IA-02: Constitution is focus of Archer's second tv ad

Republican candidate John Archer has launched his second television commercial across Iowa’s new Congressional district. Follow me after the jump for the video and transcript.

Archer’s first television commercial ran for one night only on January 3. Last month his campaign ran a radio ad district-wide with a focus on gasoline prices and energy policy. Dan Dolan, the other Republican candidate in IA-02, has not placed any radio or television commercials but has spent a considerable amount on direct mail.

Archer’s campaign posted the following video on Facebook and YouTube on April 22, along with this appeal:

Please consider sponsorsing Johns’ new tv ad that is running on Fox News across the district. Your $45 contribution pays for one day in Iowa City, $64 pays for a day in Clinton and $92 covers a day in Newton.

My transcript:

Archer speaks to the camera against a plain, white backdrop as patriotic music plays in the background. The Archer for Congress campaign logo is on screen for most of the 30-second ad.

Archer: Some people act like you need a Phd from Harvard to run our government. Everything I need to know is in the United States Constitution. [holds up a pocket-sized book]

Hi, I’m John Archer. [Close-up view of book fills screen. Cover reads “The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America”]

Respect life, preserve the second amendment, and restore power to the states, so that we, the people can govern ourselves. [Archer stands on right side of screen. On left side, words “RESPECT LIFE,” “SECOND AMENDMENT,” and “RESTORE POWER TO STATES” appear above his campaign logo]

And you know what’s not in here? That’s right, government-run health care. [Just Archer speaking to camera against white backdrop.]

[view shifts to Archer sitting outdoors, reading his pocket-sized Constitution] His voice continues: I’m John Archer, and I approved this message, because we need the values of this old document to be the values of the Congress again. [Archer campaign logo and www.ArcherForCongress.com fills most of screen for the last few seconds of the commercial]

Is it just me, or is that slap at Harvard an attempt by Archer to distance himself from Mitt Romney as well as from Barack Obama? Archer did not endorse a presidential candidate before the Iowa caucuses. Romney carried four counties in IA-02 on January 3, including Scott and Johnson, which have the largest populations. On the other hand, Republican delegates to the IA-02 district convention didn’t elect any Romney supporters to the Iowa GOP’s State Central Committee over the weekend.

Back to Archer’s spot: this simple, straightforward message will probably resonate with Republican primary voters. Slamming “Obamacare” as government-run health care has become a standard conservative talking point, despite all evidence to the contrary.  

In contrast, Medicare and Medicaid are government-run health care programs. If Archer wins the nomination, I think Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack will relish the chance to run against him as the defender of Medicare. Loebsack has repeatedly voted against Republican budget bills that would transform Medicare into a voucher-based system for future retirees, and he has emphasized Medicare and Social Security in public appearances around the district. House Democratic staff have estimated that thanks to the 2010 health insurance reform law, 74,000 senior citizens in IA-02 have received Medicare preventive services without co-pays or deductibles, and 7,300 seniors have received prescription drug discounts averaging $590 per person.

House Democratic staff have also calculated that GOP-backed cuts to Medicaid would adversely affect tens of thousands of people in IA-02, but I don’t think Loebsack or other Democratic incumbents will go out of their way to talk about Medicaid during this year’s campaign.

Any comments about the race in Iowa’s second district are welcome in this thread. Loebsack has a big cash on hand advantage over Archer and Dolan. It’s unclear how much he will need to spend to fend off a Democratic primary challenge from State Senator Joe Seng.

P.S.- Some YouTube user called “IA02RawFootage” has helpfully uploaded a bunch of videos featuring Archer and Dolan on the campaign trail.

  • sorry,

    do not see Loebsack campaigning for hcr w/ a bullet-pointed list prepared by Dem staffers.

    Public opinion has been very consistent and clear: while certain benefits enjoy majority support, the majority still wants to see parts or all of hcr overturned.

    On this blog, there were tens of diaries warning against the evil health insurance industry. Now you demand that everyone get in line to purchase insurance from the same. This is why hcr is unpopular: the bait-and-switch, and the “we know what’s good for you, anyway” attitude. Saying “it’s deeply flawed, but you hafta” is not a winning argument.

    Progressives yelled bloody murder during the campaign that purchasing insurance was not the same as purchasing health care. Now you want to claim that it is equivalent, and thus, since everyone will have to use “it” at some time, you win.  

    • maybe not

      but Loebsack definitely will run as the protector of Medicare, and Archer wasn’t specific about which kind of “government-run health care” isn’t in the constitution. If I were Loebsack, I would try to pin the “wants to end Medicare” label on Archer. There’s no way to describe Medicare as anything but a government-run health care program.

      The Supreme Court is going to throw out the whole health care reform bill anyway (even though the constitutional arguments against the mandate and the Medicaid expansion are a joke). I’ve said many times that I thought the law should have included a public health insurance option or Medicare buy-in option rather than forcing people to buy private health insurance or pay a penalty.  

      • I expect

        The Supreme Court is going to throw out the whole health care reform bill anyway

        the Medicaid provision to stand, since state participation is voluntary.

        As far as “the mandate” is concerned, this is a federalism issue, not an “individual rights” issue — that is, whether Congress is infringing on the states, which is why the MA mandate is in no danger.

        My objection to the mandate has little or nothing to do with what is before the USSC, and I’m guessing that most out there aren’t caught up in these parlor games. I recognize the mandate as an actuarial necessity for the community rating and guaranteed issue features, which are “politically popular.” Where I balk (and this is after examining the actual legislation) is that the legislation does not deliver the benefits as described by politicians. For example, by design, there are numerous loopholes to get around community ratings, including premium kickbacks for the healthier within a demographic (age, gender etc) class.

        There is a bigger issue that I alluded to below on whether demographics and trends support this kind of risk management model, but that’s for another day.

        I would support a mandate for catastrophic coverage but not the “package of benefits” as currently proposed. I find it regrettable that politicians and their health insurance industry donor allies have used the misfortunes of a minority to sell insurance. In fact, should hcr be repealed based on the USSC’s verdict, high-risk pools and catastrophic coverage should be more than adequate while revisiting the nature and scope of hcr.

        I 100% object playing the electorate for fools by campaigning on “personal stories” — a constant for the past three years. Kudos to the DMR for checking on the latest Potemkin “personal story.”  

  • the benefits

    favor those who already have good health insurance. What doesn’t get discussed is all of the people who don’t want to purchase sub-par insurance that will do little or nothing for them to subsidize the more affluent keeping their kids on insurance until age 26.

    Numerous Dem pols are coming out now and saying that this package was not a good idea, and not just the usual suspects from conservative-leaning districts.

    Even Elizabeth Warren is now calling for partial repeal — specifically the medical devices tax, because all of those companies are in MA. That’s how craven this all is. The bills are getting sent to those who can least afford it.  

    • true

      though that depends on your definition of “good insurance.” I know people whose kids would be excluded from all or most coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and I know people who have run up more than $1 million in expenses from cancer or other expensive diseases. They will be screwed when the Supremes throw out the law, even though their employer-provided health insurance is “good” compared to what roughly 50 million Americans have.

      • almost four years ago

        at this blog, I predicted that the immigration “problem” would solve itself — by people using their feet. That day is here. The WP and USA Today headlined yesterday that we’ve reached the point that more immigrants are leaving than arriving. People just aren’t interested in bad deals.

        Some things haven’t changed over the years. Yesterday, Michelle Obama trotted out another “personal story” of someone who couldn’t get health insurance “at any price” but is now grateful to hcr — insurance is now available thru a pool. Of course, it was available before hcr, but nobody mentions this. It was undersubscribed then as it is now, but that doesn’t rate much scrutiny, either. The DMR did raise the issue of lack of coverage for HIV+ Iowans and criticized the pool’s administrative board, made up of health insurance industry professionals for lack of transparency and garden-variety corruption. The lack of regulatory teeth in hcr does not inspire confidence in a new enlightened attitude and neither does the track record at the state level.

        I also mentioned recently that another “problem” would be taking care of itself as fewer women opt to have children, a very clear trend. Like the Mexicans voting with their feet, women are not looking to the political class for solutions but fashioning their own.

        One problem — it is immigrants that have been responsible for maintaining the population replacement rate in the US. For a brief moment, the rate slipped below replacement, which had Democratic think tanks in Washington squawking about promoting pro-life policies.

        My question to you is where is your limit on supporting poorly constructed policies? What I gather is that while you claim the reform is “deeply flawed,” the rest of us need to get on board, anyway, and you largely cite “personal stories.”

        There is no practical difference between the subsidies and the vouchers that the Dems/progressives rail against because they’re a Republican-inspired term. “Vouchers won’t cover the real costs.” Right. Neither will the subsidies, and it’s been a steady progression of rollbacks on revenue sources for hcr. Candidate Warren promoting a rollback on the medical device tax is just the latest.

        But fundamentally, the scheme relies upon mandating the purchase of health insurance by younger and healthier members of society who hopefully won’t use it. It also relies on the purchase of health insurance by persons who can’t use it due to the associated costs beyond their reach.

        Where will you stand when the US is not achieving population replacement? How can this scheme work when it was already deeply flawed while under the assumption of population replacement and “paid for?” Will you become an advocate for forced pregnancy to keep your hcr going by any means necessary? Will the unborn become potential “young invincibles?” It seems that if you insist on the implementation of deeply flawed programs, there’s no limit to the rationalizations.

        It is not a remote possibility. On constitutionality, what happened to “reasonable minds can differ?” I am not taking a strong position either way at this time, but Congress has never used its commerce power to mandate that an individual enter an economic transaction with a private company (and to boot, in a loosely regulated industry). Perhaps when the “problem” of insufficient childbearing to feed this industry rears its head, it might be more obvious that there are legitimate issues concerning individual autonomy at stake. Did the US mandate that citizens buy bonds during WW2?

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