Rep. Steve Israel: It's Tougher To Run as a Republican in 2014 than as a Democrat
JANSING: "You spoke this week at the National Press Club. You did call this a tough climate for Democrats. How tough is it right now?"
ISRAEL: "Well it is a tough climate, but it's going to be much tougher to be a Republican running on the budget they just produced, which stacks the deck for the special interests and turns their backs on the middle class. So I'll give you an example: if you are a middle class voter in any one of the districts that we're competing in, you get a $2,000 tax increase under this House Republican budget. if you're a millionaire anywhere in America, you get a $200,000 tax cut. That's a defining issue. Those priorities are all wrong, and we're going to run on our priorities to invest in the middle class and expand the economy, versus their priorities, which is to protect the special interest on the expense of the middle class."
JANSING: "Let's talk about their strategy and how you plan to answer it. And start with the ObamaCare enthusiasm gap. Here's what Politico's analysis is. Quote, 'in races across the country, Democrats and their supporters are tailoring campaign ads in a way that distances the candidates from the health law's problems, casts them as potential saviors and warns of dire consequences if Republicans are back in charge.' That includes Ann Kirkpatrick, obviously a congresswoman from Arizona. You see the Senators, Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich, Mark Warner. Given that climate and given how strongly and for so long the Republicans have gone after ObamaCare, clearly, when you look at the polls to some success, is the best answer for most people just to talk about ObamaCare as little as possible?"
ISRAEL: "No, the best answer is to talk about how we can fix and improve the Affordable Care Act where it can be fixed and improved. Look, 60 --"
JANSING: "Would you agree that's a more nuanced and difficult argument to make?"
ISRAEL: "No. There are two things we need to do. First, You know, Politico cites data and poll. I'll tell you what polling tells us, 60 percent of voters want to either keep, fix, or improve the Affordable Care Act, 22 percent favor repeal. That's number one. Number two, when people realize what repeal means -- and we're going on offense on this -- when voters realize that what the Republicans want to do is repeal the whole thing so that if you're a woman and you have breast cancer, you lose your insurance again. If you're a senior, you pay an additional $1,200 for your prescription drugs. If you're a student, you get kicked off your parent's health insurance. When people understand exactly what Republican repeal means they are more angry with Republican repeal. So we're going on offense on those issues, and we're going to continue to stay on offense on this Republican budget which completely devastates the middle class."