hitler in 1939) to push forward their Nazi-communist agenda while making yet another Bush look like a savior to the American people.

It's all smoke and mirrors and the same people are pulling the strings for all the puppets! After Obama, the next historic event will be the erection of her majesty Hillary Clinton the first female gay president of the USA. That show will be a hard one to follow!
4:59PM OCT 22ND 2013
From your email: "Two Republicans from Florida who are both possible presidential candidates in 2016 offered different takes on what direction the GOP should go after the [recent deal] ending the federal shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. "

RECENT DEAL? What deal? The Congressional Republicans caved and had nothing to show for their misguided effort. They underestimated the resolve of the POTUS on protecting his signature healthcare legislation that despite the Fox News/Republican echo chamber - is not a train wreck, and is not opposed by a majority of Americans.

And Fox knows this - so much so that Hannity had to FAKE a segment on purported "victims" of Obamacare that was subsequently, and easily fact-checked by a reporter to be totally false.
Pathetic Liberal Frank
7:56AM OCT 22ND 2013
Man am I sick and tired of the Bush's and the Clinton's.

These professional politicians need to step aside and let fresh new blood provide representation of the people. Rubio has established that he can't be trusted as he's already stated that amnesty for illegals has his support.

Neither man has my support. Thay both are....

8:31AM OCT 22ND 2013
The Bushes have had worn out their welcome. Time served, turn the page. Jebb included.

Rubio's values on immigration reform bother me because it appears he is willing to push for a 'PERSONAL' desire instead of what' in the best interest of the USA.

We have seen how Barack Obama has done this and how much damage, division and suffering it has and is causing. Personal agenda's have no place in politics. These people are elected to serve, not to dictate.
5:06PM OCT 22ND 2013
Paul - with all due respect, I don't see what President Obama has done to cause "damage, division and suffering" unless you mean to the Republican establishment. That I lay down with the Koch brothers and their ilk who have funded the most radical of crazies and let them primary "responsible" legislators.

Obama's more flexible than a Cirque de Soleil star and has tried to work with the Republicans so much - he's lost the respect of many progressives and centrists alike.

What Republican's have failed to understand is how remarkable a man has to be - intelligent, charismatic, articulate and organized to become president carrying a name Barack Hussein Obama AND sport darker skin and an afro.

Republicans are outclassed, outsmarted and beaten. Don't blame BO for dirty tricks. He's just that awesome.

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