WASHINGTON -- House Republicans have a new weapon to wield against Obamacare: populism. Party leaders unsheathed it Tuesday morning at a Capitol press conference, accusing President Barack Obama of protecting "big business and big corporations" at the expense of the little guy.
House Speaker John Boehner called the administration's decision to delay imposing penalties on large employers who don't comply with elements of the health care law "outrageous."
"I think what the president did is outrageous. The idea that we're going to give big businesses a break under Obamacare but we're going to punish small businesses and families? It's wrong," he said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) echoed the populist sentiment and freshman Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) said that he felt like a lefty for slamming the president for favoring big business.
"At the end of the day, this is just unfair, and what I'm about to say almost sounds like a liberal talking point: President Obama gave big business and big corporations a break, but not you," he said. "There's some pretty simple and real-world things happening: You don't have a job. Your full-time job got cut to a part-time job. You can't pay your rent. You can't pay your mortgage, and you can't put food on your kid's plate."
The press conference followed a letter House leaders sent to President Obama in which they made largely the same case, in slightly toned-down rhetoric. "We agree with you that the burden was overwhelming for employers, but we also believe American families need the same relief," the leadership wrote.
A reporter noted to Boehner that the House has voted to repeal parts of Obamacare at least 37 times, asking what the party intended to do in the wake of the president's announcement of the delay.
"We'll have another vote. Count on it," he said.