U.S. senatorial candidate Jane Norton launched her four-day “Repeal Obamacare” tour on June 28 at the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce in …
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U.S. senatorial candidate Jane Norton launched her four-day
“Repeal Obamacare” tour on June 28 at the South Metro Denver
Chamber of Commerce in Centennial.
Norton, a candidate in the state’s August Republican primary
election, emphasized her position that the recent Democrat-led
health care reform initiative should be repealed. She suggested
that the legislation will cost too much and stifle progress.
“As you talk to friends in Canada and Britain, we’ve always been
kind of the escape valve for the rest of the growth [in the health
care industry]. We won’t have an America for people to get to,”
Norton told an audience of about 35 Republican activists. “That
gets to the lack of innovation, research, development in our
pharmaceutical [industry]. It’s dire.”
The candidate and former lieutenant governor under Gov. Bill
Owens was flanked by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, a
Republican who has joined a national lawsuit challenging the
mandate for individual health-insurance coverage contained in the
Under Suthers’s leadership, Colorado is one of 20 states
participating in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of
the provision requiring every U.S. citizen to purchase health
Norton’s mini-campaign tour is largely focused on Republican
dissatisfaction with the legislation signed by President Obama. It
was also scheduled to make stops in Elizabeth, Colorado Springs,
Canon City, Salida and Montrose, among other cities and towns
across the state.
The Republican and onetime head of the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment said the recent Democratic-led
legislation should be repealed and replaced with a new approach
emphasizing tort reform, health care choice and competition.
“If you want to bring the cost of health care down, you have to
look at what are the drivers right now driving the cost of health
care up,” she said. “Tax equity would be another important thing.
Portability — being able to take your health care when you leave
your job. Purchasing across state lines, again, would drive the
cost of healthcare down.”
According to Norton, such initiatives would lower costs and
encourage citizen participation, thus rendering the
mandated-coverage provision unnecessary. Democrats have largely
disagreed with the Republican argument that tort reform is a
significant driver of healthcare costs.
Although health care was a major emphasis of the one-hour
campaign stop, Norton tied her conservative perspective on the
issue to other large campaign themes.
“I am pro-business. Pro-entrepreneur. Pro-life. Pro-family.
Pro-marriage,” she said. “Isn’t it good to talk pro sometimes when
there’s so much to say we’re against?”
In the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating a
Chicago gun ban, Norton also emphasized her support for the
Constitution’s Second Amendment, as well as the 10th Amendment,
which enshrined the concept of federalism in the Constitution.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to
the States respectively, or to the people,” the amendment
Suthers has referenced the same provision in explaining his
decision to join 19 other states in the lawsuit challenging the
federal government’s constitutional right to require citizens to
engage in a financial transaction.
The attorney general said the same principle dictating the roles
of the federal and state governments calls into question Arizona’s
recent regulation of illegal immigration, an area the Constitution
designates as a federal responsibility.
Norton, who is not an attorney, said she supports the
controversial legislation passed this year by the Arizona State
“The federal government has not exercised its No. 1
responsibility, and that’s to keep the people of this nation safe,”
she said. “Arizona believes — and I do — that they are in a law
enforcement crisis, and they are doing what the federal government
should be doing. … Will it be considered constitutional or not?
That’s for the courts to decide.”
The candidate said her other top priorities are saving jobs and
economic recovery, controlling government spending, reducing the
federal deficit, and keeping the United States “free and
sovereign.” She supports an “all of the above” approach to energy
policy, including oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife
Norton has had to varnish her conservative credentials in recent
months. She is challenging Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck
for the Republican nomination. While Norton is largely favored
within the party establishment, Buck is popular among Tea Party
The sometimes maverick prosecutor defeated Norton at the March
16 caucuses by six-tenths of one percent. Although Buck has
emphasized the win as telling, especially given Norton’s larger
campaign coffers, the caucuses attract party activists, who often
support more populist candidates.
To contrast herself with Buck, Norton emphasized her business,
health care and education background and discussed her
foreign-policy differences with the northern Colorado attorney.
“I don’t believe in Afghanistan we should be pulling our troops
out — and that’s a big difference between me and my primary
opponent,” she said. “I think we need to double down.”
In November, Norton or Buck will face the victor in the
contentious Democratic primary — either incumbent Sen. Michael
Bennet or former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who was
recently endorsed by former President Clinton.
Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Bennet last year after Democratic
Sen. Ken Salazar was appointed by President Obama to become U.S.
secretary of the interior. Obama has endorsed Bennet.
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