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MEMO: Democrats' Lie of the Year

- December 18, 2013

FROM: RNC Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski @kakukowski 
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Democrats' Lie Of The Year 

Last week, PolitiFact awarded the Lie of the Year to President Obama for the infamous promise, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
But it’s not just President Obama who deserves the prize. Several Democrat Senators and Congressmen—including those running for the Senate next November—were his willing accomplices, deliberately misleading the American people as they tried to defend ObamaCare. They weren’t just quoting the president. They were putting their own credibility on the line. It was a team effort, and they are the rightful co-winners of Lie of the Year.
It’s doubtful ObamaCare would have passed without that lie. As such, that lie had consequences: over five million Americans have received cancellation notices for their individual insurance plans because of ObamaCare.
This was no small fib. Americans have a right to be upset, and November 2014 will be their chance to do something about it. And we guarantee we’ll replay or reproduce those words as often as possible. Voters need to know these candidates cannot be trusted to keep their promises.
Here’s a sampling of vulnerable Democrats running for Senate repeating the Lie of the Year:

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), 2009: “If you like your current health insurance, you will be able to keep it. And you will be able to continue seeing your current doctor.” (“What Health Care Reform Means For You,” Office Of Sen. Jeff Merkley, 8/11/09)
  • Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), 2009: “If you’ve got health insurance, in our country, you keep it. Whatever we do, I don’t want to dismantle any system where people are happy with the coverage that they have.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Remarks At HCAN Rally, 6/25/09)
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), 2009: “Those individuals who like the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan.” (Sen. Mary Landrieu, Floor Remarks, 12/22/09)
  • Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), 2009: “If you're covered and you like your insurance, you can keep it.” (Kathleen Gray, “Peters Queried, Not Booed, Over Health Care,” Detroit Free Press, 8/20/09)
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), 2009: “Everyone will have the freedom to keep their health care plan if they like it.” (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Floor Remarks, 10/15/09)
  • Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), 2009: “Alaskans who have health insurance now, and are happy with it, can keep it.” (Press Release, “Sen. Begich Statement On Passage Of Health Reform Bill,” Sen. Mark Begich, 12/24/09)
  • Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), 2010: “This bill will…allow Americans to maintain their choice of health insurance.” (Press Release, Braley Statement On House Passage Of Health Care Reform,” Rep. Bruce Braley, 3/25/10)
  • Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), 2009: “Elements of this package will…protect and expand an individual’s choice of doctors and insurance plans without any government interference.” (Press Release, “On Senate Passage Of Health Care Reform,” Sen. Mark Pryor, 12/24/09)
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), 2009: “I’m not going to support a health care reform plan that’s gonna take away health care that you’ve got right now or a health care plan that you like.” (Sen. Mark Warner, “Mark Warner: Can I keep my health insurance?,” YouTube, 8/10/2009)
  • Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), 2009: “If you have an insurance policy you like, a doctor or medical facility that provides medical services to you, you’ll be able to keep your doctor or your plan.” (Christina Salvo, “Sen. Mark Udall Talks On Health Care Reform,” Fox 21 News, 9/2/09)

This lie undermines the credibility of each of these candidates. It’s already taken a toll on President Obama’s. A recent Quinnipiac poll found a majority of Americans, 52 percent, now say he is “not honest and trustworthy.”
The trend cuts across demographics. Among Hispanics, disapproval of ObamaCare has increased by 11 points in the last three months according to Pew. The president’s approval rating among Hispanics has dropped 23 points—the biggest dive in major subgroups, according to Gallup.
Polling in the states has shown bad news for individual Democrats too. Their numbers have plummeted with their lies in the headlines:

  • In Colorado, where residents oppose ObamaCare by a 16-point margin, Mark Udall’s approval-disapproval numbers have fallen from 50-33 in April to 40-41 in a December PPP poll.
  • In Louisiana, where only one-third of residents support ObamaCare, Mary Landrieu’s disapproval rating is at 50.5%. Before the ObamaCare rollout, 41% disapproved.
  • In Michigan, where 63 percent say the implementation of ObamaCare has been unsuccessful, Gary Peters’ 7-point lead in the Senate race turned into a 2-point deficit in just two months.
  • In North Carolina, where residents oppose ObamaCare by a 12-point margin, Kay Hagan has seen her lead evaporate, and her approval ratings are now underwater.

Republicans will make sure voters don’t forget these Senators and Congressmen lied to them. And that will require nothing more than just repeating their own words over and over and over again.
They can’t expect to hide from their own records.
2013’s Lie of the Year will echo on into 2014. As a result, perhaps 2014’s Lie of the Year will be “If Democrats like their Senate majority, they can keep it.”

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