Hopefully Obama will clean this up, but there really is no reason for saying, "I didn't campaign on the public option" Dude, yes you did:
Specifically, the Obama plan will: (1) establish a new public insurance program, available to Americans who neither qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP nor have access to insurance through their employers, as well as to small businesses that want to offer insurance to their employees.
I guess this could depend on what the meaning of "campaign" means, but let's no go there. Just say you wanted it and didn't get it. From Ezra:
Obama's latest statement on this is hair-splitting at best and misleading at worst. That's even more true given how often he mentioned the public option after he got elected. And it's a good example of why the left is losing its trust in Obama. Obama could have given an interview where he expressed frustration that the math of the Senate forced his administration to give up the public option but nevertheless argued that the rest of the health-care bill was well worth passing. Instead, he's arguing that he never cared about the public option anyway, which is just confirming liberal suspicions that they lost that battle because the president was never really on their side.
I can't really remember who made this point, and I would link to it if I could, but someone noted that all of this is about not having a head-line that says, "Obama Suffers Huge Loss In Health Care Fight." It just feels like politics, if you can say you didn't campaign on the public option than you can say you got the reform you wanted.