msnbc | April 03, 2012
>>> president obama talks health care for the first time since his signature legislation effort went before the supreme court for the first time. the president expressed confident the affordable care act would be upheld and then delivered a warning straight to the heart of the supreme court .
>> ultimately, i'm confident that the supreme court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress.
>> joining me this morning is former white house communications director . michelle bernard, the director of public politics and public policy . and msnbc political analyst richard wolfe. great to have all of you with us this morning. i want you to listen to this from the president yesterday, going one step further on the supreme court .
>> i would just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is the biggest problem on the bench is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint .
>> janice, is he trying to send the court a message, don't overstep? but in that message, does the president go too far?
>> look, i think what the president -- you heard from the president yesterday a reminder to the american people about what's at stake here. not only is he confident in the legality of the affordable care act , but he believes this is an economic and a moral issue for millions of people across this country because of what's at stake. he had the opportunity to lay out that argument yesterday, and that's exactly what he did.
>> michelle , mitt romney took a shot at the president's comments and had this to say. take a listen.
>> the president complains about a supreme court that follows the constitution. he's come ing from a very different world than the world that the founders, and frankly the judicial history, has described for america.
>> so, michelle , mitt romney seems a little gleeful, smiling when he makes that comment. but isn't a supreme court referendum on the president's health care law also a referendum on mitt romney 's health care law in massachusetts?
>> absolutely. this is an issue that the governor should probably stay away from because the obama administration has -- and as we see them going into general election mode, we're going to continue to hear that statement. the obama health care legislation was modeled on what the former governor did in the state of massachusetts .
>> richard, even some on the left, though, have been a bit uncomfortable with what the president had to zaysay yesterday. in a washington post -op-ed, it said, "for the president to imply that the only explanation for a constitutional conclusion contrary to his own would be out of control conservative justices does the court a disservice." is this going to be talked about in the press until the supreme court makes that decision? so is making a preemptive strike the right strategy, being unapologetic about this or could it backfire?
>> people have to talk about the court forever. there's so little that comes out of the court, they've got to fill up the discussion with something. i think it's extraordinary to see the president trying to weigh in so early in the process. it does tell you he's trying to frame the political debate . but people who get pressured about how the justices should not be influenced, they've got to understand these people are not going to be influenced by anything the president says, any of the discussions around their conversations, in "the washington post " or anywhere else. they are quite competent to make the decisions themselves away from chattering classes. what does matter is the political success or failure for the president given when this debate will be resolved, and that means, in the election campaign , is he acting to expand government, or is this a human right that he's fulfilling?
>> i want to get you guys on the record about super tuesday today. michelle , all eyes on wisconsin . if mitt romney pulls off another trifecta -- and we're talking about the trifecta of wisconsin , maryland , d.c. -- does mitt become the rominee?
>> i believe that mitt believes he's the rominee already. as he continues to rack up delegate, you begin to ask yourself is it mathematically possible for any of the other people running for the republican nomination to actually get enough delegates to become the republican nominee? that being said, the animosity and venom we see by rick santorum , for example, and newt gingrich , would lead one to believe that it doesn't matter what happens today, they are in it to win it, and they are going to be a part of the primary campaign season for quite some time.
>> any chance of a santorum upset today, a santorum surprise?
>> it's hard to say at this point. i'm sure there will be other surprises down the road when we all jump up and down and say mitt romney looks weak once again. this one does seem to be winding down. the question is can the party unite around him even if he gets the nomination earlier than people may have expected?
>> let's talk about this with jen, though. i saved the best for last. sarah palin going rogue, co-hosting "today" this morning. the former governor poked a bit of fun at herself, reading newspapers in teases, making notes on her hands. she gave tina fey a run for her money. here's how she responded when matt lauer asked her about mitt romney becoming the nominee.
>> anything is still possible. there can still be a bit of a shake-up, but the numbers are what the numbers are. he does seem to be obviously the front-runner.
>> you didn't answer the question. are you happy with that? it doesn't sound like you're happy with mitt romney as the party's nominee.
>> anybody but obama . i honestly believe that anybody running on that gop ticket would be infinitely better than what we have today.
>> not a very enthusiastic endorsement right there. anybody but president obama . but does that sum up how the gop feels about mitt romney ? obviously, there, sarah palin not going for a cabinet role in romney's presidency.
>> i think that she speaks for many people from the conservative base of the party. another thing to look out for tonight is the turnout from wisconsin . are people excited, enthusiastic, energetic about voting for mitt romney ? i will bet you the answer tomorrow morning is no, and you saw that in her answer this morning on the "today" show.
>> i'm going to ask you, is there this enthusiasm gap? does it continue? i'm going to use my father as an example? he's voting in maryland . the other day, he told me he's going to go out to the polls, and he's definitely voting for matt rooney. dad, i don't know if you're paying attention to what's going on here.
>> thomas, i vote in maryland . i went to vote this morning. the election judges were so happy just to have anyone show up at a polling place. they were literally saying, thank you for coming. there were more election judges there than there were people that were out to cast their ballots in maryland . i would guess it's going to be the same in d.c. and maybe even in wisconsin . there is an enormous enthusiasm gap. if we look at these endorsements for romney, they're so tepid he's got a long way to go.
>> thank you all so much for joining me. i appreciate