NRCC Orders Code Red: Launches "Huge Wave" of Phone Calls Targeting Dems on Healthcare

March 4, 2010

NRCC Orders Code Red: Launches “Huge Wave” of Phone Calls Targeting Dems on Healthcare

POLITICO: “As President Barack Obama prepared to make a statement Wednesday afternoon outlining his desired way forward for health care legislation, the National Republican Congressional Committee geared up to target vulnerable Democrats who were still wavering on the issue. The committee planned to unveil a new initiative, Project Code Red, in the House GOP Conference’s weekly meeting, that’s designed to put pressure on lawmakers who are weighing how to proceed on health care. Project Code Red, anchored at the website, will include paid media in targeted districts and a media blitz by Republican doctors serving in the House…The committee’s offensive isn’t just designed to make Democrats who ultimately support health care reform suffer at the polls, an NRCC official told POLITICO, it’s also to give some lawmakers second thoughts about voting for a health care bill in the first place. ‘If the House is the last line of defense to stop this bill that the American people oppose, Project Code Red is the vehicle we hope will ensure that this government takeover never becomes law,’ the official said.” (Alexander Burns, “NRCC orders ‘Project Code Red,'” Politico, 03/03/10)


WASHINGTON POST’S “THE PLUM LINE”: “National Repubicans are planning to unleash a huge wave of robocalls tomorrow targeting dozens of House Dems and warning their constituents that Obama and Nancy Pelosi are plotting to ‘ram’ their ‘dangerous’ health reform plans through Congress. The robocalls — the first paid media by the NRCC’s new “code red” program, which targets Dems on health care — comes after Obama told Dems today he wants them to pass reform via reconciliation. The calls are meant to spook House Dems right at the moment when the White House and Dem leaders are about to undertake a grueling effort to round up support for what’s expected to be a hair-raisingly close vote. It warns constituents that the targeted House Dem risks supporting this ‘dangerous’ move. ‘Even though a majority of the country wants them to scrap it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama are planning to ram their dangerous, out-of-control health care spending bill through Congress anyway,’ the call will say, according to a script sent my way by a GOP official… The call is another sign that the national GOP is doubling down on making the looming reconciliation vote a major issue in the 2010 elections, portraying it as the latest in back-room dealing presided over by Pelosi and other Dem leaders. It raises questions about whether Dems are planning anything in kind.” (Greg Sargent, “Exclusive: GOP To Unleash Huge Wave Of Robocalls Warning Of Dem Plot To “Ram” Health Reform Through,” Washington Post: The Plum Line, 03/03/10)

NATIONAL JOURNAL’S “HOTLINE ON CALL”: The NRCC will launch a round of automated calls tomorrow targeting Dems over health care reform, the opening salvo in the final push to stall the legislation in the lower chamber. GOPers are targeting 25 Dems who voted in favor of the bill and 10 Dems who voted against. Those who voted against will get pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the WH to switch their votes, especially given that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has promised to bring a dozen ‘yes’ votes to the other side thanks to what he calls unacceptable abortion provisions written into the bill. The calls are part of the NRCC’s ‘Code Red,’ a new initiative to pressure House Dems on health care legislation in the month before leadership hopes to have the bill finished. With polls suggesting health care is widely unpopular, the GOP is pressing their advantage. (Reid Wilson, “NRCC Launches “Code Red” Calls,” National Journal: Hotline On Call, 03/04/10)

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The National Republican Congressional Committee on Thursday will launch weeklong ‘Code Red’ robocall campaigns in Arizona targeting swing-district Democratic Reps. Harry Mitchell, Gabrielle Giffords and Ann Kirkpatrick on health-care reform. The trio previously helped pass the House’s version of the health bill and their votes could be crucial to the final health-care push announced Wednesday by President Barack Obama. The NRCC calls warn that Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., intend “to ram their dangerous, out-of-control health care spending bill through Congress” despite public disapproval. The calls will go out to Republicans, Democrats and independents in the state’s 1st, 5th and 8th congressional districts.” (Dan Nowicki, “GOP robocalls target AZ. Dem trio on health reform,” Arizona Republic, 03/03/10)


NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER (SHEA-PORTER – NH-01): “Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is the target of a new ‘robo calls’ by the National Republican Congressional Committee, the first of the 2010 election cycle, the Granite Status has learned.  The calls targeting the Democratic incumbent will be made throughout the 1st Congressional District to Republicans, Democrats and independents, according to Tory Mazzola, NRCC spokesman.  ‘Carol Shea-Porter has already voted for a government-run health plan that raises taxes on middle-class families and slashes Medicare for seniors. With Obama and Pelosi’s latest efforts to ram this bill through Congress, our objective is to remind New Hampshire voters that Shea-Porter continues to ignore their overwhelming opposition to a government takeover of health care. Unfortunately, it’s hard to listen to New Hampshire voters when you’re with Pelosi in Boston wining and dining high-dollar donors,’ Mazzola said.” (John DiStaso, “Target Carol,” New Hampshire Union Leader, 03/04/10)


UTICA OBSERVER-DISPATCH (ARCURI – NY-24): “A Republican campaign starting today will target U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, and many Democratic congressmen nationwide over health care.  The messages will tell voters Arcuri soon might vote in favor of a federal health care bill – even though he publicly has stated he doesn’t plan to vote for the current U.S. Senate version of the bill.  The National Republican Congressional Committee initiative will involve automated “robo-calls” locally and in other areas of the nation, NRCC spokesman Tory Mazzola said…..Arcuri said Tuesday he wouldn’t vote in favor of the current U.S. Senate version of the health care bill expected to soon go before the House.  ‘There would have to be some dramatic changes in it for me to change my position,’ Arcuri said in a Wednesday O-D story.  Mazzola said the NRCC has seen the reports on Arcuri’s stance, but he called it “political pandering” by Arcuri. The objective of the code-red initiative is to make people aware of the “job-killing, government-run health plan” that could be passed by Congress, he said.” (Bryon Ackerman, “GOP Launches Phone Campaign Against Arcuri,” Utica Observer-Dispatch, 03/04/10)


THE OREGONIAN (SCHRADER – OR-05): “Republicans are trying to turn up the heat on House Democrats who may be wavering on health-care legislation, including freshman Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore…Schrader, who represents Oregon’s 5th district, expressed doubts about the version of health care that passed the House, but he ended up voting for the bill….Still, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced Wednesday that it will “unleash a huge wave of robocalls” on Thursday targeting dozens of House Democrats, including Schrader…..” (Jeff Mapes, “Schrader, targeted by GOP robocalls, makes no commitment on health-care vote,” The Oregonian, 03/03/10)


DES MOINES REGISTER (BOSWELL – IA-03): “The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching today an automated telephone campaign to urge 3rd Congressional District voters to contact Congressman Leonard Boswell to oppose health care legislation.  The NRCC, targeting the seven-term Democrat this year, says Boswell is vulnerable this fall and could be swayed to oppose the bill expected to move in the coming weeks.  Boswell, of Des Moines, voted for the Democrat-backed bill in the House in November. He has said repeatedly it is time to pass health care legislation for the good of the economy.” (Tom Beaumont, “EXCLUSIVE: GOP today starts phone blitz on Boswell to oppose health bill,” Des Moines Register, 03/04/10)


CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER (BOCCIERI – OH-16): “Registered voters who live in the congressional district of Alliance Democratic Rep. John Boccieri will get automated phone calls today from the National Republican Congressional Committee urging them to call Boccieri’s office ‘before it’s too late and tell him to vote no on Nancy Pelosi’s dangerous health care scheme.’  Boccieri, who voted against the health care bill narrowly approved by the House of Representatives last year, is one of several Democratic members of Congress who will be targeted by robo-calls under the GOP group’s newly-established ‘Code Red’ program, which purports to alert ‘America to the Democrats’ Health Care Takeover.’  ‘John Boccieri should be focusing on creating jobs, yet he might be the deciding vote that causes this massive new spending bill to pass,’ the call says, claiming that the congressman ‘votes with Nancy Pelosi 93.5 percent of the time and may follow her orders on this bill too.’” (Sabrina Eaton, “Rep. Boccieri is Target of GOP Robo-Calls on Health Care,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 03/04/10)


COLUMBUS DISPATCH (KILROY – OH-15): As part of what it calls a ‘Code Red’ campaign targeting what it hopes are vulnerable Democrats this year, the National Republican Congressional Committee this morning is launching a telephone ‘robo call’ campaign urging Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy to vote against ‘Nancy Pelosi’s dangerous health scheme.’ Kilroy voted for the House version of health care reform last year, but has not yet said whether she will vote for the revised measure sought by Obama.” (Jonathan Riskind, “GOP Dials Up Anti-Kilroy Health-Care ‘Robo Calls,’ Columbus Dispatch, 03/04/10)