Kristol Rallies Republicans to 'Go for the Kill' on Health-Care Reform
By Perry Bacon Jr.
In January 1994, conservative commentator William Kristol wrote a widely read memo urging Republicans to take an aggressive stance on the Clinton health care plan. His detailed advice came down to two words: "kill it."
He has the same idea now.
"With Obamacare on the ropes, there will be a temptation for opponents to let up on their criticism, and to try to appear constructive, or at least responsible," Kristol wrote today on the blog of The Weekly Standard. "There will be a tendency to want to let the Democrats' plans sink of their own weight, to emphasize that the critics have been pushing sound reform ideas all along and suggest it's not too late for a bipartisan compromise over the next couple of weeks or months."
He added, "My advice, for what it's worth: Resist the temptation. This is no time to pull punches. Go for the kill."
While Kristol touts the same goals as other GOP strategists -- force Democrats in Congress to abandon their current bills and write ones that adopt more Republican principles -- his advice for Republicans is more pointed.
"This is the week to highlight every problem, every terrible provision, in the Democratic bills," Kristol wrote. "Throw the kitchen sink at the legislation now on the table, drive a stake through its heart (I apologize for the mixed metaphors), and kill it."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs highlighted that remark and another by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in his daily briefing with reporters.
"Bipartisanship is not a one-way street," Gibbs said today. "It has to be a two-way, two-lane street. We want to work with people that want to work with us to find solutions for the problems that the American people have faced for years and years. I would suggest that the comments that were made by the senator and by this particular Republican political strategist are not designed to come up or foment an alternative policy solution, but instead to perpetuate the same old Washington games."
Posted at 4:36 PM ET on Jul 20, 2009
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