GOP Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) on Friday sought to clarify his comment made this week that repealing the healthcare law is "not going to happen."
At an appearance at Vanderbilt University this week, Corker told the audience “The fact is that’s not going to happen, ok?”
Corker, who voted against the bill like all other GOPers, told the conservative Weekly Standard Friday that he meant that repeal will not happen this election cycle:
“I think a lot of people are talking about this election cycle generating results that will repeal it,” Corker says. “It’s an issue as simple math. I mean as long as Obama’s [president], it takes 67 votes in the Senate for that to occur.”
As for efforts to fully repeal the bill after the 2012 election, Corker says, “I certainly hope we end up with a Republican president, I certainly hope we end up with majorities on both sides [of Congress]. ... I guess we’re saying the same thing. I mean surely people aren’t going to be waiting on their hands for the prospect that something might occur in 2012, which we all hope happens, okay?” So if Corker runs for reelection in 2012, will he pledge to repeal Obamacare and then replace it with real reform? “I try not to get into mottos,” he says. "To me, the challenge is what do we do now?"
Republican leaders have called for a "repeal and replace" strategy, under which they would get rid of the current healthcare law supported by only Democrats and would replace it with new reform legislation.
President Barack Obama has publicly dared GOPers to try the strategy, saying "bring it on" at a speaking appearance this week.
Supporting the repeal effort has been a conservative rallying cry since the healthcare law was enacted and those who have backed away from the message have been criticized.
Should GOPers seek to repeal the bill this cycle, Congress would have to pass a repeal measure then be able to thwart a presidential veto with two-thirds majorities of healthcare opponents in both houses.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that Republicans are considering ways to work around a presidential veto, though his plan would still be subject to a veto, though a politically tougher one for Obama to enact.