White House press secretary Jay Carney claimed Wednesday that Obamacare was not a factor in the GOP win in Florida’s Congressional District 13 special election, characterizing the Democrats’ loss as no big deal.
None of the reporters in the briefing room seemed to be buying it.
“Any fair assessment of the role the debate about the Affordable Care Act played reaches the conclusion that, at best, for Republicans, it was a draw,” Carney told reporters. “It was not a negative or positive. It was not the decisive factor.”
Carney’s assertion flies in the face of reality. The far-left Slate.com referred to the race as “Obamacare’s ground zero,” and U.S. News and World Report agreed, saying:
The most recent polling in the district shows that health care has become closely linked to the contest, with 81 percent of the voters for Sink supporting the health care law and 84 percent of voters for Jolly opposed to Obamacare.
Carney also claimed Democrats could take comfort because the GOP won the district by huge margins in the past, but only barely squeaked by on Tuesday’s election.
“This was a safe Republican seat for them,” he said. “Republicans held the seat for 58 years. Last night, they won by two points. So it is what it is.”
During the last 40 years, the district was held by Rep. C.W. Bill Young, a popular local Republican who often ran unopposed. Given that set of circumstances, of course, he won by a larger margin.
Watch Carney’s comments below.
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