GOP will ‘tat­too’ Oba­macare on Democrats

Party plan­ning to tar­get vul­ner­a­ble can­di­dates

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR.

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.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.