Two of the five Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate have signed a pledge supporting “full repeal” of the president’s Affordable Care Act and they promise to vote against any bill that “provides funding to implement or enforce any part of it.” Matt Whitaker says if elected, he’ll join the “new movement” two rookie Republican senators have launched to “defund” ObamaCare. “We have forces in this country that very clearly want us to be a social democracy like we have seen in Europe where if we just spend a little more money on a problem or come up with an omnibus solution for all our problems, then all of our problems will be taken care of,” Whitaker says. “It doesn’t work. History shows us it doesn’t work.”
Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney, was the Republican Party’s 2002 nominee for Treasurer. Sam Clovis is the other 2014 G-O-P candidate for the U.S. Senate who has signed the pledge to “defund” ObamaCare. “You must have courage to go to the floor of the senate and stand there and look (Senate Democratic Leader) Harry Reid and (Senate GOP Leader) Mitch McConnell in the eye and say, ‘No more,'” Clovis says, “‘If this is not in the interest of the people of the United States, it shall not happen on my watch.'” Clovis has taken a sabbatical from his post at Morningside College and quit his job as a talk show host on a Sioux City radio station to run for the senate.
None of the three other Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate have signed the pledge to defund ObamaCare. David Young, former chief of staff to Senator Chuck Grassley, says he has not heard of it. Joni Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak, says the group of Republicans in congress threatening a government shutdown over ObamaCare this fall need to be sure they have the votes or failure could put all Republican candidates at “risk” in 2014. “I’m really tired of the back and forth and Republicans going after Republicans,” Ernst says. “We need to work out our differences and then be unified, so if it’s going to happen, it needs to be a unified voice and they need to explain what the end game is.”
Scott Schaben, a former soldier and car salesman from Ames, joined the race last week. Mark Jacobs, a retired utility company executive, has formed an exploratory committee, but is not actively campaigning with the five other Republicans who are “officially” in the race. Iowa Congressman Steve King is among a group of 80 House Republicans who have signaled support for the effort to threaten a government shutdown this fall in order to stop implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Tom Latham, Iowa’s other Republican congressman, did not sign the letter.