Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) on Sunday predicted that if the United States Supreme Court strikes down a key part of President Barack Obama's health care reform law, it could actually benefit him in the 2012 general election.
Dean told Fox News host Chris Wallace that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate was "something that's not really necessary."
"If the justices strike it down, it might actually help the president because people don't like the mandate," he explained. "But if the rest of the bill stays intact, I think it will ultimately seen as a victory for the president. He'll do fine."
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) indicated that his party was already planning the best way to spin the Supreme Court's decision against the president.
"I think it will be pretty interesting if former constitutional law professor President Obama's signature law gets kicked out because it's unconstitutional," the former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman quipped. "The fact of the matter is that the law is very unpopular. Unlike most entitlements, it has continued to stay unpopular after it was enacted."
For his part, Dean agreed that the law was unpopular, but Americans "actually do like what is in it."
"I think the president is in great shape in health care unless they strike down the whole bill," he added. "This is the most political Supreme Court we've ever had. Seventy-three percent of the American people believe that politics motivates the Supreme Court, and I am one of those 73 percent. So, I think a lot of this is going to be seen as politics."
Barbour suggested that the president would not be able to run against the ruling because voters "are going to favor the Supreme Court's opinion if the Supreme Court does, in fact, strike down the law."
"President Obama's policies on health care, on energy are his problem," he opined. "They're the wrong policies. They are bad for the country."