Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans
August 27th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
5 years ago

Defund Obamacare supporters target top Republicans

Washington (CNN) - Conservatives backing a move to shut down the federal government if funding isn't cut off for President Barack Obama's health care law by the end of September are launching a tour starting Tuesday to put pressure on leading Republicans in Congress.

The first target of the push by Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The groups are planning a news conference in Lexington, Kentucky, Tuesday, near McConnell's offices. The Republican is running for a sixth term in the Senate next year.

The next day the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica will hold an event in Austin, Texas, near Sen. John Cornyn's office. The number two ranking Senate Republican is also up for re-election in 2014. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia will also be in the groups' sights during the tour, which is scheduled to conclude September 4.

The new push by the two groups comes after an online ad campaign against McConnell and other GOP lawmakers, comparing them to "chickens" for opposing the Affordable Care Act but refusing to commit to defunding the law.

"Sadly, there are scores of hypocritical Republicans who have just been giving lip service to voters at home with no intention of living up to their promises in Washington. How can they tell their constituents that they are opposed to ObamaCare and then vote to have those same constituents pay for it?" wrote Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin and ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell in an op-ed in USA Today.

"No one has fought harder against Obamacare than Senator McConnell and he welcomes every voice in the fight to end this horrible law," McConnell re-election campaign communciations director Allison Moore told CNN.

Tuesday's event in Lexington comes as the Senate Conservatives Fund, a grassroots group which backs conservative causes and candidates, said it was going up with a 60-second radio commercial in Kentucky that urges McConnell to oppose funding the health care law, saying "Obamacare stinks and holding your nose won't make it any better."

The group says they'll run the ad for two weeks. Another conservative organization, the Madison Project, also said Tuesday that it was going up with a radio spot that claims McConnell "is undermining the conservative effort to defund ObamaCare."

Some conservative lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, are using upcoming budget battles as leverage, vowing to oppose any measure that provides funding for the federal government that includes funding for the health care law. The measure funding the federal government expires September 30, setting up another Capitol Hill budget battle between congressional Republicans and the White House.

But so far only slightly more than a dozen fellow Republican senators have signed up to support the cause, leaving it up to outside conservative groups to rally the base.

In an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that ran Sunday on "State of the Union," Cruz conceded that "we do not have the votes right now," noting that to succeed, he'd need 41 senators or 218 representatives to get behind his legislation - which would provide a year of funding for the federal government, minus Obamacare.

But the Texas Republican argued a coming "grass-roots tsunami" would bring over fellow conservatives to his side in the next month.

"I'm convinced there's a new paradigm in politics, that actually has Washington very uncomfortable. And it has politicians in both parties very uncomfortable," he said. "And that new paradigm is the rise of the grass roots, the ability of grass-roots activists to demand of their elected officials they do the right thing."

The new push by the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica comes as another conservative political advocacy group, Heritage Action for America, says it's spending more than half a million dollars to run online ads in the districts of 100 House Republican lawmakers who have not joined the drive to try to defund the healthcare law.

And Heritage Action, which is a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, one of the oldest and largest conservative think tanks, is a week into a nine-stop "Defund Obamacare Tour" of townhalls. Two progressive groups, Americans United for Change and Protect Your Care, have counter protested outside the events.

Americans appear divided on whether they want to repeal the law, which passed in 2010 along party lines when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. In one of the most recent surveys on the law, conducted last month for CBS News, nearly four in ten called for the entire law to be repealed, with 18% saying that just the measure's controversial individual mandate should be repealed. Thirty-six percent of those questioned said that the law should be kept as is, or expanded.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. The Great Pontificator

    I'm sure I'm going to read many articles condemning the Teaparty people for pressuring their legislators. You should not do this for this is the way a democracy is supposed to work. If a group of people believe that their elected representatives are not acting in their best interest, their recourse is to express this to them and in no uncertain terms let them understand they'll try to vote them out. If the reps believe what they are doing they should stand up to it and not cry like a girly-man. I would bet money that anyone on the left would feel the same way if it were the other way around.

    August 27, 2013 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  2. Marie MD

    You reap what you sow. In this case, the weeper of the house and those like McConnell allowed the teatrolls to take over the party.
    The silver lining is that their followers continue to be a small group of loudmouths while the country stands strong against the red governors, the house and senate trying to take away our civil and personal rights.
    How does the song go . . . . . hey, hey, kiss him goodbye?

    August 27, 2013 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  3. the hippies were right

    I wonder how many of the tea party patridiots will be forloughed if there is a shutdown? I say zero. I wonder how many of them have held events to put pressure on republican congressman who support big oil subsidies and tax breaks? I wonder how many of them know their local taxes pay for football stadiums or for Walmart to come to town? How many of them have held events to protest their tax dollars going to rebuild Iraq after we blew it to pieces? How many have held events to protest their taxes going to an outrageous pensions for retired millionaire congressman? ZERO! But they protest against their tax dollars going to stop insurance providers from getting rich off of sick people and sick people having coverage. These people are the perfect definition of: Fox "spews" SHEEP!

    August 27, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  4. Winston Smith

    How about this. Republicans, come up with a viable alternative and present it to the people. If the people like your version of the affordable care act, then maybe they will adopt it. Till then shut your pie holes. You and your party have done nothing to even come up with an idea. All you've done is berate the other parties product. In a business setting this is not tolerated.

    August 27, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  5. kirk

    Since when is a superpac funded by billionaires a grass roots group? Again, nothing but lies, the more these particular politicians fight this, the more I'm convinced its good.I have seen no coverage of a grassroots group for either side. Keystone pipeline anyone? Anyway, it should be clear to all who can see without prejudice that this gop has zero intention of trying to move this country in a positive direction I should hope we send a message that can't be denied on election day.they will of course not change.

    August 27, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  6. kirk

    Here is the real picture, gop candidates will do as their suoeroac donors say or else no money, these rich guys have complete control of the gop, shameless role Mitch was the first to sell out, I'm shocked! Please do some research, realize everything they say is a lie, see shat they are really trying to push and ask yourself how it helps you, chances are, unless you're rich they will affect you negatively.stop the insanity they will absolutely destroy your standard of living those who blame Obama for the dismal job outlooks low paying jobs, that's your right to work folks, not Obama's baby

    August 27, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  7. Dixie

    I believe this law needs more work. There are to many parts that are not working. If it is to be kept we should review it and correct the mandates that are not working. I don't believe that part should be postponed and not all.

    August 27, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  8. TomInRochNY

    In one of the most recent surveys on the law, conducted last month for CBS News, nearly four in ten called for the entire law to be repealed, with 18% saying that just the measure's controversial individual mandate should be repealed. Thirty-six percent of those questioned said that the law should be kept as is, or expanded.

    So, 18 plus 36 equals 54. So, most Americans don't want the law repealed. Yet the radical right wants it completely abolished or they'll shut down the government. Like the old joke goes, republicans campaign that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it.

    August 27, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  9. Gurgy

    GOP is bunch of idiots. First get rid off these old rethuglicans in 2014 election. Old junk needs to go. You spend on WARS???? Ignore infrastructure?

    August 27, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  10. Name

    Well bring it on because by the time 2015 begin ur will be gone, t party going to waste money again like they did in 2012

    August 27, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  11. Gurgy

    Do these idddiots even know it is now a Law?

    August 27, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  12. S. B. Stein

    These people still haven't said what will replace Obamacare with when they get that done? We need to hear plans.

    August 27, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  13. Southeast

    Close the government, lose your job. We are tired of the kid games. The whole world know what this is about. Congress is in the way of progress.

    August 27, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Can't help Americans, but the GOP can spend trillions on wars.

    August 27, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  15. Gurgy

    Solution–dump all these Rethuglicans in Syria and come back. Their fate will be that of their counter-partner Bi Laden.

    August 27, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    Good job T-T "Patriots"....push them even farther to the right to make sure a democrat is elected.

    August 27, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  17. Zerubbabel

    All southern senators. These folks are still trying to win the Civil War. Newsflash, Sherman burnt down Atlanta and Grant ran through Richmond. You lost, move on. The country's power base will never be in the South. It is in the northeast corridor. You know those Wealthy Blue States that support the indigent Red States.
    Cut off your nose to spite your face, brilliant.

    August 27, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  18. ladyjag

    What we need t o do, is kick every TeaParty Person out of Congress. The people are idiots. You call it Obamacare, it is a Kennedy bill, Ted Kennedy tried for 30 years to get this through Congress. Yes Obama signed it thought. And Republicans should be proud, it was based on Romney's ins. when he was Govenor. You put him up for President, and that man was also an idiot.

    August 27, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  19. Norma Vessels

    We need to stop those people! They will cut off their nose to spite their face, if it makes our President look bad .. and they think the new Health Care (Obama Care) is the way to go, to destroy it ... to laugh at the President. These are people we have to stop .. they're determined to ruin our country, little by little.

    August 27, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    The Republican Party is discovering that it has a serious health problem. They're being eaten from the inside out by a conservative eating virus called the Tea Party. There is no known cure short of amputation.

    August 27, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    In Michigan today, the GOP controlled Senate is voting whether to extend Medicaid to the working poor who can't afford health insurance. It's not expected to pass and there might be a tie. The Tea party has promised to primary the lieutenant governor if he votes yes to break the tie. That's basically blackmail. The GOP is a funn group. No wonder they keep looking in strawberry patches for elephants. They are the true criminals and they know it.

    August 27, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  22. quinLee

    If Dems are smart they will view this as a lesson. Do not cater to fringe elements of the party. It's short sighted and will likely turn and bite you in the rear.

    August 27, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  23. BigD

    The GOP votes in a bloc like fascists and communists.

    August 27, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. mole man

    Would we have a deficit if both parties gave up all this money they will waste. Politicians stopped caring about America & care about their political future instead

    August 27, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. McShannon

    Conservatives often pull some occurrence out of the blue and call it liberal decadence. Miley Cyrus will surely be called and example of liberal thinking by conservatives when in truth like so many others she is plainly none other than a moral degenerate. Obama care has a few rough spots and everyone that is paying attention knows that some parts have been suspended and others need to be addressed. The constant posturing and puffing up like roosters defending the chicken yard by conservatives doesn’t come across as a group displaying wisdom.

    August 27, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
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