Chief among the attacks from Ron Barber against Jesse Kelly were quotes from Kelly’s last campaign regarding Social Security and Medicare. Kelly claimed that the attacks were unfair, but refused to explain his alleged change of heart.
Unfair or no (I say “no”), it was clear that Kelly wanted to campaign as the defender of Social Security and Medicare, if the yellow police-tape like decorations on his signs were to be believed.
The thing that struck me about this was how many of the Republican budget ideas out there revolve around big changes, eviscerations really, to both programs. If these are such fantastic ideas, why not campaign on them? Especially in a Republican district like the one Kelly was running in.
It was clear that Kelly was warned off by folks in the NRCC, who presumably are tasked with selling things like the Paul Ryan budget to voters.
It appears what happened with Kelly is not an isolated case. Talking Points Memo has a story about a Republican incumbent who is not only campaigning against Medicare privatization, but for Obamacare’s Medicare provisions.
Barack Obama is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, and the congressman in question is not in a particularly tough race. This is not a guy that needs to “moderate” or “reach out.” It seems to be exactly the sort of campaign where a candidate can proudly say he’s for everything the caucus is pushing for.
If these ideas are so fantastic and are what the American people asked for, why can’t they get their candidates to campaign on them?