Obamacare is so politically toxic it’s giving new hope to top Republican officials in Oregon, a state where Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by almost 12 points and only one Republican is in the state’s congressional delegation.
“As Oregonians, we want our state back,” Oregon Republican Party Chairman Dr. Art Robinson said in a Friday interview with Breitbart News.
“The feeling out here is Obamacare is a disaster. If they can’t sign people up, how can they run the health care system? They can’t. Republicans have a strong ground game and a great shot at winning,” he added.
Although Obamacare’s rollout has been disastrous nationwide, the law has been implemented especially badly in Oregon, exacerbating the political fallout.
On Thursday, Cover Oregon director Bruce Goldberg resigned as Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber struggled to explain findings from a devastating report showing gross negligence by the state and website contractors in managing the $305 million of taxpayer money the state received to implement its busted Obamacare system.
A report by KATU also revealed charges from a whistleblower who alleged Oregon Obamacare workers pushed through illegal immigrant applications lacking Social Security numbers; used lax identity security such that a reporter plucked a Social Security number out of a garbage dumpster; held rock-paper-scissors tournaments on taxpayer-funded time; and provided front-of-the-line service in processing politicians’ applications ahead of regular Oregonians.
The Obamacare fiasco, combined with Oregon’s changing party registrations, have reinvigorated Republican efforts to flip the state to Republicans, Robinson said.
According to an analysis by The Oregonian, “For the first time in modern Oregon history, more than 30 percent of voters are no longer registered with either the Democratic or Republican parties.” The trend has helped bring Republican party registrations (30.63%) closer to Democrats (38.99%).
“We’ve narrowed the gap considerably,” says Robinson. “We have a very vibrant, young crop of GOP candidates with great energy.”
Robinson says he believes Oregonians are independent-minded by nature and reject government intruding on personal freedom.
“This is a state made up of very independent people. Even Democrats here do not like bureaucrats telling them how to live their lives,” said Robinson.
As for the Oregon Obamacare fiasco, Democratic Gov. Kitzhaber said Thursday he is “angry” and “disappointed by the rollout of Cover Oregon.”
Robinson says Kitzhaber needs to take responsibility for his failed leadership.
“He may be angry, but he better look in the mirror,” said Robinson. “It’s his fault.”