Conservatives Label Sens. Murkowski, Portman, and Capito ‘Traitors’ for Their Opposition to Repealing Obamacare

Senators Including Murkowski, Portman Alex WongGetty
Alex Wong/Getty

FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, and For America called out Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, and Shelley Moore Capito for betraying their promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said that his group will target Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), all of whom have recently admitted that they would oppose the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill. The bill would repeal most parts of Obamacare and would only require a simple majority in the Senate to repeal Obamacare.

McIntosh called these three senators “traitors,” arguing that they betrayed their previous pledges to repeal Obamacare, especially after all three senators voted to repeal Obamacare in 2015. The Club for Growth president also stated that a vote against the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill is a vote to keep Obamacare in place. McIntosh charged:

Capito, Portman, and Murkowski. They have to choose, do they want to be traitors? Do they want to be the next Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, who ran as Republicans and when the heat was on them turned into Democrats? Because that’s what they would be doing by siding with the Democrats to keep Obamacare. Or do they want to keep their word and repeal Obamacare as they promised to do when they were elected to the United States Senate. Voting no is not an option, and they are sick and tired of politicians like Capito and Portman.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council explained that the Senate Republicans will “have to go on hospice, because they will say goodbye to their majority if they do not repeal Obamacare.”

Ken Cucinelli of the Senate Conservative Fund explained that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ran 30,000 ads in October 2014 to repeal Obamacare. McConnell recently suggested to moderate senators that they will not really cut Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the Senate healthcare bill.

Cuccinelli remarked, “It is that kind of duplicity that is unacceptable any longer to the voters. That is why President Donald Trump successfully labeled Washington, D.C. a swamp, and Mitch McConnell is the head alligator.”

The former Virginia attorney general added that the solution to the swamp is “good conservative candidates in primaries.” Cuccinelli then suggested his Senate Conservative Fund might primary faux-Republicans such as Capito, Portman, and Murkowski.

Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs for FreedomWorks, echoed McIntosh’s rhetoric calling out these moderate senators for their lack of conservatism. Pye said:

We have seen the members of the Senate Traitor Caucus, led by Sen. Susan Collins, we’ve seen Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito, and Lisa Murkowski align themselves with Susan Collins. Collins is the lone Republican senator who voted against the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill. Our activists in West Virginia and Ohio will not take this lying down; we are currently driving calls to them and urging them to stick true to their vote in 2015, knowing that this bill would have been signed into law if there was a Republican president in 2015.

Pye continued:

We can talk about replacement later. We’ve seen 1,000 counties were down to one insurer on the exchanges. Five states are down to one insurer as well. Dozens of counties are down to zero insurers on the marketplaces. We need patient centered free market alternatives. Give taxpayers relief from Obamacare first. We will key vote the motion to proceed on the 2015 repeal bill, and we will triple weight the vote on our scorecards. Not to mention we were giving our freedom fighter awards on Capitol Hill today, and we are developing a new award for those who vote against this motion to proceed. We are calling it the freedom traitor award for those who vote against this motion to proceed. We will deliver the awards to their offices on Monday after the vote and hand them Benedict Arnold statues to them personally. We are prepared for this fight; we will not take this lying down.

David Bozell, president of For America, said that Susan Collins and other moderates continue to perpetuate a fraud based upon their false rhetoric to repeal Obamacare. Bozell said:

It’s no secret here in Washington that liberals like Susan Collins and company are using the Republican party pledge to repeal Obamacare as leverage to advance their own brand of liberalism. Thankfully, I think they’re being exposed as frauds. Their advocacy is being by people with zero political acumen. If the American people had the slightest appetite for their brand of liberal policy John Kasich would be president right now. The Republican party is honor-bound to repeal Obamacare. We expect nothing less.

David McIntosh took a question from a reporter, who asked if it is wise for conservatives to target Republicans who represent moderate states. McIntosh replied, saying:

The three people we are talking about, the traitors who suggested they would not repeal Obamacare, Capito, Portman, and Lisa Murkowski, are all in states that voted for Donald Trump. A Republican senator can win those states, but they have to be a true Republican, and a person of integrity, and keep their word when they get elected. I would just remind people of what happened to Arlen Specter. Pat Toomey ran against Arlen Specter, and eventually Toomey beat Specter and then Specter became a Democrat and then showed his true colors.

McIntosh concluded, “This is a watershed moment and this vote will follow them for years to come. By the way, it is still my hope that these senators vote for the motion to proceed and vote for this bill. I haven’t given up on that and I haven’t given up on them. They still have the chance to make the right decision here and that’s what our efforts are based on, helping them make the right decision.”


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