As the election year begins, Republicans are pondering how best to exploit Obamacare’s troubles. And they think they’ve found an answer: Attack Democrats’ credibility. Lawmakers who promised, wrongly, that everyone could keep their existing health insurance plans are about to watch their own words thrown back in their face.
— The latest example came Thursday, when Americans for Prosperity (whose early rampant spending in Senate races has turned into a real headache for Democrats) launched a seven-figure ad buy targeting Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The spots, two of which deploy video clips of the incumbents saying everyone can keep their health insurance, were direct: The senators are liars.
— The strategy here is to take a single issue — Obamacare — to launch a broader critique of Democratic lawmakers. It’s often said that most voters, certainly those closer to the political middle, don’t make their decision based on just one issue. But they do cast their vote based on character, and few flaws are more devastating for an incumbent than the belief they’re not telling the truth.
— Some Democrats, like Landrieu, have already responded directly to this charge. Don’t be surprised to see more of the same from her colleagues and groups like Senate Majority PAC: Democrats are convinced they can’t let Republicans runs these kinds of ads without a strong, well-funded response.
Expect to hear GOP operatives use the word “credibility” a lot more between now and Election Day. Voters care about health care, but character counts, too.
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After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."
Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."