Hillary Clinton and the 2016 presidential election were the talk of the town Sunday morning as the nation’s political talking heads discussed her electability and the challenges facing her opponents.
The focus on 2016 appeared to be inspired in part by the Washington Free Beacon article “The Hillary Papers.” Some programs debated the relevance of that report, while other pundits and lawmakers honed in on the broader policy and electability issues facing candidates in 2016 and 2014.
“The trouble for Republicans is going to be it’s easier to say what you’re against and harder to say what you’re for,” said Karl Rove on “Fox News Sunday.” “Go back to 2000, for example, it would have been easy for then-candidate George W. Bush to have repeated some of the charges made by Newt Gingrich and others against the conduct of Bill Clinton and the White House, but instead of being against something, he said I will restore dignity and honor to the White House, describing what he was for.”
“Anybody who is going to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016 … Democrat or Republican had better focus on describing what they’re for in a way that allows them to contrast implicitly with Mrs. Clinton,” Rove said.
Former GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, responded to comments made by Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which host David Gregory paraphrased as “the Clintons should be judged on Bill Clinton.”
“If Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, and in her case, I think people will look at her record as the Secretary of State and say during that period of time did our relations with nations around the world elevate America and elevate our interests or were they receding? I think her record is what will be judged upon, not the record of her husband,” Romney said.
Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, said the information discovered in the “The Hillary Papers” was revealing.
“It reminded me of the intensity of the personal drama going on in the White House. Some White Houses are relatively free of profound personal drama. That one was not,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Additionally, Noonan addressed the latest Obamacare numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services.
“I think what is compelling is the amount of difficulty people are having with the [Affordable Care Act], trying to make it work in their lives. I think that’s what 2014 is going to be about, Obamacare,” Noon said.
Earlier this week, the administration announced a delay to the employer mandate that, amongst other changes, moved the start of the noncompliance penalty for businesses with 50 to 99 employees to 2016. It was the second delay of the employer mandate and Republicans are questioning the legality of it.
The administration has defended the delays as implementation changes that are permissible under the tax code.
Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah.) suggested on “Fox News Sunday” that imbuing the IRS with that sort of power was dangerous.
“Look, if that kind of broad regulatory mandate buried within the internal revenue code can authorize the president to do what he is purporting to do here, then there’s almost no limit to his authority and we have a government of one. We have a super executive and super legislator vested in the president of the United States,” Lee said.
“The president knows this is wrong and it’s not defensible. He is violating the Constitution. He is exercising power that doesn’t belong to him,” Lee said.
“The president is simply providing small businesses with a flexibility they need to be able to start adopting the law,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D., Calif.). “If this were against the Constitution, someone would have sued by now and the president would have had to stop.”
Lee disputed that assertion.
“There are many instances, in which a president might violate the Constitution,” Lee said, “for a variety of practical reasons and some constitutional reasons, the courts might not end up exercising jurisdiction over that case.”
“It’s very difficult, for example, for someone to challenge in court the president’s suspension of the employer mandate. It’s difficult to identify the kind of plaintiff that would suffer the kind of injury, in fact, that’s particularized to the plaintiff. So it has to be able to establish article three standing in court.”