Cotton conference call covers immigration, ObamaCare, budget fight

posted at 12:01 pm on August 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, Rep. Tom Cotton held a conference call with bloggers to discuss the launch of his Senate campaign, and to brief us on policy questions.  Cotton took on Mark Pryor repeatedly as an unswerving ally of Barack Obama who put Arkansas voters second to the President despite his promises to remain independent.  Cotton hammered Pryor on ObamaCare as he has all this week, calling him the “deciding vote,” but also told bloggers that Pryor’s support for the “amnesty bill” in the Senate surprised him.  Freshman Senator John Bozeman’s vote represented Arkansans more accurately, Cotton said, and emphasized that his focus this summer in the House would be on border security and internal enforcement as priorities.

Cotton began his remarks by reviewing the first week of his campaign.  The reasons he’s running for the Senate are the same as his reasons for running for the House and serving in the Army — he loves his country and wants to serve it.  Mark Pryor puts Barack Obama first, not Arkansas, and Cotton says it’s time for change.  He toured his Congressional district and later more of Arkansas to enthusiastic crowds, promising “a clear choice for Arkansans” and an end to Pryor standing up for Obama instead of Arkansas.

Cotton then took questions from the conference, and my raw notes of the Q&A follow.  Quote marks denote direct quotes, although some of the remarks not in quotes are close to what was said.

  • College editorials — what relevance do they have now? — I dealt with that in the House race, and they prove that I was a conservative then and now.  Daily Caller has also been friendly to him, and those columns are as relevant as fingerpainting I did in elementary school.  Jokes that his mother is keeping those secret.
  • How big will immigration reform be in the campaign? — Surprised that Pryor voted for the “amnesty bill” Bozeman represents Arkansan views on immigration.  Border security and interior enforcement have to come first, and reforming our legal immigration system is a bigger priority than dealing with the illegal immigrants already here.  Received 1800 contacts from Arkansans on immigration — only 12 in favor of the Senate bill.
  • Pryor is embracing his vote for ObamaCare. How well will that play in the state, and how big will that issue be for the election? — It will be a central issue in the campaign, and a lot of voters will be amazed to hear Pryor call it a success story.  Mentions Baptist Health layoffs and shift to part-time work as drivers of the debate. “I suppose that Senator Pryor has to defend his vote, since he was the deciding vote on ObamaCare,” but Cotton doubts that it will work for Pryor.  Later, he said that the political alliance that supported it is “fracturing,” and endorses strategies to stop ObamaCare does more damage than it already has.
  • Two or three of your top domestic policy goals on limiting federal government — One way is to reform the tax code, which just grant special favors to crony capitalists.  Stopping ObamaCare is another key, especially the individual and employer mandates.  Halting out-of-control spending is another key goal, returning spending levels to where they were before the stimulus reset the baselines.
  • What are the unique challenges in Arkansas? — It’s not a deeply conservative/Republican state, despite its performance in presidential elections, but it is rapidly becoming one under Barack Obama.  We are still emerging as a Republican state, which means that the organizational efforts will be a challenge.  The state party is working hard on organizing and GOTV, and commitments from the national GOP organizations.
  • Shutdown strategy – Near-unanimity on repealing, defending, or delaying ObamaCare, using the debt ceiling or the CR as leverage, or stand-alone measures.  We’re still having a lively debate within the caucus on the best way to proceed.  “Barack Obama is the only one talking about a shutdown.”

The Cotton campaign released its first ad overnight, a web-only spot that shows his rollout speech:

Note the emphasis on “I will stand with Arkansas.” Cotton will make Pryor defend Barack Obama whether he wants to do so or not.


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Instead of obama and Michelle bldg. a home in Detroit, they go live like emperors in totally white Martha’s Vineyard…

Today’s obama presser s/b ‘fun’.

The exemption from obama’care’ s/b front/center, alas.

“Phony scandals” too…

What hypocritical buffoons the obama’s are.

Yes, Syrian wild ones admitted in the US, by they thousands.

obama gave Syrian rebels, incl. AlQuaida types, one billion this year, without congressional approval. Nice to be emperor, against his own land.

Yes, yes, it’s all on topic, believe it, or not.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Pryor and Landreu MUST GO!!!

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Landrieu

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Halting out-of-control spending is another key goal, returning spending levels to where they were before the stimulus reset the baselines.

I hate to break it to you, but “returning spending levels to where they were before the stimulus reset the baselines” does not “halt out-of-control spending.”

You’re welcome …

ShainS on August 9, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Did someone ask him to take a stand on the obama’care’ exemption?

Every congresscritter s/b confronted on this illegality.

obama has NO legal authority to exempt anyone, not the employers, not the congress. The R/Ds lobbied him equally on it.

Boehner not to be found. Grassly, the author of it, not to be found. All s/b shamed and thrown OUT!!!

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

The Rs will destroy the land, more than obama.

Plus, two deceiving azzholes of the US. Send both packing.

Zuckerberg, the swine, runs deceiving ads for amnesty, pretending to be a conservative group. It’s been going on for months, and he’s just renewed his efforts now.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

+1000

ShainS on August 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Two or three of your top domestic policy goals on limiting federal government — One way is to reform the tax code, which just grant special favors to crony capitalists. Stopping ObamaCare is another key, especially the individual and employer mandates. Halting out-of-control spending is another key goal, returning spending levels to where they were before the stimulus reset the baselines

98% who read or hear that will nod in approval.

The rest, like me, will equate it with this.

This guy is an idiot. He didn’t say comprehensive tax reform.

Loser.

BobMbx on August 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM

OT, but not really – listen to the video at the bottom.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Speaking of “reducing spending” – work harder, fools.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Yes, Syrian wild ones admitted in the US, by they thousands.

Rubber stamped. No questions asked. Taxpayer funds lavished upon them. Government paid housing. More muslims inside the gate…..what could go wrong.

hawkeye54 on August 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Voters not buying obama’s bullshit.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Boehner not to be found. Grassly, the author of it, not to be found. All s/b shamed and thrown OUT!!!

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

I hear B.O. sent our French Speaker out to pick out the Christmas tree for the Capitol:-) H/T Levin

bluefox on August 9, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

I posted that info on Zuckerberg/Ryan on last night’s QOTD.

Vote Ryan out, and we all win & Zuckie loses:-)

bluefox on August 9, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Thanks Ed for posting this and your info. Sounds like a winner to me. Pryor is on the top of the Senate Conservatives’ list to defeat!

The dontfundit.com website regarding Obamacare for some reason don’t have Tom Cotton listed as a R Senate Candidate yet.

Senator Boozman has not pledged to defund it.
Enzi has, Cheney has not.

bluefox on August 9, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I wish Cotton had run for Governor in 2010, and so he would be a possibility in 2016.

thuja on August 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Zuckerberg, the swine, runs deceiving ads for amnesty, pretending to be a conservative group. It’s been going on for months, and he’s just renewed his efforts now.

Schadenfreude on August 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The alternatives to Facebook, Google Plus and Diaspora, are also leftist. Diaspora may be the more pleasing alternative for conservatives since it is non-profit. Unfortunately 99.9% of the people on Diaspora are to the left of Maxine Waters, but if you enjoy confronting people with different views, you can get a big kick out of it.

https://joindiaspora.com/

thuja on August 9, 2013 at 2:09 PM