Conservatives not satisfied with Mitch McConnell on Obamacare – Burgess Everett and Anna Palmer – POLITICO.com

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Four days before Election Day, conservatives are attacking Mitch McConnell, potentially the next Senate majority leader and in a tight race himself, as insufficiently committed to repealing Obamacare.

At issue are McConnell’s remarks to Neil Cavuto of Fox News on Tuesday, when McConnell said that a standalone repeal of the health care law would take 60 votes and a presidential signature — essentially an impossibility during the next term of Congress.

After conservatives and liberals alike divined a change in McConnell’s position this week, McConnell’s office reasserted Thursday that the GOP leader is “committed to the full repeal of Obamacare,” including by budget reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes and has been mentioned frequently by McConnell, but was omitted in the Cavuto interview.

This clarification is not enough for some conservative activists. L. Brent Bozell’s group, ForAmerica, posted on Facebook McConnell’s campaign office phone number and instructed callers to jam McConnell’s campaign phone lines and tell him to “stand with conservatives.”

Bozell says he won’t stand down until McConnell personally commits to Obamacare repeal via reconciliation if Republicans take the Senate majority this election. Bozell said the statement from a McConnell spokesman on Thursday was a “good first step. But no, it’s not enough.”

“He seemingly backed away from what he has been pledging for years to do. And people need to know, because it’s serious and he’s solemnly pledged and done so over and over that he would repeal Obamacare,” Bozell said in a phone interview. “No. 1, it needs to come from the senator, who is the one who went on Cavuto. His spokesman didn’t go on Cavuto. Second of all, the word ‘willing’ is not what I am looking for. It’s ‘will.’”

Asked in Kentucky Friday about the angst in his party’s right flank, McConnell said he remains open to budget reconciliation or “anything that may work” to attack the law but maintained that scrapping the law with Obama in office is implausible.

“There is no way to push me any further to the right on Obamacare than I am. My goal would be to get rid of it, but practically speaking with President Obama in the White House that’s probably not going to happen,” he said. “We’ll certainly be voting on it … the 40-hour work week, medical device tax, the individual mandate, all of that is part of Obamacare.”

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