Democrats co-opt "Hands Off Our Health Care" slogan
By Philip Rucker
In a sign that Democrats believe public opinion is shifting in their favor following the House's passage of the health-care overhaul bill Sunday night, Democrats have co-opted the "Hands Off Our Health Care" slogan that opponents used so skillfully last year to build opposition to President Obama's health-care agenda.
The Democratic National Committee on Thursday launched a radio ad campaign targeting 10 House Republicans who voted against the health-care legislation but who represent districts that Obama carried in 2008. The 60-second ads reference the new Republican strategy to "repeal and replace" the health-care bill.
"Now leading Republicans are vowing to repeal reform -- and put the insurance industry back in charge of your health care," a narrator in each ad says. "Call Congressman [name] at [phone number] and tell him: 'Hands Off Our Health Care.'"
For much of the past year, interest groups opposing Obama's health-care plan, as well as some Republicans, used the "Hands Off Our Health Care" slogan at town halls, rallies and other events to help sow doubt about the Democratic reform plan. At many of the fiery town hall meetings last summer, protesters held signs emblazoned with the slogan.
But Democrats now believe that the political tide is shifting after the bill's passage and they believe the slogan can be used to make Republicans -- who voted against the bill in lockstep -- vulnerable in the November midterm elections.
"The change in the political landscape on this issue has been sudden and dramatic," said Brad Woodhouse, the DNC communications director. "Republicans are on the defensive and taking on water politically. So much so that some are now, after fighting this bill tooth and nail for over a year, citing provisions they like and in one case, Senator [Charles] Grassley [R-Iowa] taking credit for a provision he claims to have co-authored though he repeatedly tried to kill the bill."
The radio ads are airing in the districts of the following Republicans: Rep. Dan Lungren (Calif.), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Rep. Mike Castle (Del.), Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Rep. Joseph Cao (La.), Rep. Lee Terry (Neb.), Rep. Pat Tiberi (Ohio), Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.) and Rep. Dave Reichert (Wash.)
The DNC is also running television ads in the districts of 25 Democrats who supported the bill. The 30-second "thank you" television ads are designed to help vulnerable Democrats seize momentum after voting to pass the health-care legislation.
March 25, 2010; 10:07 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Democratic Party , Health Care
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