Obama: Negative ads have made it 'very difficult' for Dems to run on health reform

President Obama said Democrats are running away from his healthcare bill because of the millions spent by outside groups to negatively frame his signature legislative accomplishment.

Obama said advertisements and campaigns against his health reform law have made it "very difficult" for Democrats who had supported the legislation in Congress to campaign in support of it this fall.

"I think that you've seen a couple hundred million dollars of negative TV ads that make it very difficult to do so," Obama told radio host Michael Smerconish when asked about many congressional Democrats' efforts to distance themselves from the legislation.

The new health reform law has been a political albatross for many Democrats facing tough reelection challenges. Polls show that a not-insignificant number of voters would like to repeal the law in part or in whole.

Reps. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) have joined with Republicans in demanding the law's repeal, and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D), who's campaigning for Senate, has said the law should be repealed if it can't be fixed.

The president blamed "misinformation" during the congressional debate over healthcare for having negatively cast the reforms, misinformation that Obama said had carried over through present day.

But Obama expressed confidence that, as the reforms in the bill gradually go into effect, the public's negative opinion of the legislation would fade.

"I think it's going to be very important, as these things get online," he said, "a lot of this is going to go away."

The healthcare bill has contributed to some of Democrats' difficulties on the campaign trail, and polls show the president's party at risk of losing control of the House on Nov. 2.

Obama said, though, he still thought it was "very close" in the lower chamber, suggesting Democrats might stave off the kinds of losses that would allow Republicans to control the House.