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. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama:

    'm so glad to hear you had a wonderful vacation (though I never doubted you would not!) Hard to come back to the daily routine, isn't it?

    There are a few good Ted Cruz articles on the ticker (Aug 19th).

    [ the baton has been handed off and she's running full speed ahead ] I will be cheering you on while sitting on the dock doing nothing more than watching the boats sail by ... book in hand, drink in it's holder, and sun screen slathered here, there, and everywhere.

    August 27, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Boomer in Mo

    It's time for moderate Republicans to develop backbones and stand up to the nuts that are trying to run away with the GOP.

    August 27, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. ccb

    What we are witnessing is total intolerance for those who do not agree the Tea Party. What we are seeing is the new wave of McCartheism and extremism that we have not seen since that time period of US history. If this continues, this country will be the most divided since the Civil War and will be sowing the seeds of great discord and conflict. I pray that this doesn't happen and cooler heads prevail!

    August 27, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    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
    Indeed and agreed Lynda.
    In a previous post that got moderated into oblivion I wrote that it is as if someone snatched the mask off of their collective face since the election and re-election of Pres. Obama.
    They've lost their finesse and ability to sublty nuance and insinuate their agenda.
    Crude, in your face and offensively tacky is how the GOP has effectivel re-branded itself these past 5 years.
    Let's see who that appeals to come 2014 and 2016.

    August 27, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Data Driven

    @Hector Slagg,

    "Why is the country worse off than it was in the 1930s"

    You must be referring to the early part, up until March 1933 when Roosevelt sat behind the desk in the Oval Office.

    Try cracking open a history book.

    August 27, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. yogi

    "Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica": They are definitely not patriots, and they are not for America either.

    August 27, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What we are witnessing is total intolerance for those who do not agree the Tea Party."

    I am intolerant of the hate generated by the TeaParty. I make no apologies for my intolerance.

    August 27, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Econ301

    Hey Tea Party / Republicans where's the Beef?
    If you disagree with the current policy what is your policy alternative.
    Your not going to get anywhere with me or most of the middle of the road Americans simply by being contrarian, you need to have a policy which you are promoting. I'm still not sure what that policy is because you can't stop being contrarian long enough to tell me what your plans are.

    August 27, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    Sounds as if you're vacating the premises to enjoy some vacation time yourself! Yes?
    Off and running my friend, off and running.
    In the vernacular of the day " Go ahead and do you".
    Have a good time!!

    August 27, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Gunderson

    Why CNN no report bad news Putin Care? 15 Thousand Spouses UPS lose Health Care sans the Affordable Care Act. Why No report? Why no report Airline that have 100 million cost because Bummer Care? May want brew up some Tea. Bummer Care Stay, Job's Go.

    August 27, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Peter Tosh

    The US can fund wars with no problem. Yet those that oppose healthcare would rather shut down the government. Strange indeed.

    August 27, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. JLS639

    Lobby you legislators, by all means. Talk about upcoming election consequences. Speak your minds. However, if you shut down the government, I will be very upset. Fortunately, these folks don't seem to be succeeding at extremism.

    August 27, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Denise

    As President Obama told Mittens during the debate, Please Proceed Tea Party/Wing Nuts.....

    August 27, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Sophie Meyer

    The stupidity and cynicism is glaring. There is no chance – zero, none, nada – that this initiative will succeed. What's the real purpose of this escapade? The fleece the rubes and keep them frothing at the mouth. Bless their hearts...they're apparently incapable of realizing how they're being played for fools.

    August 27, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Jack

    The Tea Partier's along with their leaders Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are bound and determined to destroy this country from the inside. They will also destroy the Reagan Republican Party.

    August 27, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Cork222

    The GOP is hoping to strip everyone of their rights to a livable wage, insurance, affordable education, and voting rights. Then they will dictate legislation to all of us at the behest of their funders, the mega rich and the preachers.

    August 27, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Debbie

    I was a Republican for 35+ years. Became an Independent because the party allowed in fringe elements and lost its core platform of a small but strong government. The radicalized social, economic, and religious Republicans do not support that core platform. They are for fascism, Darwin economics, and theocracy. They can call themselves Patriots and/or Christians, but what they profess and what their actions show are the opposite. I call them all deceivers.

    August 27, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. mitchgam

    The only solution is for those who would destabilize our economy in order to achieve their policy objective to leave the Republican party and form their own party.

    That way those of us who are Conservatives but not zealous about it, can get our party back.

    August 27, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. us1000

    american people are stronger and more powerful than american republican party. american people want obama care federally funded school voucher to educate young people with merits only. private schools should receive school voucher funds for students based on same passing scores with public schools because federal fund is limited. obama care fund is for those, who are federally insured. our country need to face china, russia and others.

    August 27, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. cbp

    What is new about this! The very conservative wing of the party has been targeting less conservative members of the party for some time. The TEA Party supported candidates who were trying to oust Republican candidates who do not agree with them. They do not seem to believe that the United States will continue to prosper and grow under the leadership of men and women who are more willing to work together.

    One can track the move to the far right by members of Congress who are under pressure to respond or face opposition from their own party in the primaries. Sen. McConnell is certainly an example and he has fought the President and an ideas of compromise or cooperation for 5 years. Mitt Romney made his move to the right and it cost him the election.

    August 27, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. MTATL67

    I have no sympathy for McConnell, Cantor or the rest of them Obstructionist. They chose to dance with the devil. I'm not sure if it is the writer spinning or just their style but 'four in ten' means that 60% want to keep ACA and 60% is darn good.

    August 27, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Sniffit

    I'm convinced there's a growing paradigm in politics, that actually has Washington very uncomfortable. And it has politicians in both parties very uncomfortable...And that old, tried-and-true paradigm is the deliberate radicalization of the angriest, most fearful, most delusional, most ideologically dogmatic extremists in a party's constituency in order to gin them up into a seething mass of ridiculously outrageous demands that provide political cover for doing things that would on any normal day also be considered extremist, but get glossed over as normal by the MSM because they pale in comparison to the ridiculous demands that are being made.


    August 27, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. JC

    As a conservative, I am disgusted by the way these organizations act. Now is not the time or place for a showdown over obamacare. With the budget cap looming, a war with Syria, and more mandatory budget cuts coming on January 1st, holding up the process would be wildly damaging to the GOP. Maybe that's what we need. Maybe we need to lose badly next year, get the tea baggers outta there, and get some real conservatives that understand fiscal responsibility. If the GOP holds up the budget hearings by trying to defund obamacare, I will most likely vote liberal in the next election. Having an all liberal government would be a massive disaster, but that showing of failure may be what's needed. There's a sense among progressives that liberals are the intelligent party. That used to be the case, but when the left got into marketing strategy and strategic manipulation they turned into the uneducated hacks they were up against. Time to clean house I guess.

    August 27, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. GOP = Greed Over People

    Delta Airline made 1 billion bucks in profit, IF it is true that Obamacare(s) will increase the cost of benefits by 100 million, what is wrong with a corporation giving back 10% of those profits to the very people that earned the profit?

    That is what is wrong with this country, give the stockholders everything and screw the middle/working class.

    The stockholders should be happy with their 90% share of the profits!

    August 27, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "Hey Tea Party / Republicans where's the Beef?
    If you disagree with the current policy what is your policy alternative."

    They're only policy alternative is "Stop the world from changing right now!!!! I want the 1950's back immediately, dag gummit!!!!"

    August 27, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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