The Arkansas Project has obtained a short six-second video of former Congressman Mike Ross speaking to a group of Arkansans in El Dorado in 2010. According to my source — who wishes to remain anonymous — Ross was asked at the town meeting how he could claim to be a supporter of Obamacare when he voted against it later (on the House floor). Here’s Ross, in his own words:
Obviously these remarks are significant: since Ross has re-inserted himself into the political scene and launched a campaign for governor, Republicans have been anxious to label him as the “deciding vote for Obamacare.” Spin doctors on the Left have called this disingenuous, citing that Ross didn’t actually vote for the bill on the floor of the House. Perhaps, just this once, Ross agrees with Republicans.
Now, I want to be very clear: I do not possess, nor have I seen, the full video of Mike Ross’s remarks at this El Dorado meeting. I have posted the entirety of what I have received and seen. I asked my source for the full clip and I was told it was not available. If anyone out there has a more complete video, please send it to me and I will post it — obviously, this clip does not provide much context for Ross’s remarks. It’s possible that, before the clip began, Ross said, “Republicans are going to tell you that…” and then continued to explain away his actions. However, if he was in fact responding to the question that my source identified, I find that highly unlikely.
Furthermore, does it really matter if Ross’s comments here were a denial or an admission? What he actually said is reality: if he had not voted for Obamacare in committee, it would never have made it to the floor and would never have passed. The nation would not be dealing with its grueling effects today. There would be no ‘private option’ to wrangle with in Arkansas. No extraordinarily expensive, obsolescent-upon-release insurance exchanges. No millions of dollars being wasted on advertising. (And I wouldn’t have anything to write about, which would no doubt please many Arkansas politicians.)
Whether Mike Ross’s comments in this video simply represent a denial of reality or a candid admission of the results of his actions, the reality is the same: Obamacare is “the law of the land” because of Mike Ross’s decisions, and we are less free because of it.
Update, 10:15 a.m.:
Democratic operatives have taken exception to the video excerpt that I posted a few hours ago, claiming that “the full video” demonstrates that my excerpt is misleading. Generally speaking, a request for full context is reasonable. What is odd about this request is that the people who claim that my excerpt is misleading have declined to provide the full context that supposedly explains it.
Despite claims from Twitter partisans that they have supplied the “full video,” they haven’t. Their video has been edited as well (which is obvious if you bother to watch it for yourself); importantly, we can’t hear what question Ross was responding to.
In fairness, however, the non-full video contains his preface to his comment with “There are those who say that, ‘We wouldn’t have had the healthcare bill pass…” prior to his explanation of his actions. I said very clearly in my original post this morning that it was entirely possible that this is what had happened. I said very clearly that we didn’t know the full context of Ross’s remarks. We still do not, even though we have a little bit more insight than we did originally.
To those accusing me of “selectively editing” the video: as I said in my original post, I didn’t edit anything. I posted everything I had in my possession and had seen at the time. And, as I said I would, I am now happy to post a more complete video, although it is not a full video and has also been edited:
(A brief word of advice to my critics: I suggest reading my articles before you criticize them.)
But what I also said, very clearly, in my original post, was that what Ross said at that meeting in 2010 cannot change the reality of what he did in 2009: he cast the deciding vote for Obamacare. It is my guess that Ross partisans are going to do their best to continue to obscure this point.