Heidi Heitkamp’s Latest Gambit: Claim Rick Berg Supports Obamacare
I’ve long said that, to the extent Republican Senate candidate Rick Berg has a weakness, it’s that his support among conservatives in North Dakota is tepid at times. He faced a not-entirely-serious primary challenge from perennial federal candidate Duane Sand that managed to collect about 30% of the primary vote. Democrats have tired to make hay out of the fact that Berg’s popularity isn’t as strong as one might expect in a state as dominated by Republicans as North Dakota.
Of course, I’m not sure that’s going to translate into North Dakotans deciding to elect a true-blue liberal masquerading as a moderate like Heidi Heitkamp, but I digress.
In their latest political gambit to undermine Berg’s electability, Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign is now trying to claim that Rick Berg has actually “flip-flopped” on Obamacare pointing to several provisions in the law he supports. It’s an appeal Heitkamp is making to conservative voters (which is no doubt why they pitched it to a conservative publication like the Daily Caller) in an attempt to further demoralize their support for Berg.
“I think that’s just political posturing,” said Heitkamp spokesman Brandon Lorenz. Heitkamp, he said, has been consistent in her message that there are good things and bad things.
Lorenz attacked Heitkamp’s opponent, Republican Rep. Rick Berg, who in a statement Thursday seemed to back away from his call for a complete repeal of the law. Berg’s spokesman told Flickertales from the Hill that the candidate wanted “fiscally-sustainable bipartisan health-care reform that occurs in an open process to protect our most vulnerable residents.”
“We need bipartisan health-care reform that contains a frontier states provision, closes the donut hole, and doesn’t deny coverage for pre-existing conditions,” the spokesman added.
The Berg campaign did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment on whether or not this constituted a change of heart.
Lorenz called it a “pretty shameless flip-flop on the issue.”
You’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty nifty rhetorical trick. If your candidate is being accused of being an enormous hypocrite on Obamacare and you can’t defend your candidate because the fact of the hypocrisy is, you know, sort of true then obviously the best defense is a good offense. Accuse your opponent of being an Obamacare lover and make them deny it.
The problem, of course, is that what the Heitkamp campaign is saying isn’t true. One of Berg’s first votes upon reaching the House was to repeal Obamacare, and here’s what he actually said yesterday in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
To be fair, I’m not exactly enthused about the fact that Berg supports getting rid of pre-existing conditions. This is a ludicrous position that would destroy the very nature of insurance. If people are allowed to put off getting insurance until they’re sick then insurance companies have no way to collect revenues from people who aren’t sick in order to pay for treatment for the people who are sick.
Because why would you pay for insurance when you’re not sick if you could just buy it when you need it?
That being said, Berg will be a vote to get rid of the monstrosity that is Obamacare, which Heitkamp was a ardent supporter of (until she became a Senate candidate and decided that having doubts about the law would be politically advantageous).Tags: brandon lorenz, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, obamacare, preexisting conditions, Rick Berg