Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test

By
Monday, March 29, 2010 at 10:54 am
GOP candidates Charlie Crist, John McCain and Ed Lynch have all taken a hard stand for health care repeal (ZUMA)

GOP candidates Charlie Crist, John McCain and Ed Lynch have all taken a hard stand for health care repeal (ZUMA)

Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.) agreed on one thing in their 40-minute debate on Fox News Sunday: Both of the Republican hopefuls for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat pledged to repeal the health care bill — at least, to whatever extent they could.

“What we need to do is go ahead and repeal this thing,” said Crist bluntly. “Let’s start over.”

“I think the first step is to repeal it,” said Rubio, “and we need to win a few elections before we can get there.”

[GOP1] Rubio has surged into a lead over Crist by promising to “stand up” to President Obama in a way the governor, who’s built a reputation as a moderate, hasn’t. Since the passage of health care reform, however, Crist has recast himself as a candidate ready to roll back health care reform — he immediately endorsed state Attorney General Bill McCollum’s lawsuit against the individual health insurance mandate. The whole exchange on Sunday revealed something that more Republican candidates are finding out: The GOP base is clamoring for its party to repeal health care reform — indeed, promising anything but full repeal can prompt a mini-revolt — but there’s plenty of wiggle room as to what exactly repeal would mean.

“You’ve got Rubio saying ‘repeal and start over,’” said Michael Connelly, a spokesman for the Club for Growth, the conservative group whose early support for Rubio was a factor in his rise. “You’ve got Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying ‘repeal and replace.’ Some kremlinologists will say there’s daylight between those statements, but as far as we’re concerned it doesn’t exist.”

If any organization can nudge Republicans toward a “repeal” pledge, and keep them honest after they take it, it’s the Club for Growth. It launched a one-paragraph “Repeal It” petition in February, when many considered health care reform a dead letter. And since the passage of reform, the number of signatories who hold or are running for electoral office has surged past 400. That number includes Senate candidates like New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, Kentucky’s Trey Grayson, Colorado’s Jane Norton and Illinois’s Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who are warily viewed by Tea Partiers and conservative voters, but who have been able to use the “repeal” message to prove their bona fides.

“It’s going to be repealed and replaced and it’s going to be done soon,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is facing a primary challenge from the right, in a Friday rally with Sarah Palin. “It will not stand.”

Republican members and candidates are reinforced by Republican governors who can complain about “ObamaCare” without tackling it legislatively. All are backed up by a steady stream of polls from Rasmussen Reports and others that seem to validate the wisdom of coming out for repeal.

“Newt Gingrich is saying we should ‘repeal and replace,’” wrote Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) in a weekend op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. “That works.” Jindal dealt with the purported impossibility of electing enough Republicans to repeal the legislation by saying his election in Louisiana had been unlikely, too. And would President Obama veto a repeal bill? “Yes, he sure would. Do it anyway. And do it again after he is gone. (By the way, President Clinton vetoed welfare reform twice before he signed it into law.)”

In the three ongoing special elections where Republicans hope to take seats once held by Democrats, “repeal” has become a rallying cry for local activists and national fundraisers. The next election on the calender will come April 13 in the 19th District of Florida, some of the safest Democratic terrain in the state. The Obama-Biden ticket won 65 percent of the vote there, while Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) won re-election with 66 percent. But Ed Lynch, the businessman running as a Republican to replace Wexler, has taken to the pages of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government to call his race “the first referendum on nationalized health care.”

“By contributing, 5, 10, or 20 dollars to our campaign,” wrote Lynch, “your donation will count towards a full and unequivocal REPEAL of the most dangerous legislation passed since this nation’s founding.”

In an interview with TWI, Lynch made it clear that he backed full repeal, and wouldn’t quibble about parts of the legislation that Republicans have occasionally endorsed, such as preventing coverage from being denied for pre-existing conditions. “This bill is going to kill our seniors,” said Lynch. “Making something less bad doesn’t mean making it good.” He would sign the “Repeal It” pledge, he said, and he’d also co-sponsor legislation Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has introduced to repeal the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act. “I’m a big supporter of Michele,” he said.

The other candidates who will face voters in the next two months have come around to the same argument. Tim Burns, a first-time candidate running for the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha (R-Pa.), has challenged his Democratic opponent to sign a pledge to repeal health care reform. Charles Djou, a Honolulu city councilman who’s running to replace Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), has threaded the needle a little differently, telling voters that he’d prefer a chance to fix the bill over outright repeal. He explained to TWI that he favors that approach because he views repeal as legislatively unlikely.

“Repeal isn’t going to happen unless Republicans capture a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override an Obama veto,” said Djou.

Former congressman Tim Walberg, who’s running for his old House seat in Michigan, said that a “repeal” message would work best if coupled with Republican promises to pass a better sort of health reform.

“I don’t mind the term repeal if that’s what we have to do,” Walberg told TWI. “But I think there are some elements of the health care bill I introduced when I was in Congress that we can go back to. Reform is needed, just not this kind.”

The only political mistake Republicans can make on health care, so far, is to signal to the base that full repeal might not be a priority. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) created an opening for a minor challenger in his U.S. Senate bid by arguing — accurately — that Barack Obama’s presence in the White House made repeal of health care reform unlikely until at least 2013. That was worrying to some Republicans, whose best-case scenario in 2011 is a Republican Congress that would be unable to override Obama’s vetos.

“I see where Republicans are with this,” said one GOP aide in the House, “but it drives me insane. What happens if you run, win, and don’t repeal?”

But for all the rhetoric, that might be where Republicans are headed. Before the health care vote, on March 9, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told a reporter that Republican voters would understand if the GOP couldn’t repeal health care reform right away. “Whether you want to call it repeal,” he said, “or whether you want to call it a referendum, I don’t think makes a dime’s worth of difference.” After the vote, on March 23, Cornyn appeared to support “non-controversial stuff” in the reform package. The blowback from the conservative base was immediate and immense. If it was a preview of what Republicans can expect before and after the midterms, it didn’t look good for Cornyn.

“Make no mistake about it,” clarified Cornyn. “I fully support repealing this Washington takeover of health care.”

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Comments

49 Comments

Credigy Services Corp [ Can you pay a test version of your taxes? ]
Pingback posted March 29, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

[...] Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test « The Washington Independent [...]


muppetzinspace
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

No, it's the economy, stupid!


ProAmerica
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

You republicans better know this……….we do NOT want government inferring in our health care. It is not the governments business if we have gall stones, kidney stones or feel the need to sneeze. It is none of their business or anyone working for them. You better stop this insanity. Taxing the tanning saloons is a tax on the white Americans because no one else uses those saloons. Guess what the sun is free and you can't tax that so maybe it is to put them out of business. Sick pathetic marxist in DC.


chrisjay
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

I think you should take a pledge to forgo ALL gov't interference in your life: Pledge to NEVER cash a Social(ist)Security check, NEVER use socialist Medicare & Medicaid. NEVER use gov't police, paramedic or fire service, NEVER drive on public (gov't) roads. NEVER use US Postal Svc, NEVER use public schools.


Fresh
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

When Obama says “Yes We Can,” we did ! Ask John Boehner.

Check it out:

Hell No, You Canâ??t: Obama and Boehner Duet at Last – Tuned In – TIME.com
http://tunedin.blogs.time.com/2010/03/24/hell-n…


ampersander
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

tanning “saloons”…LOL


chrisjay
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

Tanning saloons: is that where Boehner has been spending all his time? Makes sense: he's always artificially bronzed and totally tanked!


Gone_Rogue
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

I was leaning toward Rubio, but after the FOX debate, I like CHarlie Crist better. Rubio's spending is like Michael Steele's.


Gone_Rogue
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

I was leaning toward Rubio, but after seeing them on FOX News, I will vote for Crist.

Rubio spends more thatn Michael Steele. Rubio reminded me of John Edwards, and Rubio did not deny the $135.00 hair cuts.


Repealing health care reform « Read NEWS
Pingback posted March 29, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

[...] Republicans, the hope will be that the GOP can ride this sentiment to the ballot box during midterm elections, giving them enough votes in the House and Senate to [...]


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

Anyone who can't see that the gop and some of the Democrats work for the highest bidder has got to be the biggest idiot.


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

Ah… Marco! Rubio!! He used his campaign funds for expensive hair cuts, but I guess as long as he's gop it's okay with the right.


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

Once wasn't bad enough?


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

It's a waste of time and effort to try to explain this to the wingnuts. Most I believe are racists, and certainly hate anything Democratic.

They hate facts and refuse to look for the facts as they depend on fnc who wouldn't know the truth if it tap danced in front of them.


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

Yeah his orange skin clashes with his bloodshot eyes.


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

Bet he won't take the pledge, which shows what a hypocrite he is, as well as all of the right wing nuts.


lyris
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

Did you say that when chimpy and shooter were destroying our economy?


chrisjay
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

Loads of hypocrites on the right; ironically many teabaggerz can claim innocence on that count if only because they are so utterly clueless how self-parodying they are as they carp about gov't interference while enjoying so many benefits provided to them by the gov't.They don't even know enough to meet the meager criteria of hypocrisy.
in summation, clueless=teabagger


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Trackback posted March 29, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by washdcnews: Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test http://dlvr.it/N0L1...


nosacredcow
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

Odd that they would be against the mandatory health insurance but not a peep about mandatory automotive insurance. Or homeowners insurance for mortgage holders. So when does healthcare become a slippery slope hmmm?????????


L.Kendal
Comment posted March 29, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

Ihave been a republican my whole life,But not any more. I think they are no better then the nazis party of 2010!!!!!


SharksBreath
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 12:54 am

The GOP remind me of the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs dares Yosemite to cross the line and Yosemite crosses it.

Bugs then continues to draw lines for Yosemite to cross until he falls right off a cliff.

The GOP's Yosemite moment is coming.


Fail_Dear_Leader_Fail
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 2:16 am

There's a big difference chief. I'm not required to purchase a car or a home. Dems are slways telling us you can't tell a woman what to do with her body when it comes to abortion, so I should have the same right in saying I don't want to insure my body.


Fail_Dear_Leader_Fail
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 2:17 am

How many MAObama cabinet members failed to pay their taxes? But since they're on the left, I guess it's okay.


Fail_Dear_Leader_Fail
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 3:36 am

Thank you for leaving.


ellid
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 3:36 am

By the same token, I expect you to forgo your Medicare when you get old, Medicaid if you become disabled, Social Security when you retire, and any use of government run programs and infrastructure on the grounds that you weren't explicitly asked for permission before they were set up.


ellid
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 3:37 am

How many Republicans use campaign funds to pay for strip clubs? Or text messaging to underage boys? Or to pay hookers to beat them up while they're wearing diapers? Or take a wide stance in the rent-boys' bathroom?


Mississippi's Cycle of Insanity « Majority In Mississippi | Educational Mississippi
Pingback posted March 30, 2010 @ 8:04 am

[...] Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test « The Washington Independent [...]


nosacredcow
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 8:30 am

and stay the hell out of the emergency room when you get hit by the uninsured driver who felt that it was in his rights to drive on the roads without government interference.


nosacredcow
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 8:34 am

Speaking of leaving, didn't Limpblow say he would leave the US if the healthcare bill passed? Does he need help packing? Can he take McConnell, Boehner and Bachmann with him? We'll keep Palin after all we still need a foole to laugh at..


rcoleman
Comment posted March 30, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

It's unfortunate the grown men and women who represent America act so immature. They should remember who they represent and take their careers out of the equation and look at how and what benefits the American people. Should one have to lose their home, retirement or go bankrupt because of an illness that is not covered by their insurance? Or one who graduation from college are way in debt because a college education is so expensive but required to live the American dream. We need to get back to basic with Americans living the American dream.


Litmus test for MCA | Hot Daily Gossip
Pingback posted March 31, 2010 @ 2:00 am

[...] Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test « The Washington Independent [...]


IL-Sen: “Repeal” not working out so well for Kirk | Gearone.in
Pingback posted March 31, 2010 @ 8:25 am

[...] Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test « The Washington Independent [...]


chrisjay
Comment posted April 1, 2010 @ 1:04 am

Rush the Druggie said he'd move to Costa Rica if & when the HCR bill was passed. The fat old junkie probably doesn't remember what he says from one day to the next, so I won't hold my breath—-but it'd be a great day for USA if the sleazy degenerate followed thru


chrisjay
Comment posted April 1, 2010 @ 1:06 am

Failure, are you pro-choice or aren't you?


Skipster
Comment posted April 1, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

So you don't mind then if we take away your right to use the Emergency Room without proof of insurance since you will now have the opportunity to purchase it. Or do you think your entitled to welfare. I had no problem letting you use the ER before this passed, but not now. I guess Libertarians don't believe in personal responsibility anymore


Ron Paul at New Hampshire Republican Debate on Fox News | RepublicanDaily.info
Pingback posted April 3, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

[...] Repeal Pledge Becomes GOP Litmus Test « The Washington Independent [...]


trippin
Comment posted April 3, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

“What happens if you run, win, and don’t repeal?”

So wet behind the ears!

The answer is: NOTHING happens. Just like the last time a politician made a promise, and the next time too.

You aren't going to repeal. That's not a “what if” scenario. It simply will not happen — period — end of sentence.

That inevitability seems not to dissuade people who have already demonstrated themselves to be so deeply flawed their platform consists of little except lies and name-calling.


Por: il-sen: "derogación" no funciona tan bien para gearone | Kirk. en
Pingback posted April 5, 2010 @ 3:13 am

[...] [. . . Promesa] Derogación se convierte en prueba de tornasol del Partido Republicano "[The Washington Independent. . . ] URL del artículo original http://washingtonindependent.com/80749/repeal-pledge-becomes-gop-litmus-test/comment-page-1#comment-... [...]


Por: Ron Paul en el nuevo debate republicano en New Hampshire | Fox News republicandaily. Info
Pingback posted April 23, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

[...] [. . . Promesa] Derogación se convierte en prueba de tornasol del Partido Republicano "[The Washington Independent. . . ] URL del artículo original http://washingtonindependent.com/80749/repeal-pledge-becomes-gop-litmus-test/comment-page-1#comment-... [...]


Por: prueba de fuego para mca diaria | cotilleos
Pingback posted April 29, 2010 @ 6:44 am

[...] [. . . Promesa] Derogación se convierte en prueba de tornasol del Partido Republicano "[The Washington Independent. . . ] URL del artículo original http://washingtonindependent.com/80749/repeal-pledge-becomes-gop-litmus-test/comment-page-1#comment-... [...]


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Comment posted July 25, 2010 @ 7:26 am

“What happens if you run, win, and don’t repeal?”


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It's unfortunate the grown men and women who represent America act so immature. They should remember who they represent and take their careers out of the equation and look at how and what benefits the American people. Should one have to lose their home, retirement or go bankrupt because of an illness that is not covered by their insurance? Or one who graduation from college are way in debt because a college education is so expensive but required to live the American dream. We need to get back to basic with Americans living the American dream.


neverfull pm
Comment posted August 8, 2010 @ 6:11 am

HEY they ain’t using their brains much anyway. YOU WANT ANOTHER CIVIL WAR? Let’s GO!


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