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Obamacare will be 'extraordinarily popular' when exchanges work, governor says

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, chair of the Democratic Governors ­Association, weighs in on topics ranging from Obamacare to Chris Christie at a Monitor Breakfast.

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Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin speaks to reporters on Nov. 7 in Washington.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor/File

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Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, chair of the Democratic Governors ­Association (DGA), was the guest at the Nov. 7 ­Monitor Breakfast.

The role of the Affordable Care Act's rocky rollout in Democrat Terry McAuliffe's narrow victory in the Virginia governor's race:

"I do not think 'Obamacare' had an impact on the Virginia election ... the voters of Virginia rejected the same radical social agenda that [Republican governors] ... have been implementing."

How he explains Republican Gov. Chris Christie's impressive win in New Jersey:

"The people of New Jersey focused on [Governor Christie's] oversized personality, and it was a referendum on his personality."

His response to critics who say the DGA spent too little time in New Jersey to cut into Christie's winning margin:

"My job as chair of the DGA is not to invest money in bruising people. It is to win Democratic governors' mansions...."

Challenges implementing health-care reform in Vermont and nationwide:

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"This is going to be a tough road.... [But] within the foreseeable few months the websites will be working ... and it is going to be extraordinarily popular."

How the federal government shutdown affected governors:

"[We had to] sit there and sweat about things that we all assume were rock solid ... which is the federal dollars that support our most vulnerable citizens."

The effect of Michael Michaud, Democratic candidate for governor of Maine, recently announcing he is gay:

"It will have absolutely no effect on the race ... which is exactly how it should be."


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