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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 9th, 2013
07:16 PM ET

Roundtable: Obamacare no longer enemy number one for the GOP

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, once again railed against Obamacare on on the House floor Wednesday.

"Our message in the house has been pretty clear. We want to reopen our government and provide fairness to all Americans under the president's health care law," Boehner said.

But has the message really been "pretty clear?"

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Congressman Paul Ryan seemed to steer away from defunding the healthcare law specifically, and proposed more general entitlement reforms.

Did the goal posts just move? And is Obamacare still enemy number one for the GOP?

"He laid out a vision for what appears after the 2014 elections. That may not be the people's most – their greatest desire. But I think 2014, for all intents and purposes is going to be focused – Obamacare will be the center of the universe," said CNN contributor and Republican strategist Kevin Madden.

"What happened is Ryan, Boehner and (House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor had a strategy for this fall fund, right? Their strategy was use the debt ceiling as leverage to force a major agreement on the business fiscal issues, entitlement reform and tax reform. And it got hijacked," said CNN contributor and New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza.

The right wing of the Republican party, with Sen. Ted Cruz and some of the outside groups, "they decided actually the fight we want to have is over the government shutdown and Obamacare, and Boehner was forced to have that fight," said Lizza.

Both Democrats' and Republicans' polling numbers are going down. But if the country hits the debt ceiling, and the stock market goes down, at the end of the day President Barack Obama will take the hit.

"I believe he has already. It's been a collective hit," said Democratic communications strategist Tracy Sefl.

"So what happens next? Is there really a bottom for the Republican party? It seems like they're rapidly going to find out," said Sefl.

For more analysis from our political roundtable, watch the video above.

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