Top Line’ — Taking Health Care Message to Voters

By Jonathan Blakely

Mar 22, 2010 4:04pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The voting is over, but the selling has just begun, as both sides prepare to take their best cases on health care to the American people this fall. We chatted about it on ABC’s “Top Line” today with two of the top political strategists in the business: Democrat Steve Elmendorf, and Republican Carl Forti. Both agreed that — for all the attention health care has gotten over the past year — it’s likely to fade as an electoral issue as we move closer to November. “I think the message should really be jobs, jobs, job,” Forti said. “How many companies are not going to step forward, big or small, that aren’t going to create jobs because of this bill? And that’s I think what it really boils down to, and what we’re going to see really debated in the fall.” “I think it’s going to be about the economy,” said Elmendorf of the fall campaigns. “And this is obviously a crucial part of the economy, and it’s going to be about whether Democrats delivered on what they said they would do, and whether Barak Obama performed on what he said he would do when he got elected. And this is an important part of that.” Elmendorf said Democrats are prepared to lose some seats in Congress, though not necessarily because of health care: “In a midterm election, we’re going to lose some seats. Whether it will be because of this vote or because the economy’s not doing well or because they were tough districts to begin with, we’re going to lose some seats, no question.” For our “Top Line” question of the day, we asked our followers to identify the weak points in the Democratic and Republican messaging. Responded @cjar14: “GOP Weakness: Hyperbole — death panels, communism etc… total garbage.” Wrote @andylancaster: “D= Deficit reduction. The #s will tell the story. But again not for years. Bill does not hold down cost of hc. Just subsidizes it.” Watch the segment with Steve Elmendorf and Carl Forti HERE.

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