The cross-country tea party campaign against the federal health care law visited Raleigh on Wednesday with a small rally at a downtown hotel. The Tea Party Express political action committee was here to put pressure on North Carolinas congressional delegation to sign a letter vowing to block any legislation that funds the Affordable Care Act.
That poses the threat of shutting down the federal government, if enough members of Congress take that stance, because it would certainly lead to a standoff over defunding Obamacare.
A number of Republican members of Congress, including those who oppose the health law but want to avoid a shutdown, have derided the letter campaign, among them Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, who called it the dumbest idea Ive ever heard.
Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer responded to Burr in an interview after the event.
I think its an insult to the people across America who dont want Obamacare and believe that we send our representatives to work for us, she said. Its an insult that he doesnt work for us. By that comment, it shows right there that he is not listening to his constituents.
U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary and Eastern North Carolina Tea Party director Karen Kozel also spoke at the rally, which drew about two dozen supporters and some TV cameras.
While the Tea Party Express has been holding similar events around the country, liberal groups such as Protect Your Care have countered them with their own rallies and other public relations strategies. Protect Your Care has a North Carolina staff, which issued a response Wednesday:
Any Senate candidate calling for a government shutdown is campaigning against children with pre-existing conditions and is willing to hold military pay hostage, said Candice Davies of Protect Your Care N.C. Instead of acting like stubborn mules, why dont we work together to make Obamacare better.
Burr urges action on Syria
Burr on Wednesday urged military action against Syria. Civilized people should be outraged by the deaths of thousands of Syrian civilians and the many more who have been maimed in this horrible civil war, Burr said in a statement.
The Syrian regimes use of chemical weapons against civilians is morally repugnant and violates long held standards of conduct. Short of putting troops on the ground, it is time for the United States and our NATO allies to take necessary, punitive military action against the Syrian regime and send a clear signal to its leadership, and others in the region who may be contemplating using weapons of this nature, that there are consequences for these actions.
News 14 TV in Charlotte reported that Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., said she doesnt support deploying troops to Syria. She said doing so would require serious consideration.
Rouzer fills campaign slots
Former state Sen. David Rouzer on Wednesday announced key members of his campaign for U.S. Congress.
Brock McCleary of Pennsylvania will be the campaigns general consultant. McCleary until last year held senior positions in the National Republican Congressional Committee. He has worked as communications director for U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry and has worked on other state and federal campaigns.
Bob Rosser, president of Impact Strategies in Raleigh, will be a senior adviser. Rosser is a longtime politico in North Carolina, dating back to Sen. Jesse Helms campaigns. He has also worked for the state House and Senate Republican caucuses.
Nicole McClesky of Public Opinion Strategies will be the pollster. She has conducted focus groups for Republican campaigns, including Mitt Romney in 2012, and the Republican Governors Association.
Brad Todd and Guy Harrison of Virginia-based On Message Inc. will develop digital content for the campaign. Todd has consulted on the campaigns of Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, and members of Congress. Harrison has been executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Sarah Hill Waters will be finance director and Jessica Wood communications director.
Both worked on Rouzers unsuccessful and highly expensive campaign in the 7th Congressional District last year.
Staff writers Craig Jarvis and Rob Christensen
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