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Obamacare great--for political fund-raising

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WASHINGTON -- Obamacare is great -- for political fund-raising.

Finally, something every hot-blooded partisan can agree on. President Barack Obama, rival Mitt Romney and other Republicans and Democrats are raising money off the Supreme Court Obamacare decision.

A byproduct of the 5-4 opinion upholding Obama's Affordable Care Act is a torrent of fund-raising appeals -- from candidates and leaders from both parties. Saturday marked the end of the second fund-raising quarter -- adding a breathless degree of urgency to the fund-raising pitches.

Obama's campaign has embraced the word Obamacare -- the days of it being a negative term now over -- creating "I like Obamacare" T-shirts, other gear and web banner ads citing Obamacare to spur giving.

"Even with the Supreme Court's decision, the future of Obamacare depends on the outcome of this election. We need to win. Fight for President Obama -- make a donation today," said an Obama web ad.

Romney's campaign -- known for holding fund-raising information very close -- has been volunteering information about the rush of money flowing since Thursday. Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told me Sunday that as of 6 p.m. Saturday, they raised $5.5 million, from 55,000 donors -- 65 percent first-time givers.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, asked about Obamacare fund-raising said Sunday: "It's perverse that Mitt Romney won't share details about what he'd do for the millions he'd leave uninsured or at the whims of insurance companies when he 'kills Obamacare dead,' but he'll share the hourly details of his fund-raising after the Supreme Court ruling.

"We've outraised the Romney campaign in that time period but that's not the point -- our supporters are more committed than ever to ensuring that insurance companies can't drop coverage for people who get sick or discriminate against people with preexisting conditions by re-electing the president," LaBolt said.

Vice President Joe Biden said in a campaign email seeking donations that he had "an emotional moment with Barack in the Oval Office after he learned health reform had been upheld."

"Tomorrow is the biggest fund-raising deadline of this election so far. Romney and the Republicans may outraise us again -- you can bet they'll have a whole slew of special interests who want to see Romney make good on his promise to repeal Obamacare on Day One," Biden said in his note.

Romney campaign manager Matt Rhodes took a similar fund-raising tack.

"On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. This means to repeal Obamacare we need to replace Barack Obama. We've got 129 days until Election Day and every one of them has to count if we want to see Mitt Romney turn this country around," he wrote Saturday.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- the Senate GOP political operation -- based his appeal on the need to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats if there is to be any hope of repealing Obamacare.

"President Obama's assault on our liberty is now one step closer to being complete . . . . . . but this is not over -- not by a longshot. Because while the Supreme Court may have ruled (mistakenly) that the law is legal, there's one thing this law will never be: popular.

"And so, our mission is now crystal clear: We must elect a new Republican Senate Majority and REPEAL ObamaCare," he wrote.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee--the House political shop-- talked about her personal battle with breast cancer in her plea for donations.

"This fight is personal to me. I want to do everything I can to protect health care for every American. And I need your help."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 2, 2012 6:30 AM.

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