In a recent speech at Northwestern University, President Obama claimed that fewer Republicans are running against Obamacare because “while good, affordable health care might seem to be a fanged threat to freedom on Fox News, it turns out it’s working pretty well in the real world.” But are Republican candidates actually backing away from criticizing Obamacare?
Not in the real world. Check out the websites of GOP candidates in key Senate races. Tom Cotton’s currently features an attack on Obamacare as its second lead item (just below a fundraiser with Mike Huckabee). Dan Sullivan’s features a piece called “Promoting Affordable Healthcare while Fighting ObamaCare.” Bill Cassidy’s includes a tweet about how Obamacare is “forcing companies to cut jobs.”
If you think Arkansas, Alaska, and Louisiana are too conservative to be representative, then look at two of our most centrist states, as measured by the last two presidential elections. In North Carolina, the donation page of Thom Tillis’ website lists repeal of Obamacare as the first item that a donation will help him achieve. And the main page features an article called “Hagan’s ObamaCare Set To Cause Premiums To Surge In N.C.” “Hagan’s Obamcare” — it doesn’t sound like Tillis is backing off on the issue.
In Virginia, meanwhile, Ed Gilespie’s “agenda” page lists “replacing Obamacare” as the first item. And a Gillespie ad that aired recently in the Northern Virginia market mentioned his opposition to Obamacare twice.
Iowa went twice for Obama. Yet Joni Ernst’s website states:
Joni is staunchly opposed to the Obamacare law. Joni supports immediate action to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense, free-market alternatives that put patients first, and health care decisions back in the hands of each of us rather than Washington bureaucrats.
Similarly, in New Hampshire, Scott Brown (who as a Senator voted against Obamacare) hasn’t changed his mind. On his issues page, he states:
Obamacare Isn’t Working. The people of New Hampshire take pride in individual liberty and freedom. Obamacare demolishes both.
No ambiguity there.
Even in liberal Michigan, the Republican candidate, Terri Lynn Land, is attacking Obamacare. In her “Michigan First” plan, , she argues that Americans “needlessly suffer” due to Obamacare. She also points out that “nearly every single promise made about ObamaCare in 2009 has been broken.”
There is, though, a set of congressional candidates ducking the issue of Obamacare — the Democrats. A Brookings Institution analysis found that only 36 percent of them are expressing support for Obamacare. Another 26 percent take what Brookings calls a “complicated position.”
Sort of like a pretzel, one imagines.
From Louisiana and Arkansas, to Virginia and North Carolina, to New Hampshire, to Iowa and Michigan, to Alaska, Republicans in key races are attacking Obamacare vociferously. Is that “real world” enough for Obama?