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Arkansas: Not Mark’s Pryor-ity

- September 20, 2014

Time After Time, Pryor Chooses Obama And Reid Over Arkansas

PRYOR’S TENURE IN D.C. HAS MADE HIM MORE IN TOUCH WITH OBAMA THAN ARKANSAS

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) Claims He’s “The Most Independent Senator In Washington.” “‘I’m really the most independent senator in Washington,’ Pryor told a group of about 25 supporters here in the rice-country town of Hazen. ‘I’m not there to represent the president and his party. I’m not there to oppose the president and his party. I’m there to represent Arkansas.’” (David A. Fahrenthold, “Mark Pryor’s Challenge: Will Arkansas Keep A Democratic Senator With No Big Crusades?” The Washington Post, 5/1/14)

Like Other Democrats Facing A Strong Electoral Challenge, Pryor Has Become Another Obama/Reid Liberal

Pryor Has A Long Record Of Supporting “Obama’s High-Profile Priorities.” He did vote for some of Obama’s high-profile priorities: the economic stimulus package, the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul legislation and, of course, the health care law.” (Anita Kumar, “Democrat Mark Pryor Struggles To Hold Senate Seat In Arkansas,” McClatchy, 9/8/14)

  • Pryor Has Voted With Obama On An Average Of 93 Percent Time, According To The Non-Partisan Congressional Quarterly. (Sen. Mark Pryor, Congressional Quarterly, Accessed 9/11/14)
  • Pryor Cast A Deciding Vote For ObamaCare, Obama’s Crowning Achievement. (H.R. 3590, Roll Call Vote #396, Adopted 60-39: R 0-39; D 60-0, 12/24/09, Pryor Voted Yea)
  • Pryor Voted For Obama’s Wasteful $830 Billion Stimulus Bill. (H.R. 1, Roll Call Vote #64, Adopted 60-38: R 3-38; D 57-0, 2/13/09, Pryor Voted Yea)

Pryor Has Voted “For Nearly All Of Obama’s Court Picks.” “Red-state Democrats such as Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) have stressed their independence from their party, but they will have to defend their record of voting for nearly all of Obama’s court picks.” (Alexander Bolton, “Red-State Dems In Hot Seat,” The Hill, 7/15/14)

  • “Well Over 90 Percent Of His Judicial Votes Since November Have Supported The President’s Picks.” “Pryor cast three votes against two of Obama’s judicial nominees, McHugh and Pillard, but well over 90 percent of his judicial votes since November have supported the president’s picks.” (Alexander Bolton, “Red-State Dems In Hot Seat,” The Hill, 7/15/14)

Since 2009, Pryor Even Voted With Liberal Democrats 85 Percent Of The Time. (Sen. Mark Pryor, Congressional Quarterly, Accessed 6/23/14)

When His Name Is Not On The Ballot, Pryor Goes Out Of His Way To Praise Obama

In 2011, Pryor Said That He Thought Obama Deserved Another Four Years In Office. “Pryor said he thought Obama deserved another four years.  ‘I think that President Obama came in [during] an incredibly difficult time, a whole set of circumstances that made his presidency one of the most difficult in American history,’ Pryor said.” (Charlie Frago, “Partisan ‘Games’ Miring Debt-Cap Deal, Pryor Says,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/3/11)

Pryor Praised Obama In 2009, Saying “He Is Exactly What We Need Right Now.” “We  have a historic moment going on in Washington right now because, we have a President; some fault him because they say he is idealistic.  They fault him sometimes because he believes in our democracy, he believes in our people.  He knows that we can tackle these problems and we can solve these problems.  And I don’t fault him for that.  I think he’s showing great leadership and let’s give President Obama a hand.  I think he’s exactly what we need right now.” (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At Democratic Party Of Arkansas Jefferson Jackson Dinner, 7/24/09)

At The 2008 DNC Convention, Pryor Told The Arkansas Delegation That Obama “Is Exactly The Right Guy For This Moment In History.” “Pryor: You know, he’s the kind of guy that is exactly the right guy for this moment in history.” (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At 2008 DNC Convention, 8/27/08)

  • Pryor: “My Sense Is There Is A Destiny About Barack Obama.  I Think There Is A Destiny About Him.” (Sen. Mark Pryor, Remarks At 2008 DNC Convention, 8/27/08)

PRYOR HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT, IF ELECTED AGAIN, HIS FIRST VOTE WOULD BE FOR OBAMA’S BEST FRIEND – HARRY REID

Pryor Said, “Yeah,” He Would Again Back Harry Reid For Senate Majority Leader. “‘Yeah,’ Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, another Democrat facing a tough race, said when asked if he’d back Reid again. ‘It’s up to him on whether he wants to do it.’” (Manu Raju And John Bresnahan, “Harry Reid Set To Lead Democrats, In Majority Or Not,” Politico, 4/3/14)

  • Reid Proclaimed That Obama Doesn’t Have A “Better Friend” In Washington And “No One Has To Worry About Me Or My Caucus Walking Away From The President.” REID: “Everyone knows he called me and said ‘I don’t have a better friend in Washington than you.’ We work very closely together… No one has to worry about me or my caucus walking away from the President.” (KSNV-NV, 8/21/14)

Pryor Is Counting On Obama’s Help To Return To Washington This Fall

Obama Has Done 21 Events For The DNC And 14 Events For Senate Campaign Groups That Includes The DSCC And The Senate Majority PAC. “Obama's favorite beneficiary continues to be the Democratic National Committee, for which he's done 21 events. He's done 14 events for Senate campaign groups, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC that has already spent $36 million on the 2014 campaign.” (Philip Bump, “President Obama Is Going To A Fundraiser Every Five Days This Year,” The Washington Post’s The Fix, 9/16/14)

And Reid’s Senate Majority PAC Has Flooded Arkansas’ Airwaves With False Ad After False Ad

As Of September 17, 2014, Reid’s Senate Majority PAC Has Invested Heavily In Arkansas, Spending $2,660,694 To Prop Up Pryor’s Floundering Campaign. (“Senate Majority PAC – Independent Expenditures, Communication Costs And Coordinated Expenses,” Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 9/17/14)

PolitFact Awarded A Senate Majority PAC Ad Attacking Tom Cotton A “False” Rating. “The Senate Majority PAC ad claimed, ‘Before Congress, Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies and corporate interests.’ Cotton’s never worked for an insurance company, nor has he served as a consultant for one. We rate the statement False.” (Julie Kliegman, “Democratic PAC Says Tom Cotton ‘Got Paid Handsomely Working For Insurance Companies,” PolitiFact, 4/9/14)                      

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker Awarded Four Pinocchios To A Senate Majority PAC Ad Attacking Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) “In straining to somehow tie Cotton to insurance companies, Senate Majority PAC has managed to turn a job that Democrats might celebrate (developing a better functioning government program!) into a negative. The Medicare claims are so stale—and so repeatedly discredited—we can assume that polling indicates that the language is effective in moving voters, despite its falsity.” (Glenn Kessler, “A Democratic Attack Ad Tries To Connect The Dots, And Earns 4 Pinocchios,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 4/1/14)

  • The Washington Post, On Senate Majority PAC’s Ad: “None Of The Allegations Made About Cotton Or His Policies Are Factually Correct.” (Glenn Kessler, “A Democratic Attack Ad Tries To Connect The Dots, And Earns 4 Pinocchios,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 4/1/14)

PRYOR IS TAKING A PAGE FROM REID’S PLAYBOOK: FALSEHOODS, SCARE TACTICS, AND DENIGRATING REMARKS

PolitiFact Awarded Pryor’s Campaign A “Mostly False” For An Attack Ad On Ebola That “Ignores Critical Facts That Would Give A Different Impression.” “A Pryor for Senate ad said, ‘Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola.’ Cotton voted against one version of a 2013 pandemic and emergency preparedness bill. However, Cotton voted for the final version, which Pryor also supported. The bill easily became law. The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.” (Lauren Carroll, “Pryor Says Cotton Voted ‘No’ On Pandemic Prevention Bill, Ignores Cotton’s ‘Yes’ Vote,” PolitiFact, 8/28/14)

  • Pryor’s Ebola Ad Has Been Called “Scare-Tastic” And Made For “Saturday Night Live.” “WashingtonPost.com called the commercial ‘scare-tastic political advertising.’ And MSNBC's program Morning Joe aired the entire 30-second commercial before blasting it. ‘Good Lord ... Seriously?’ asked host Joe Scarborough. ‘Is this a Saturday Night Live ad?’” (Bill Bowden and Claudia Lauer, “Ebola Ad On Cotton Accurate, Pryor Says,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/28/14)

PolitiFact On A Medicare Ad Run By Pryor: The Ad Is “Misleading,” Based On Inconclusive Research And Was Rated “Mostly False.” “Pryor’s campaign ad said, ‘Cotton voted in Congress to change Medicare into a voucher system that will increase out-of-pocket expenses for every senior in Arkansas.’ Cotton did vote for a voucher-like system under two different budget proposals. But it’s misleading to suggest that the plan would definitely increase expenses for every senior. The research isn’t conclusive, and we can’t predict the future. But even the voucher proposals go out of their way to leave current Medicare beneficiaries alone. It's not at all clear that every senior in Arkansas would see increases in out-of-pocket expenses, including people like Courtney’s grandparents. So we rate the claim Mostly False.” (Angie Drobnic Holan, “Pryor Ad Warns ‘Every Senior In Arkansas’ Will See Increased Medicare Costs From Cotton Votes,” PolitiFact, 2/28/14)

Pryor Was Forced To Remove Portions Of A Campaign Video After His Campaign Obtained Footage By Misleading A Tornado Victim To Gain Access To His Property. “Campaign staff members for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor said Tuesday that they will remove portions of a campaign video shot on the tornado-damaged property of a Mayflower business owner who said he was misled about the campaign's intentions.” (Claudia Lauer, “Footage In Ad Will Be Cut, Says Pryor Campaign,”  Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 7/11/14)

Pryor Stooped Even Lower By Denigrating Cotton’s Military Service

In An Interview With NBC News, Pryor Attacked Cotton, Claiming He Had A “Sense Of Entitlement” Because He Had Served In The Military. “The quick rise has won him an attack ad from Pryor, who says that Cotton has ‘blind ambition’ and a sense of entitlement that will turn voters off, even considering his military background.  ‘There's a lot of people in the Senate that didn't serve in the military,’ Pryor told NBC News. ‘Obviously in the Senate we have all types of different people, all kinds of different folks that have come from all types of different backgrounds—and I think that's part of that sense of entitlement that he gives off is that, almost like, I served my country, let me into the Senate. But that's not how it works in Arkansas.’” (Kasie Hunt and Ben Mayer, “Can A Democrat Still Get Elected In Arkansas?” NBC News, 3/5/14)

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Took Pryor To Task For His Attacks On Cotton’s Military Service, Saying He Had Made The Choice In The November Election “Crystal Clear.” “MARK PRYOR, the state’s senior senator, should be thanked for making the choice in this year’s election for the U.S. Senate here in Arkansas more than crystal clear.  Talk about the halogen spotlight of public attention, the senator’s comments Wednesday on MSNBC, the perfect partisan forum for them, cast a blinding light not just on his idea of what this year’s race for the Senate is about, but what the U.S. Senate and indeed political life in general is about.  It wasn’t just that Senator Pryor discounted the relevance of his opponent’s military service in this campaign. But that the senator was dismissive of the whole, defining quality that Tom Cotton has stood for throughout his life-in Yell County, at Harvard, in the law and in the Army, in the U.S. House of Representatives and now as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.” (Editorial, “Arkansas’ Choice For U.S. Senator,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/9/14)

  • Democrat-Gazette: Pryor’s Attacks On Cotton’s “Sense Of Entitlement” Are Curious, Since Pryor’s Status As The Son Of A Former Senator “May Be His Chief Distinction In State Politics.” “And yet Mark Pryor, son of a popular senator, which may be his chief distinction in state politics, accuses his opponent of a “sense of entitlement.” Has anyone who has ever spoken to Tom Cotton about his politics, or his career civil or military, legal or academic, ever come away with the impression that he has a ‘sense of entitlement?’ Any fair-minded person, that is, as opposed to a political operative for the other political party. Please. This is Tom Cotton of Yell County, Ark., we’re talking about-Mattie Ross country.” (Editorial, “Arkansas’ Choice For U.S. Senator,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/9/14)

PRYOR CONTINUES TO DEFEND OBAMACARE DESPITE THE TROUBLE IT’S CREATED FOR ARKANSANS

Pryor Has “Consistently Voted” With Obama And The Democrats To Keep ObamaCare Virtually Intact. “Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska have consistently voted with their party to reject repeated GOP attempts to chip away at the health care law — reflecting a remarkable level of Democratic unity on the issue.” (Seung Min Kim, “Government Shutdown: Red-State Senate Dems Stick With Their Party,” Politico, 9/30/13)

Asked In April If He Would Vote For ObamaCare Again, Pryor Acknowledged That He Would, Saying “You Know, I Would Have.” ANCHOR: “A lot of our premiums have really shot up, those of us who have had to pay these premiums. If you, knowing now what you know now, would you have voted for this back then?” PRYOR: "You know, I would have.” (KARK, 4/4/14)

In August 2013, Pryor Said He Wasn’t Second Guessing His Support For ObamaCare And Noted That The Law “Is Working.” ANCHOR: “But let’s talk ObamaCare for just a little bit. The, some of the headlines I just found: the employer mandate is postponed, fewer healthy wealthy people signing up so premiums are sure to rise, Congress gets 75% of their premiums covered, the president is granting waiver after waiver. Are you second guessing your support of ObamaCare?” PRYOR: “No, actually I am not. You know, it actually is working in a lot of ways.” (KARK, 8/8/13)

  • Pryor Has Praised ObamaCare As “An Amazing Success Story.” KHOG’s CRAIG CANNON: “Political experts say the new healthcare law could be a hot topic. Pryor was one of 60 Democrats who voted for it back in 2009. He defends that vote today.” PRYOR: “I would say if you want a good opinion about ObamaCare, go right here to Mercy Hospital and ask them how they feel about it. It’s been an amazing success story so far.” (KHOG, 8/6/13)

In A June 2013 TV Interview, Pryor Doubled Down On His Support For ObamaCare, Saying: “I Think It Was The Right Vote, I Think It Was Good For Arkansas.” HOST: “Do you still stand by your vote for federal health care?  What do you tell, what is your message to voters as to why that was the right vote?”  PRYOR: “I do.  I think it was the right vote, I think it was good for Arkansas.” (KARK, 6/2/13)

But Arkansans Think ObamaCare Is A Bad Idea By Nearly 2-1 With Double-Digital Rate Increases Potentially On The Horizon

54 Percent Of Registered Voters In Arkansas Believe ObamaCare Is A Bad Idea, While Only 30 Percent Believe It Is A Good Idea. (NBC News/Marist Poll, 1068 RV, MoE 3%, 9/2-4/14)

For 2015, Arkansas Blue Cross And Blue Shield Has Proposed A 16.5 Percent Premium Rate Increase On Individual Plans That Could Affect At Least 25,778 Arkansans. (Arkansas Insurance Department – Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Division, Rate Filings,  Accessed 7/10/14)

Arkansas Blue Cross And Blue Shield Has Also Proposed A 15.7 Percent Premium Rate Increase On Transitional Policies That Could Affect At Least 20,137 Arkansans. (Arkansas Insurance Department – Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Division, Rate Filings,  Accessed 7/10/14)

PRYOR’S OBAMA SUPPORT IS DRAGGING DOWN HIS REELECTION CHANCES

According To A Recent NBC News/Marist Poll, Tom Cotton Leads By A 5-Point Margin Among Likely Voters In Arkansas. “In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor by five points among likely voters, 45 percent to 40 percent, with two minor candidates getting a combined 5 percent.”(Mark Murray, “NBC Poll: GOP Senate Candidates Open Up Leads in Key States,” NBC News, 9/7/14)

 “President Obama’s Approval Rating In The State Stands At 31 Percent Among Registered Voters.” (Mark Murray, “NBC Poll: GOP Senate Candidates Open Up Leads in Key States,” NBC News, 9/7/14)

61 Percent Of Arkansans Disapprove Of The Job Obama Is Doing As President, While Only 31 Percent Approve. (NBC News/Marist Poll, 1068 RV, MoE 3%, 9/2-4/14)

By An 11-Point Margin, Arkansans Favor Republicans To Control Congress “To Serve As A Check On Obama.” “And by a 44 percent-to-33 percent margin, voters say they would like to see Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate and House to serve as a check on Obama, instead of more Democrats in Congress to send a message that the GOP needs to work with the president.” (Mark Murray, “NBC Poll: GOP Senate Candidates Open Up Leads in Key States,” NBC News, 9/7/14) 


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