Obamacare Continuing As Gov Issue

By John Celock

Republicans will continue to push Obamacare as a top issue in gubernatorial races across the country.

The Republican Governors Association debuted a new commercial Monday in the South Carolina governor’s race, seeking to connect presumptive Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen to the health care plan and rate increases the RGA says came with it. Sheheen, a state senator, is locked in a competitive race with Gov. Nikki Haley (R) who is seeking a second term.

The RGA commercial stars a woman named Mary from Powdersville, who talks about her family’s experiences with the health care law. She says in the ad that her health care costs went up 30 percent under Obamacare and could go up another 30 percent. She said her teenage son is autistic and her husband has a heart condition.

“It makes it hard. It doesn’t make it affordable at all,” she said. “I don’t trust Obamacare for my family and I don’t trust Vincent Sheheen for supporting it.”

This is the second RGA ad this month to attack Sheheen for backing the health care law. Earlier this month an RGA ad focused on Sheheen’s support for expanding Medicaid in South Carolina.

Sheheen struck back at the RGA following the Medicaid ad, noting that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), the RGA’s chairman, backed the Medicaid expansion in his state.

Sheheen narrowly lost the 2010 gubernatorial race to Haley and has been seeking a rematch for four years. The race ranks as one of the most competitive gubernatorial battles in the country. Haley has long been very active in RGA affairs and has backing from the group. Sheheen’s campaign is a top priority for the Democratic Governors Association this year.

Republican gubernatorial candidates across the country have attempted to tie their Democratic opponents to President Barack Obama and the health care law. Earlier this month, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) used a radio interview to tie his Democratic opponent, state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, to Obama. During last year’ s gubernatorial race in Virginia, Republican Ken Cuccinelli tried to tie Democrat Terry McAuliffe to Obama. McAuliffe defeated Cuccinelli in that race.