Standing with White House chief of staff Jack Lew and looking at a television in the “Outer Oval” featuring a split screen of four different networks, the president saw graphics on the screens of the first two cable news networks to break the news — CNN and Fox News Channel — announcing, wrongly, that he had lost.Obviously left out of this account is the part where the president said, "'Taxing power'? No, no, no! Who wrote the opinion, George Stephanopoulos? And what's the deal with "five votes"? This country is too divided. Call McConnell and Boehner. We're repealing ObamaCare until we can reach common ground."
Senior administration officials say the president was calm.
A couple minutes later, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler came to Outer Oval and gave him two thumbs-up. Ruemmler had gotten the correct information from a White House lawyer at the Supreme Court and from SCOTUSblog.com.
“The Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the court,” Ruemmler told the president, a senior administration official recalled. “There were five votes finding it valid under Congress’s taxing power.”
There was some “cognitive dissonance” given what was on the cable news screens, an official said.The president hugged Ruemmler, officials recalled. He then called Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli to congratulate him.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
A Taxing Morning for the President
Jake Tapper reports on the confusion at the White House as the Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare was handed down this morning: