It's not a stretch to say that large elements of the GOP hold Barack Obama in intense personal disdain. We'll refrain from using the word "hate" because people get upset about the term, but well, you get the idea.
Certainly the GOP presidential candidates are united in their antipathy toward the health care plan that the president signed into law in 2010, a sentiment that polls say is shared by a majority of the American public (although the Los Angeles Times published a powerful op-ed yesterday by one woman who was against the new plan until she learned earlier this year she had breast cancer and now calls the new law potentially a "life-saver").
How much does the collective GOP dislike the health-care law? Well, there's nothing scientific about this small anecdote reported in the National Journal, but it does give one a sense of the visceral opposition to the president out in the hinterlands:
A candidate “needs to have a warrior ethos to be the GOP nominee. They have to be a fighter, and they have to have some substance,” said Republican media strategist Rick Wilson.
If Democrats suffered through “Bush Derangement Syndrome” during the last decade, Republican primary voters view the current president with near-contempt, thanks to the lousy economy and a liberal governing agenda. Obama’s unpopular health care law still is driving much of that anger. Wilson said he recently conducted a focus group where Republicans were asked whether, if they had a choice, they would rather “kill Obamacare” or have killed Osama bin Laden.
“They would have killed Obamacare and waited for the actuarial tables [to] play out for bin Laden,” Wilson said.