by Max Brantley
Republican Tom Cotton's campaign has rolled out some online video and web advertising. (What? None on the Arkansas Blog?)
As a public service, the video is posted above. Noted: No smiles in that announcement speech.
ALSO: Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign has released transcripts of remarks he made about the Affordable Care Act. It goes without saying that his remarks were snipped and trimmed disingenously and broadcast and rebroadcast in the most misleading way possible. The transcripts provide the full context. If only voters could read and here the full remarks and not the three-word sound bite — amazing success story.
PRYOR NEWS RELEASE
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican Party of Arkansas and the Club for Growth circulated sound bites this week attempting to distort Sen. Mark Pryor’s public comments on job growth and the Affordable Care Act, which was endorsed by the Arkansas Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association.
“This was a desperate attempt by these intensely partisan groups to warp Sen. Pryor’s words to fit their own agenda, which is not surprising. It’s going to be par for the course,” said Jeff Weaver, Mark Pryor for Senate Campaign Manager. “Mark Pryor’s words speak for themselves as he continues to put Arkansas first.”
Full transcript on Sen. Pryor’s comments about job growth at The State Chamber meeting Thursday:
“I think we have reasons to be optimistic about our country, about our future and I think we need to embrace that and move forward. You can look at the economic data right now. You all watch this closer than anybody. You look at our activity at factories and it’s growing at the fastest pace in two years. The trade gap, even though it’s bad, you want it to get better, it’s actually improving. Exports are actually improving, that’s a good thing for Arkansas we do a lot of exports here. Home sales are a good thing, it didn’t get as much publicity as I thought it would, but great news that Moody not long ago was ready to put us back at a AAA rating and I think that’s important as we move forward. And Randy [Zook] knows this because he lives it everyday like a lot of the rest of you do as well, we’ve had a lot of good jobs announcements here in Arkansas. And I know we’ve had some losses, we get that, we understand that, we look at some areas and see the losses and that’s just part of being in a capitalist economy and this global economy that we’re in. But, nonetheless, you look at 1,000 new jobs with Serco, 150 new jobs with Fidelity, 200 new jobs with Sites call center in Alma, 100 new jobs with Mercy Hospital, etc, etc, etc. You know, good things are happening in this state and we need to embrace that. And again, Arkansas’ got a good business climate, we need to promote that, you guys do a great job of running that and you all do that every day.”
Sen. Pryor’s comments about the Affordable Care Act at The State Chamber meeting Thursday:
“Let me say on the front end: the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect. We need to go in and reform it and fix it. By the way, I’ve sponsored and co-sponsored some legislation — we’ve already passed some — and we’ve got more coming that I’m either the lead sponsor or co-sponsor of. The answer to your question is: I came to the conclusion that the Affordable Care Act was the right thing for Arkansas. I think you can look and see it’s already starting to work, it is working.
Look at what the state legislature did on the Medicaid expansion. Arkansas was creative, we did the private option, the so-called private option. When you add that and the exchanges together, there’s going to be close to 500,000 Arkansans — that’s one-sixth of our population — close to 500,000 Arkansans who are going to have private insurance for the first time or the first time in a long time.
Think about what that’s going to do, the Rand study, when they studied this six months ago, they said this is going to create 6,000 new jobs in Arkansas. People talk about this being job killers — I just went through a list: a 1,000 new jobs at Serco, 150 new jobs at Fidelty, 200 new jobs at Sikes call center, 100 new jobs at Mercy Hospital.
This bill isn’t killing jobs, this bill is creating jobs.
We’ve got a 1,000 new jobs in Rogers, Arkansas directly because of this bill. Also, there is a vote of conscience there as well. We’re the greatest country in the world, no doubt. But we have a big problem with health care in this country. We’ve got so many people who can’t afford to be in the health care system — they can’t afford it.
Closing the donut hole on Medicare;
Allowing young adults to stay on parents’ health insurance to age 26;
Eliminating pre-existing conditions;
Creating quality care rankings for hospitals to create better consumer demand;
Rebate checks from insurance companies
Issuing tax credits for small businesses and individuals to have more insurance options.
Let’s take the good in the law and build on that. They [Republicans] are not offering a solution. They’re just saying, ‘repeal, repeal, repeal.’ What they were saying a year or two ago was ‘repeal and replace.’ What I told my Republican colleagues in the House and the Senate was, ‘Guys, if you’ll give me something better to vote for, I’ll vote for it. You put something on paper — I’m not talking about a press conference — I’m not talking about a set of talking points — I’m talking about you put legislative language on paper. If it’s better, I’ll vote for it.’You know what you get out them? Crickets. Because they won’t put it on paper.”
Full transcript on Sen. Pryor’s comments about Mercy Hospital success in Rogers on Tuesday:
“Well I would say if you want a good opinion about Obamacare go right here to Mercy Hospital and ask them how they feel about it. It’s been an amazing success story so far. Now the other side won’t ever tell you that. They won’t tell you all the good things that are working. There are a lot of things in here that are working. You talk to a lot of people like this and they’ll tell you. And there’s still some uncertainty as we go forward, but we’re going to improve the quality of care. We already started doing that. We’re going to level the playing field between patients and the insurance companies. We already started to do that. So you know there’s a good story to tell there. And one of the reasons why these third party outside groups don’t like me is because I do two things that drives them crazy. First, I read the bill and second I listen to the folks back home. So they don’t want that kind of senator. They want someone who’s going to be in lockstep and just going to cow tow to them because they throw all this money in these races. That’s not the kind of senator I am. People in Arkansas know that. I'm never going to be that type of senator. I'm going to represent this state. And I'm going to be stubbornly independent just like the people in the state are stubbornly independent. That's what I'm going to be. And if you look at the Senate right now clearly I'm the most independent senator in Washington.”
Audio files attached.