In Little Rock, Tom Cotton Criticizes Health Care Law

by Jeannie Nuss, The Associated Press  on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 12:38 pm  

Tom Cotton

LITTLE ROCK - Republican Senate hopeful U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton on Friday continued to criticize the president's signature health care law ahead of next year's election when he hopes to unseat the lone Democrat in Arkansas' congressional delegation.

President Barack Obama remains deeply unpopular in Arkansas, and Cotton seized on that Friday in Little Rock, devoting his address to the Political Animals Club to the federal health care overhaul.

Cotton knocked the flawed website, but he said the technical issues were just the first wave in a series of problems.

"This is one of the rare instances in which I'd have to say that I agree with the president: Obamacare is a lot more than a website," Cotton told the group gathered in Little Rock. "I think he means that once the website is ultimately fixed that the American people will begin to realize the great virtues of Obamacare. Well, what I mean, and I think what most Americans are increasingly realizing is that once the website is fixed, they will only begin to see all the other problems with Obamacare."

Cotton's appearance before the political group comes nearly a year before the 2014 election when he's hoping to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor, who is seeking a third term. Pryor is scheduled to address the Political Animals Club next month.

Cotton has long criticized Pryor for voting for the health care overhaul, but Pryor's campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said there were other issues that Cotton should have discussed on Friday, including disaster aid and student loans.

"I thought those were surprising issues that he didn't bring up during his speech," Weaver said Friday.

After his talk to the Political Animals Club, Cotton, a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, fielded a few questions from the audience including queries about the farm bill and the length of his political service.

"I may not have been in politics for very long, but I've served our country in different ways," Cotton said. "I think if I can take the pressure on the streets of Baghdad or the mountains of Afghanistan, I'm not going to fold to the pressure that you see in the halls of the United States Senate."

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