Senator Jon Kyl, R-A.Z., pushed back against his GOP colleagues on Sunday for suggesting that they could break the president and reap electoral advantage in 2010 if they derail health care reform, calling statements to that effect “unfortunate.”
“I don’t agree with that kind of language,” said the Senator, when read comments from Senator Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and James Inhofe, R-Okl. “What Jim DeMint said is he wanted to break the momentum and the inevitability of passing these bills. [The White House] said we had to pass stimulus and do it immediately or else the economy would see… eight percent unemployment. It’s now going to 10 percent. And what we are saying is slow this down so that we don’t make another bad mistake here.”
“But I do think that because the language has a political implication, it’s unfortunate,” the Arizona Republican added, during his appearance on Fox News Sunday. “Both sides talked about the politics of these issues. I don’t think we ought to be focused on that.”
The remarks reflect what is an increasingly obvious fissure within the Republican Party over just how aggressive it should be in going after Obama’s push for health care reform. While the default position for the GOP is to make sure that a Democratically constructed bill doesn’t pass, there is a growing concern over being painted as obstructionist of reform. There are, after all, a slew of potential voters who either lack insurance or are unhappy with their current coverage. The GOP doesn’t want to be seen as the party that prevented these individuals from bettering their medical situation.