Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Tom Cotton Takes On Obama in Weekly Address

Cotton, left, delivered the GOP's weekly address Saturday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans chose Rep. Tom Cotton, a Senate candidate in one of the hottest races this cycle, to deliver the party’s weekly address and go after President Barack Obama as “causing” the problems people face in Arkansas and across the country.

It’s the latest example of how leaders in both parties are showcasing Senate candidates to let their battles play out under the Dome as well as back home. Already Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor and Cotton have been on opposite sides of legislative battles, including the farm bill. And Democratic leaders gave Pryor a ready-made political wedge issue recently on a topic related to veterans benefits.

The addresses posted on YouTube by both the White House and the GOP on Saturday mornings are hardly a major national platform, but the video did give Cotton an opportunity to point out his own Arkansas roots and boast that he is a leader on an issue that helps him back home.

“Arkansans, like most Americans, have had their grit tested over the last several years through a financial collapse, recession, and a stagnant, jobless recovery. Barack Obama’s policies aren’t solving these problems — they’re causing the problem,” Cotton said.

The Republican Senate hopeful singled out the health care law as the root of many of these problems, and said, of course, the GOP has the solution.

Obama’s policies, Cotton said, “are fundamentally flawed.”

“They’re wrong for Arkansas, and they’re wrong for America. And as a result, too many Arkansans, like people across the country, are still out of work — five years into President Obama’s economic ‘recovery,’” he said. “Republicans in Congress are committed to stopping the harms caused by the President’s policies, repairing the damage, and getting America working again. We’re advocating reforms that trust patients and their doctors — not Washington bureaucrats. And we’re working to get spending under control. That’s because we trust you to make the right decisions for you and your family.”

The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the Pryor-Cotton race as Tilts Republican.

Obama’s own weekly address focused on proposals to increase the minimum wage, another political wedge Democrats are using in hopes of keeping control of the Senate and as they attempt to win the 17 seats needed to reclaim the House.

The president said that since he first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have increased their own, but noted “only Congress can finish the job and lift Americans’ wages across the country.”

The bill to boost the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would help 16 million Americans, Obama said.

“But even though a majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans across the country support raising the minimum wage, Republicans in Congress don’t want to give it a vote,” he said. “Hardworking Americans deserve better than ‘no.’ Let’s tell Congress to say ‘yes.’ Pass that bill. Give America a raise. Because here in America, no one who works hard should have to live in poverty — and everyone who works hard should have a chance to get ahead.”

Get used to more messages like this in the coming months as the battle for control of Congress rages on.

  • Sally

    Did Cotton mention that the GOP-controlled House refuses to bring a Jobs Bill to the floor, and has, for five years, refused to pass anything the President wanted passed? That the GOP is the party responsible for not passing any infrastructure bills that would create millions of good jobs and get some needed work done to boot? No, of course not. Same old whining and blame game. I hope his constituents are smarter than he thinks they are. The economy is recovering despite the GOP, jobs are coming back, and the ACA is working. Stuff it, Cotton. How dare you lie to your voters. Of course, telling them the truth is not an option, is it? Old Grover, your master, doesn’t want them to know the facts.

  • docb

    Another repub ‘let them die quickly’ candidate! No jobs, deny Medcaid expansion but take as many fed $$$ as possible! And lie while doing so!

  • HWithen528

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  • AnthonyLook

    Arkansans, like most Americans, have had their grit tested over the last several years through a financial collapse, recession, and a stagnant, jobless recovery–THAT PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH/ HIS ECONOMIC POLICIES AND THE SUBSEQUENT TRAITOROUS REPUBLICAN LOCK STEP PARTY BEFORE NATION OBSTRUCTINIST/FILIBURSTERING DO NOTHINGS —–CAUSED AND CONTINUE TO CAUSE.

  • Three Friends

    Although intellectuals and journalists tend to most influence people today, their indirect influence is not well recognized or understood.

  • Kevin Brown

    Sally I only wish the GOP controlled the House for the last five years. But alas we have controlled for the last 3 years and 2 months by my count. Could not stop the ARRA or ACA but we can always try again.

  • Organix

    Since prices serve as the free market’s communications beacons, government attempts to set prices of goods and services distort the signals that guide market players.

  • The truth is that …

    Adam Smith’s claim that collectivism unleashes evil is well supported by the history of dictators who have claimed that society’s well-being depends upon its subjugation.

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