The White House said today it doesn’t want to draw “significant conclusions” from GOP victories at the state level in Tuesday’s elections.
Press secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged to reporters that “the election results in some red states like Kentucky and Mississippi were good for Republicans,” but “the results in some blue states like in Pennsylvania and New Jersey were good for Democrats.”
“I understand that Democrats in New Jersey actually now have the largest majority in the state assembly that they’ve enjoyed since the 1970s,” Earnest said.
But the “general” takeaway, he said, is “the case that the president has made about the affirmative governing agenda that has been put forward by Democrats all across the country, is good for the country, and has been an important part of advancing his governing agenda here in Washington.”
“And you know, there have been other Democrats that have sought to run on this agenda. And they have been served well by making this decision,” Earnest insisted. “And I do think that we see a lot of the — Democratic candidates for president, who are running to succeed President Obama, vowing to build on the progress that the has made thus far.”
“And I think that’s an indication of the political potency of the kind of arguments that President Obama has been making public. And these kinds of political debates are important for our country.”
But yeah, Earnest said, Obama “generally wants Democrats to win elections.”
“Stop the presses,” he quipped.
He chalked up the GOP efforts largely to redistricting and off-year turnout.
Of Bevin’s win, Earnest said that “vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in some cases has been used as an effective political strategy that’s not a terribly effective governing strategy.”
“The fact of the matter is, since Medicaid was expanded in Kentucky, more than a half a million Kentuckians have gotten health insurance through Medicaid — gotten health care coverage through Medicaid or CHIP. That’s — that’s a testament to the astounding impact that the Affordable Care Act has had on the lives of half million Kentuckians. To say nothing of the more than 17.6 million Americans that have gotten health care since the Affordable Care Act went into effect,” he said. “That’s why the uninsured rate across the country is at all-time lows, and even the uninsured rate in Kentucky has been cut in half since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.”
“So — so, I — I think the, you know, the real focus here should be on the people of Kentucky and what impact, you know, these campaign promises are gonna have.”