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. LeRoy_Was_Here

    It's circular firing squad time in the Republican Party. Looking more and more like a good old-fashioned Stalinist purge. MUST preserve purity, even if it means losing elections for the next forty years.

    August 27, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. al

    You mean the "I hate America" Tea party that wants to force everyone to bend to their fascist beliefs? When are the people going to realize that they are being fooled by these religious and social bigots.

    August 27, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. f ray

    and GOP madness continues. no solutions, just hate lies, insults and fear. pretty soon there won't be any elections, other than some gerrymandered, back woods, freak show zones that they can win.

    August 27, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Michael

    You don't like the plan that you created get use to it . Over pricing meds and Heath care created this back lash everything that is over priced is a target . Get real it's time to pay the piper bring down the goverment and run no nation can save you you will be hunted down like a wild dog and taxed for everything you got. And a last move will be to kill the bill the mighty dollor and start over.

    August 27, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. DE

    Ask a republikan what their alternative healthcare plan is and they say "Duh, we don't have one. Yuk, Yuk Yuk."

    August 27, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Chelle


    Classic. The Heritage Foundation literally wrote the ACA which was in turn endorsed by the republican party in the 90's, successfully implemented by the republican's 2012 presidential candidate, Mittens, in Massachusetts and now the Heritiage Foundation pretends to be against their own program to satisfy the "birther/impeachment/" wingnut faction of the republican party. Do these people even realize what positions they've taken in the past?

    August 27, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |


    Exactly. The Republicans are running around screaming at the top of their lungs about the ACA but it was their idea!! I am quite sure that President Obama anticipated some pushback from this legislation but I would hazard a guess he thought more would come from his own party for adopting a Republican idea!

    August 27, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Marcus

    Hector Slagg – Back at the begininng of President Obama's first term there was this guys (he once said that he was a man) who used a pen name like 'Historian' or something like that. Why? Because every time he showed up he tried to prove, through historic examples, that 'Democrats = bad' and 'Republicans = good'.
    But every single time there was at least a couple of guys that remembered him of the parts he usually 'forgot' to mention in order to make his points less ridiculous. For one thing he NEVER mentioned that in the 60's the Democrats lost a lot of people (and the South) after LBJ signed 'that law' (his words, I still can't forget this!), at that all those who left the (D) became part of the (R), like Ronald Reagan.
    The reason why you said that for the past 80 years (D)s had been more in power than (R)s is just because that way we had to put FDR (the last POTUS who had to deal with such a mess he inherited from his predecessors) in the equation? Fine. Then it's 44 years (plus the 6 months+ of President Obama's second term) for the (D)s and 36 years for the (R)s, and that is only the elections for POTUS (and only because of FDR and his answers to the problems caused by the Depression).

    August 27, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. TM

    The Tea Party needs to wake up. If they don't they will eventually run out of heretics to burn at the stake.

    August 27, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Bob

    Down with Republicans, down with Republicans, down with Republicans!

    August 27, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Michael

    All this nonsense about those that don't pay is an easy fix take it out of tax return better then a fine. Escro it to year ends and pay the full bill .

    August 27, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Watching Republicans go after their own leaders kind of reminds me of some animals that eat their own young. It dies not make any sense but that does not stop them from doing it. Republicans find a way of turning every issue into an issue about taking rights away from everyone. By everyone they mean the small percentage of pinheads who think Republicans care about poor bigoted rednecks who see any religion but their own as an attack on America. And who are dumb enough to think that giving equal rights to Latinos, gays, Orientals, anyone with some color to them and women as a straight ride to eternal Damnation.

    August 27, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Rhonda Rahn

    GOP eats their own. Let's vote the Repugs out of office in 2014.

    August 27, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. PtBarnumBoy

    The GOP ain't called the Grand OLD Party for nothing folks.

    August 27, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Dan

    Republicans are foaming at the mouth to get rid of what was originally a Republican idea. Why? Because it was implemented by the Democrats and not the Republicans. So now, the poor sports are gong to shut down the government if they don't get their way. The Republicans are willing to hurt the country because they didn't get their way. Talk about acting like spoiled children.

    August 27, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. boungiorno

    Sit down and shut up im tired of the same people running their mouths saying nothing WHERE'S YOUR PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Hikertom

    What if Obamacare is a big success? What if lots of uninsured people get health insurance and get the healthcare they need and live long and healthy lives? From the Republican point of view THAT WOULD BE HORRIBLE.

    August 27, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Dennis L M

    The GOP doesn't approve of the ACA even though it was a GOP idea a decade or so ago because... ...they do NOT want President Obama to get credit for anything being accomplished during his terms.
    Watch, they will fight him to try to prevent him from ending Bush's wars and they'll fight him for not putting the army on the ground in Syria. It's "if Obama is for it, the GOP is against it and if Obama is against it, the GOP is for it". No matter what, no matter when. They hate him. I think they are racist; most of them.

    August 27, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. tstorm92

    Republicans would have only 2 classes in this country, "rich" upper class and a very "poor" lower class. The goal of the GOP is to "defund" the middle class!

    August 27, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. tstorm92

    The only goal of Republicans is to "DEFUND" the middle class!

    August 27, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. BADGUY

    The WEALTHY make the Republican Party "Tick". The AR-15, sociopaths, and religious fanatics make it WORK.

    August 27, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. John Jacobson

    The Republican Party, once a group of mean old men that would watch your money, has deteriorated into a group of who can screech the loudest angry old white men.
    So rabidly conservative, they wouldn't even allow Ronald Reagan in the door today.

    August 27, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. MaryM

    To all repubs that want to repeal Obamacare using the debt limit increase in October: 14th amendment , section 4
    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

    August 27, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. lance corporal

    tooooo effin funny! I love the comment " the ability of grass-roots activists to demand of their elected officials they do the right thing." yeah right, theyr'e not demanding the RIGHT thing, they're demanding do it OUR way and ONLY our way and we will NEVER be happy unless we get OUR way to the disclusion of every one else because we think every one else is an idiot........

    personally I think the ACA is a 1/2 assed solution at best and I'm against it but I also view it as a REPUBLICAN plan and while I'm non aligned I haven't trusted thos bahstahds since reagan (you may like whay he stood for but he was a massively dishonest)

    August 27, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    If either Tea Party or 'For America' were really for America they'd be offering an alternative plan to made health care affordable for everybody, not trying to shut down the only plan that's been offered so far. I'm hoping this attack will so rebound that the GOP finally boots them out entirely. They're about as anti-American as they come.

    August 27, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. Bob

    Over 75% of the public wants Obamacare or something even more comprehensive (like a single payer, insurance-free Universal coverage). So the idea of a group trying to get rid of Obamacare being called "ForAmerica" is ludicrous. Most of its members probably think America is spelled 'Merica. Give it up GOP. The people voted for it and got it past your silly-busters. Then you pinned your hopes on activist judges appointed by Bush and even those guys (who think corporations are people and foreigners can buy elections) didn't support you. It's over. You said you would listen to the will of the people and they have spoken. You said you would let the Supreme Court decide and they have spoken. Quit holding your breath and stamping your feet like an eight-year-old girl who doesn't get her way and just let it go. You lost, democracy won.

    August 27, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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