One of the leading critics of Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton’s effort to delay the onset of certain provisions of Obamacare has been conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
“This would be a tone-deaf disaster if the Republican leadership lets Fred Upton ascend to the chairmanship of the House energy committee,” Limbaugh said on his radio show earlier this week. “This is exactly the kind of nannyism, statism, what have you, that was voted against and was defeated last week. No Republican complicit in nannyism, statism, can be rewarded this way.”
On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Friday night, Upton suggested Limbaugh check with him before launching into his criticism, pointing to the reactions from conservative groups and the media to dispute Limbaugh’s notion.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEWITT: OK, now you have tempted me into breaking my no first name rule, because I’m going to use two of them. So Fred, yesterday, Rush urged the House not to touch this, because it in essence, it’s throwing a lifeline to the President and saving a bill that’s collapsing, don’t get near it, don’t ruin the brand, go for full repeal. What’s your response to that?
UPTON: Well, a couple of things, and you know, it would have been nice if he had maybe checked in with us and gotten information. We had a lot of groups, Club for Growth and others endorse our bill. A couple of things — first of all, what do you say to those millions of people that are all of a sudden out of luck come January 1? That’s not what we ought to be doing. We ought to be thinking about those people. The other thing is I’m just looking at the headlines today, Hugh. And in The Wall Street Journal, I mean, these are headlines that are like war is over. ‘Obama Retreats On Health Rules,’ left to right, right underneath the banner. New York Times: ‘In A Reversal, Obama Moves To Avert The Cancellation Of Health Policies,’ and it’s got a pretty sour face in his picture right underneath it, right underneath the banner. USA Today: ‘Health Law Shakes Presidency,’ left to right. Washington Times: Same picture of the president, ‘The Obamacare Retreat.’ Washington Post: Picture of a — not very flattering pictures of the president, ‘Obama Offers a Insurance Fix,’ ‘And you know, that’s on me. I mean, we fumbled the rollout on this health care law.’
UPTON: We’ve done in a week’s time what a shutdown and everything else, where we didn’t have the numbers, let’s face it, to try and reverse the fix that we’re in.
As for why Upton put the delay at just a year, Upton said that was the best way to ensure it got passed.
“We wanted to pass it,” he said. “That was our objective. We wanted to provide some immediate relief to the people that were bitterly concerned about the prospects of their own plan. We thought a one year was good enough that we would not only keep most of the Republicans, and we did, but have a good chance of getting a number of Democrats as well, which we did. Remember, we won by more than 100 votes. Had we done a longer period, it might have been more of a showpiece than an actual piece that you could actually get done, and we wanted to, again, two days ago, before the president undercut us with what is in essence his executive order. We had more than 300 votes for this.”