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)

    Fascist Tea party!

    August 27, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. TONE

    Spineless Republicans.

    August 27, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. olepi

    Oh! I do so hope that the tea-party bozo's are successful.

    August 27, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Can anyone cite an instance where shutting the government down has resulted in a positive outcome? Nope, did not think so. As usual, the GOP's threats of hostage-taking and blackmail will yield nothing, besides them losing seats (again).

    August 27, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. TimM

    The problem is just not Republicans not caring about people, it is about Congress not caring about people. Both Dem and Rep are the same, they are in it for themselves and whichever group pays them the most money. If the Democrats were so concerned with Affordable Health Care, why won't they even talk about limiting the amount of malpractice insurance for the doctors so they can lower their costs? Or why won't they remove some of the waivers for large corporations and Unions? I mean, the more people in the system lowers the cost for everyone right? There is good and bad on both sides of the aisle, but neither side will try to work with each other, it's either my way or the highway. We the People, should vote out every sitting member of Congress, and keep voting them out until the ones that get in there actually work for us, not the corporations and special interest groups.

    August 27, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Lynda Minnesota
    Thus, we get nothing but their temper tantrums and foot stomping "but ... but ... but you PROMISED us" . It is quite amusing to listen to them
    I guess it is at times Lynda, I'm just sick to death of them and the damage that said tempere tantrums have and are continuing to inflict on my country. Our country.
    What is wrong with these people?
    How can they allow themselves to be completely consumed by their greed, their fears of anything that doesn't look, act or talk like them?
    And how can they call themselves "Christian" or anything resembling a belief that purports to "do unto others as you would have others do unto you"?
    This is just sick.
    ...In other news I read your post yesterday. Vaca was spectacular and I will take the baton from you and give you a much needed break!
    Will be Googling Ted the Canadian Cruz as per your suggestion my friend.

    August 27, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. Rosslaw

    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 |
  8. Peg

    The monster the GOP has created with their lies is now out attacking the villagers – and also turning on their creators.

    August 27, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. carol derry

    I am not into conspiracy theories BUT this idea by the so-called Tea Party to defund the AFA ( Obamacare) by shutting down the government must be instigated by the Democrats in a a political sting that will surely result in the demise of the two party system.

    Our second president John Adams will have his wish granted. He detested the rise of the party system of government

    August 27, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    The Tea Party does not want to govern. They want to rule.
    "They want to rule".
    In a nutshell Rudy.
    Well and succintly stated.

    August 27, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. maximusvad

    Evolve or perish GOP...Eating your own kind is a bad idea.

    August 27, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. Larry in Houston

    this defund thing should be on the back burner. They need to prioritize the Russia & Syria thing. Once Putin sees that we are in a full scale conflict, we will be in another all out war. I know it's sad that there is a dictator in Syria as mad as the Furor once was, when he gassed the Jews & put them in concentration camps. I honestly did not think we would see scenes like this in 2013, like it once was in the 1940's.......You'd think the world has changed dramatically, truth is, it Has in certain respects..... But killing people, and gassing innocent civilians, is an atrocity of the worst kind. Those people in Congress needs to get their priorities straight

    August 27, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. carol derry

    I meant ACA... Affordable Care Act

    August 27, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Bob

    How many of these so called "Patriots" and other conservative loudmouths have insurance paid for in part or solely by someone else but are screaming about "socialism" for others?.

    August 27, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. jboh

    " A dying dog bites its own wounds". Go for it boys.

    August 27, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    You reap what you sowed. Establishment Republican politicians allowed a fringe extremist populist Tea Party movement to take control of the party to the detriment of the nation.

    August 27, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. levi

    The State of Kentucky needs to put Mitch in their sights. Vote this nut-case OUT!

    August 27, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. itzmeman

    Good. Continue to put pressure on those Republicans from their own supporters. Get them out of office. That will show them.

    August 27, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Colo001

    This is not just the GOP's fault. Obama and the left is equally responsible. You lefties have big blinders on. Why aren't you complaining about the trillions in debt that Obama has dropped on us? Where is your accountability for Pelosi and Red for allowing a bill to pass without allowing Americans to find out what's in it? What about Congress getting a pass on Obamacare? Politicians voted themselves out of Obamacare and you aren't screaming bloody murder?

    August 27, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Anonymous

    thanks for the laughs ... republicans are unpatriotic and hate America, and are very unappealing to the majority of people,

    hahaha bush cheney/mission accomplished

    August 27, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Republicans: Defund Obamacare before more of those rebate checks go out.

    August 27, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. jinx9to88

    This how stupid the GOP are, they want to shut down the government and most red states have military bases. Military bases are government paid, so they would have to answer when they get back home to their districts. GOP are backing themselves into a corner that the cant get out of. I think Rand Paul has 5 or 6 bases in Kentucky but he is one of the front runners on this shutdown? Stupid!!!

    August 27, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Rudy NYC


    The problem is just not Republicans not caring about people, it is about Congress not caring about people. Both Dem and Rep are the same, they are in it for themselves and whichever group pays them the most money. If the Democrats were so concerned with Affordable Health Care,
    Don't be a hypocrite. The neo-libertarian view, as expressed by Ron Paul during a presidential debate, is that you are on your own. It's every man for himself. If you don't have enough money for an life-saving operation, then you should go to your local church and raise money.

    August 27, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    The Tea party in my state has promised to primary the lieutenant governor if he votes yes to break the tie when the GOP controlled Senate in my state votes today. A few days ago one member of the Tea Party stated, "We won't have a republican governor in a republican ran state advancing Obama's agenda. And that is their top priority.

    I'm sick of hearing the excuse that dems and reps do it, if they do, I can safely say is much more pronounced by the GOP. They are telling their elected officials, do as we say or you're out. Funny I've never heard anything like that about the dems.

    August 27, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You think that cutting off the pay for the military, for civil servants, for the elderly is going to get you votes next election?"

    A few thoughts: (a) no, they don't "think" which is part of their biggest messaging error (b) they will simply blame Obama (c) not understanding that Obama won't be on the ticket come 2016 (d) thus, the GOP will have an entirely different problem on its hands (e) which will be to get votes from folks who for whatever reason were disinclined to vote for the Democratic ticket in 2008 and 2012, but will be willing enough to do so in 2016.

    The TeaPers have put a really big dent in the Grand Old Party, and those of us who are no longer willing to accept their "brand" of foot stomping theatrics have already left the party with more to follow in 2014. Jim DeMint, et al, ought to know better. Ought to know being the key. Once he is done with fundraising for Heritage Foundation, even he will get rid of the TeaPer influence he has come to accept as his due for allowing them their megaphone of nonsense.

    It is the fundraising that is most amusing. They are each grabbing one another's donor base, allowing their greed to show its ugliness in its true form. Usually GOPers are more adept at hiding their greed.

    August 27, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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