BISMARCK— North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Rick Berg issued the following statement on tonight’s debate:
“Tonight’s debate presented North Dakota voters with a clear choice in this race. I would like to congratulate Kelly Armstrong on his excellent debate performance, and I look forward to helping him get elected this November.”
Heidi Heitkamp is out with a new ad falsely attacking Kevin Cramer on pre-existing conditions. Like Heitkamp, Cramer has consistently supportedprotecting coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. During efforts to repeal Obamacare, he voted for the MacArthur amendment, which explicitly states under no circumstances can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing conditions.
But unlike Heitkamp, Cramer knows we need to reform our nation’s broken health care system. Under Obamacare, which Heitkamp has repeatedly supported, North Dakotans have seen:
- Costs skyrocket, with premiums increasing by 44%
- Medicare funding gutted
- Entire countieswith zero health care providers
REMINDER: Heidi Heitkamp’s political posturing on health care is nothing new. Despite feigning dissatisfaction with the disastrous law before the 2012 election, Heitkamp has been a diehard supporter of Obamacare, voting for it every chance she’s had while in Washington. This health care debate is just another example of why North Dakotans can’t trust Heidi with six more years in the Senate.
“Heidi Heitkamp’s repeated lies about Cramer’s stance on pre-existing conditions won’t work,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “Heitkamp’s support for Obamacare has saddled North Dakotans with higher costs, worse care, and fewer options; and voters will remember that in November.”
Heidi Heitkamp finally caved to weeks of pressure and agreed to meet with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh today.
Just don’t expect to see any photos of the two– Heitkamp refused to allow reporters take pictures of their meeting or ask her for a comment:
Hiding Heidi trying to avoid this issue is nothing new– she “practically jogged” away from reporters trying to ask about it.
Heidi Heitkamp has been feeling the heat from all sides of this debate:
— Conservative groups are rallyingoutside her campaign office
— Her socialist base is writingletters to urge her to vote no
— The people of North Dakota overwhelmingly supportthe Kavanaugh nomination
— Chuck Schumer toldher: “Stay as neutral as you can, as long as you can.”
Judging by Heitkamp’s refusal to let North Dakotans know where she stands, it’s clear whose voice Heidi is listening to. Chuck Schumer has already poured millions of dollars in ads into North Dakota, and Heitkamp needs his help to save her failing campaign.
“Even though Heidi Heitkamp won’t allow the press to take photos of today’s meeting, her actions paint a clear picture of a vulnerable Democrat who only cares about her reelection campaign,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “Heitkamp needs to drop the juggling act and stand up for the people of North Dakota by voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.”
Kevin Cramer’s Senate campaign launched a new ad calling out Heitkamp’s liberal allies for their incredibly misleading claims on Cramer’s record.
BACKGROUND: Heidi Heitkamp’s Democrat party boss and high-five partnerChuck Schumer descended on North Dakota to try to help save her failing campaign. Schumer’s Super PAC is airing a false attack adon Cramer’s vote to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements. What the ad leaves out— Heidi Heitkamp also voted“to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef and pork.”
“Desperate to save their fellow liberal Heidi Heitkamp, National Democrats like Chuck Schumer have now resorted to attacking Kevin Cramer for voting for the laws Heitkamp also voted for,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers are ready to stand with Kevin Cramer this November, and one misleading ad won’t change that.”
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) just endorsed Kevin Cramer’s Senate campaign. During the announcement, Cramer promised that “in the Senate, I’ll continue the fight to make sure our economy stays on track.”
Given Heitkamp’s abysmal record on jobs and the economy, support from small businesses for Cramer is no surprise. As a Senator, Heitkamp:
- voted against lower taxes for individuals and small businesses
- opposed repealing harmful, Obama-era regulations
- supports healthcare laws that increase costs and make it harder for small businesses to grow
- endorsed Hillary Clinton, who thought President Trump’s economic policies that led to 4.1% GDP growth would “throw us into a recession.”
“Senator Heitkamp has failed North Dakota’s small business community,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “With her liberal, out-of-touch record of supporting higher taxes and harmful regulations, North Dakotans know they can’t trust Heitkamp with six more years in the United States Senate.”
Heidi Heitkamp spent this weekend walking back her frequent, over-the-topic rhetoric on trade.
— First, Heitkamp’s Senate office was forced to delete a tweet that claimed “A study shows that corn, soybean and wheat farmers across the U.S. have already lost $13 billion because of the administration’s trade war.” Unfortunately for Heitkamp, no such study exists, and those numbers are wrong.
— Meanwhile, Heitkamp herself toldthe Editorial Board of The Jamestown Sun the Administration’s $12 billion trade assistance package was “necessary and appropriate for farmers,” a complete change from when she criticizedthe plan and introducedcompeting legislation of her own.
REMINDER: Heidi Heitkamp is playing politics with North Dakota’s farmers to try to save her failing campaign. As Rob Port previously reported, “What is political advantageous for her [Heitkamp] is for farmers to bleed. She needs them to feel pain, or at least think they’re going to feel pain, so she can capitalize on it politically.”
In case you missed it…
The Truth Is Inconvenient for Senator Heitkamp’s Political Strategy
Rob Port | Say Anything Blog
Last month I noted that Senator Heidi Heitkamp has put herself in a political position where she needs her constituents to feel pain. The self-styled “independent” voted with the rest of the national Democratic party against the Trump tax cuts. She has positioned herself in opposition to Trump’s efforts on trade. Heitkamps needs North Dakotans to bleeding thanks to these policies – or to at least feel like they’re bleeding – in order to demonstrate the efficacy of her decisions.
Which brings us to a Washington Postfact checkpublished today which prompted Senator Heitkamp’s team to delete a tweet about crop prices.
“A study shows that corn, soybean and wheat farmers across the U.S. have already lost $13 billion because of the administration’s trade war,” a now-deleted tweet from the Senator read. “We need trade policies that make sense for North Dakota, protect farmers and ranchers, and open up markets.”
The Postnotes that the “study” referenced in the tweet, which was deleted after the paper made inquiries about it, wasn’t a study at all. It was actually a claim made in an op/ed by the National Farmer’s Union, a Democrat-aligned agriculture group, which in turn had cribbed it from a Wall Street Journalarticle:
When the Fact Checker asked to see the study, Heitkamp’s office pointed us to an op-ed from the National Farmers Unionthat was referenced in a New York Timesarticle. But the National Farmers Union said the calculation was not its work. Instead, it said, it obtained the factoid from a quote in an article in the Wall Street Journal.
It turns out the $13 billion in losses is based on a calculation using projected crop production numbers and prices from the futures market. Only, the markets are volatile. As the Postnotes, the prices go up and down. “The volatility is particularly clear when you fast-forward to Aug. 8. On that day, Hurt pegged a $9 billion decline in corn, soybean and wheat crops. In other words, the situation had improved almost 40 percent in just two weeks,” they report.
“Heitkamp’s office deletedher tweet after our inquiries,” the Postreports, and they give the Senator some credit for that, though not as much credit as they would have if she’d had the integrity to post a corrective tweet. “It’s good that she deleted her tweet, but she would have more credibility if she had deleted it with an acknowledgement of her error,” the Postwrites.
Heitkamp’s tweet says there has “already” been $13 billion in losses thanks to Trump’s trade policies, but that’s not really true. Any losses which may or may not occur will happen when farmers pick a price point at which to sell their crops. What’s more, many farmers lock in prices ahead of time, meaning the volatility in prices now has no impact on them at all.
But Heitkamp can’t afford to acknowledge the error. The truth, in this situation, is not convenient for her re-election strategy.
By the way, the Postarticle makes another interesting point. They point out that crop prices are coming down off some booming highs. We saw a rise in crop prices through a peak in 2016. Those high prices combined with generally favorable growing conditions has resulted in a sharp rise in production. Which, in turn, has driven prices back down in accordance with the laws of supply and demand.
It’s politically convenient right now for politicians like Heitkamp to make it seem like crop prices hinge on just one variable – in this instance trade policies they oppose – but the truth is much more complicated.
Heidi Heitkamp told Breitbart News last night she supports border security and, “yes, funding for a wall.”
This new position is a direct contradiction to Heitkamp’s own rhetoric and record:
- Her first year in office, Heitkamp voted against a border fence.
- In 2016, she fervently supported Hillary Clinton, who made opposing Trump’s border wall a centerpiece of her campaign.
- Just last year, Heitkamp criticized President Trump’s plan to build this wall, saying “I just wish we could get beyond that.”
With a disastrously weak record on immigration, including consistent support for funding sanctuary cities, North Dakotans aren’t buying Heitkamp’s campaign reincarnation as a border security hawk.
“Heidi Heitkamp has spent her time in Washington opposing a border wall and efforts to combat illegal immigration,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “North Dakotans support combating illegal immigration and they know Heidi Heitkamp does not.”
Support for Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s decision to join a lawsuit challenging Obamacare continues to grow as Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread announced yesterday his endorsement of the action.
Commissioner Godfread knows Obamacare is not only unconstitutional, but simply bad for North Dakota. In supporting this lawsuit, Commissioner Godfread is standing with our farmers, ranchers, and small businesses who desperately need relief from the burdensome effects of this disastrous legislation.
In case you missed it…
N.D. insurance commissioner backs attorney general in ACA lawsuit
Jack Dura | Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread says he supports Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s entry into a Texas federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
In a letter on Tuesday, North Dakota’s Democratic-NPL Party called for Stenehjem to withdraw from the 20-state lawsuit, citing consequences for the state’s Medicaid expansion and state residents afforded protections by the federal health care law. Godfread said his department has filed an affidavit in the case, outlining issues he sees in North Dakota.
“In short order, we are extremely supportive of the attorney general continuing this lawsuit and have assisted him along the way,” he told the Tribune.
Godfread invoked the group of residents in North Dakota — largely small business owners, farmers and ranchers — who don’t qualify for an individual market subsidy as having “taken the brunt of the impact of the ACA.”
North Dakota had “a robust marketplace” before the ACA, with options for residents with pre-existing conditions, according to Godfread. He said about the same percentage of state residents are uninsured as before the ACA became law — 8 percent to 10 percent — amid a larger state population.
“I will argue until I am blue in the face that, prior to the ACA, we didn’t have the problems that the ACA sought to fix,” he said, pointing to new problems, including cost increases.
Godfread’s department is underway in a study with an outside firm to find any flexibility in the state’s insurance market, with findings to come this fall. His department is also exploring what changes might need to be made on the state level should the Texas suit prevail but “we’re years away from a decision on this case,” Godfread said.
He also leveled criticism at state Democrats in their figure of 316,000 North Dakota residents with pre-existing conditions who “would lose the critical ACA safeguards which grant them access to affordable health care insurance coverage.” Godfread called that figure “downright irresponsible.”
“To stand there and say that roughly just under half of our citizens are at risk if this lawsuit’s successful is factually inaccurate, and I don’t know where they got that number,” the first-term Republican said.
Democratic-NPL spokesman Alex Rich said the party sourced the number of North Dakota residents with pre-existing conditions from the Center for American Progress.
Godfread said 84 percent of North Dakota residents receive health insurance coverage through employers or a government program, such as Medicaid or Medicare.
The state Republican Party also bit back at the Democratic-NPL letter. NDGOP spokesman Jake Wilkins called the ACA “an election issue” that Democrats see “they can exploit.”
“As the liberal left continues to play politics by promoting this harmful legislation, Republicans will focus on pushing health care solutions for North Dakotans that will lower premiums, expand available options and protect those with pre-existing conditions,” he said in a statement.
In the article below, Rob Port details the recent acts of desperation by Heidi Heitkamp, including her most recent immigration flip-flop and the excuses she’s already making for losing this election.
It’s no surprise her campaign is in full-panic mode. If I had nothing more than Heitkamp’s liberal, out-of-touch record and excuses the voters aren’t buying, I’d be panicked too.
In case you missed it…
It Kinda Seems Like the Heitkamp Campaign Is Panicking
Rob Port | Say Anything Blog
A couple of things have happened which make me think that Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign is in full-on panic mode.
For one thing the Democratic Senator gave an exclusive interviewto Breitbart– yes, that Breitbart, a news outlet derided by Heitkamp’s political base as a digital den for white nationalists – in which she touted her supposedly long-time support for a border wall.
“I’ve always supported increased and enhanced border security along our southwest border with Mexico – including physical barriers, sensors, drones, and more resources at our ports of entry – and yes, wall funding as well. My votes clearly reflect a commitment to robust border security funding,” Heitkamp said.
I’m not sure that squares with the Senator’s voting record. “I just wish we could get beyond it,” she said of the border wall issue last year. She voted against a border fence in 2013. She voted against cracking down on sanctuary cities in 2015, 2016, and 2018.
This year she also voted for legislation which would have provided permanent residence for illegal immigrants without funding a border wall.
But it’s not just that Heitkamp, despite the aforementioned voting record, is suddenly pitching herself as a border hawk to an “alt-right” website (to use the parlance of the Senator’s political base). She’s also playing the Russia card:
Heitkamp, responding to a question during a meeting with The Forum Editorial Board, said she believes the Russians could try to intercede on Cramer’s behalf in the race.
“I would be a fool if I didn’t think that was true,” Heitkamp said.
To be fair to Heitkamp she was responding to a question from theFargo Forumeditorial board, who in turn was working off a batty columnby left wing commentator Lloyd Omdahl, but if I had to guess I’d say the editorial board was probably surprised that Heitkamp took a bite at that particular apple.
Cramer, for his part, laughed it off. “It sounds like a really pathetic excuse for poor performance in the election in advance,” he said.
That’s what I thought too when I read the initial story about Heitkamp’s comments (which, at the time, didn’t yet include Cramer’s response).
Is Heitkamp laying the ground work to excuse what would be a devastating loss on the statewide ballot for North Dakota Democrats this cycle?
It kinda seems like it. Blaming the Russians would mean Democrats wouldn’t have to acknowledge that they stand for things most voters here just don’t want.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s visit to Grand Forks today serves as a clear reminder to North Dakotans of Heidi Heitkamp’s strong support for sanctuary cities.
Sec. Nielsen appeared on Fox News just last night to explain the danger sanctuary cities pose, saying “when jurisdictions decide not to cooperate with federal law enforcement, we put our communities at risk.” (Newsmax: DHS Boss Nielsen: Sanctuary City Policies Endanger Citizens)
Heitkamp has consistently refused to crack down on sanctuary cities, voting three times to continue their funding.
“Heidi Heitkamp firmly opposes President Trump and his administration’s efforts to combat illegal immigration,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “With her inexcusably weak record of failing to secure our borders and refusing to crack down on sanctuary cities, North Dakota voters are ready to reject her in November.”