GOP will ‘tattoo’ Obamacare on Democrats
Party planning to target vulnerable candidates
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus vowed Thursday that his party will “tattoo” Obamacare on the foreheads of vulnerable Democrats going into next year’s midterm election cycle.
Mr. Priebus, speaking from RNC headquarters on Capitol Hill, said he invited a group of Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2014 and select House Democrats to the news briefing so they could sing the Affordable Care Act’s praises from the podium.
The RNC purchased domain names for targeted Democrats like Sen. Mark L. Pryor of Arkansas — “PryorLovesObamaCare.com” — “that we would have gladly donated to the campaigns had they showed up,” according to the chairman.
“It looks like it’s just me this morning,” Mr. Priebus said.
The event was billed as the “We’re Running on Obamacare” news conference and underscores rising confidence among Republicans in the wake of the botched rollout of President Obama’s health law and rising popular discontent with provisions of the law that have resulted in millions of canceled health policies.
“They created this problem,” Mr. Priebus said. “They knew this would happen.”
At the same time, reports that House Republicans devised a playbook to assault Obamacare in “waves” have prompted recriminations on the Hill.
Drip by drip, House Republicans have leaked email chains from the Obama administration officials responsible for building Obamacare’s flawed federal website, HealthCare.gov.
Democrats, meanwhile, have accused GOP lawmakers of trying to dismantle Obamacare without offering a viable alternative.
“We already know that the House Republican agenda for next year is completely blank; they simply have no solutions to the challenges Americans face,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “Now, given their lack of any proactive ideas, it is clear their focus will continue to be on scare tactics designed to discourage people from seeking health coverage.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Thursday he can’t blame Democrats for trying to change the subject on Capitol Hill, amid reports that the website of Cover Oregon, one of the state-based health care exchange websites, hasn’t enrolled a single person and that a Colorado man’s dog was enrolled by mistake in that state’s program.
“I’d probably be running for the exit, too, if I voted for this law,” he said.
Mr. Priebus said the country should have tried a variety of health care reforms instead of Obamacare, from more transparent pricing on health services to cost-saving measures to a framework in which people purchase coverage in larger risk pools.
For its part, the Democratic National Committee said the GOP hasn’t learned from the 2012 election or the recent government shutdown, singling the opposition to Obamacare of Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.
“Given that polls show more people believe in Big Foot than approve of the GOP and the fact that the RNC’s last two big pushes were to unveil an ‘Autopsy Report’ that failed within days, and a ‘Stand with Cruz’ campaign egging on the GOP shutdown that cost the country $24 billion, you’ll have to excuse us if we choose not to take public relations advice from Reince Priebus and the RNC,” DNC spokesman Michael Czin said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said his party will go after Democratic candidates considered to be vulnerable in the next election and “tattoo” Obamacare to them.