March 26, 2010— -- Republicans are not backing down in the face of Democrats' landmark health care victory this week. Instead, the moment has energized some members of the party, giving them a cause to rally around.
Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who took office as the 41st vote against health care reform in the Senate, said today it's time to "collectively fix this bill" and that he's prepared to lead the charge to do just that.
"We're all in favor of the catastrophic care coverage and coverage for children," Brown told "Good Morning America." "But what about the backroom deals? What about all the bad things?"
Brown's victory in November to claim the late Ten Kennedy's Senate seat was seen by many Republicans as an indication of popular opposition to Democrats' health care reform effort and a call for more focus on the economy and jobs.
Brown says Democrats still haven't gotten the message, taking a shot at President Obama's emphasis on health care.
At a rally in Iowa on Thursday, Obama dared Republicans to try to repeal the new health reform law. "If they want to have that fight, I welcome that fight," Obama said. "My attitude? Go for it."
Brown told "GMA" the president's rhetoric is "inappropriate."
Brown's comments come just hours after House Democrats sealed the deal on their health reform overhaul legislation, passing the "fixes" to the bill in a vote last night.
Meanwhile, in Red States across the country, some Republicans are turning to familiar faces for inspiration to move forward.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin today will hit the campaign trail with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for the first time since November 2008. Her appearance is also the first stop in a Republican counterattack she hopes to lead.
"The debate in Congress over health care is now over, but the debate in the country has just begun," said senior Time Magazine political analyst Mark Halperin.
Palin's message to conservatives is not to retreat, but to "reload," she said in a twitter message. Her Facebook page even puts 17 Democrats -- literally -- in the crosshairs.
Palin to GOP: Time to "Reload"
Such tactics could backfire, however, after several congressman received death threats and faced vandalism of district offices this week.
For his part, McCain was forced to defend Palin on NBC, responding to criticism of her social media messages by saying "any threat of violence is terrible."
"To say that there is a targeted district or that we reload or go back into the fight again, please," he said dismissively.
But McCain may need Palin now more than ever as his political fortunes have shifted since he first brought her onto the national stage as his vice presidential running mate in the 2008 campaign.
Palin is now in many ways the darling of the Republican Party while McCain is fighting for his political life in a tough Arizona primary challenge from within his own party.
"This is payback time for John McCain, but payback time in a good way," said Halperin. "He elevated Sarah Palin to national and international prominence, now she's coming to return the favor and to try to save his job."
The political ground is shifting among Republicans and it could topple even the party's old standard bearer.