Republican Raul Labrador said Democrat Walt Minnick’s vote against health care legislation in Congress earlier this year was made with an eye on this November’s election.
“He really only voted against it so that he could get re-elected,” Labrador, a state representative from Eagle, said during a call-in show on KBOI Thursday. Labrador said if he beats Minnick, he will work to undo the health care law. “I will do everything I can to repeal that legislation,” he said. “It’s going to be easier next year. The reality is that under (President Barack) Obama it’s going to be difficult to repeal health care.”
Minnick, who appeared on KBOI on Wednesday, isn’t signing on to a discharge petition on legislation that would repeal the health care law, but is working on several plans that would get rid of parts of the law.
Labrador tried to staked out differences between himself and Minnick on several other topics. He criticized Minnick’s vote on legislation reinstating the estate tax for people with more than $3.5 million. Labrador, who referred to it as the death tax, said people shouldn’t be taxed twice.
Minnick explained his reason for his vote on the legislation on his official House website in December, saying that he worked on changing the estate tax, and ultimately voted for it to avoid more families being forced to pay it.
Labrador also pointed out the opposing positions between him and Minnick on abortion. “I have been a strong defender of life, and I think it’s unfortunate that we have a congressman in Idaho that has a 100 percent ranking with the pro-abortion lobby,” Labrador said, referring to Minnick’s ranking from the pro-abortion group NARAL.
During the show, Labrador also called himself a political maverick, using the label of former presidential candidate John McCain. He also said that he would be use a consistent, conservative philosophy in Washington, D.C.
Labrador also touched on his trailing Minnick in the fundraising race. He said that it can be difficult to raise money since he is not the incumbent or the preferred candidate of some special interests, and asked a caller looking to help his campaign to make a contribution. Minnick held a 16 to 1 advantage in cash on hand at the end of June.
Labrador said that if he’s elected, he’d like to serve on House committees dealing with immigration and natural resources. Minnick serves on the financial services and agriculture committees.
Both Labrador and Minnick have called illegal immigration a problem that Congress needs to solve. Labrador reiterated his stance that the government should enforce the laws already on the books and secure its borders. He also said he’s against amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but favors a guest worker program.
Minnick has also come out in favor of more secure borders and a guest worker program, and against amnesty.
Labrador also said he’s against changing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, as some GOP leaders have suggested. “I don’t think we should be tinkering with the 14th Amendment,” he said. “What we should be doing is tinkering with our welfare laws.” Labrador said.
Labrador also accused Minnick of not always providing straight answers on policy questions. “There’s a bobbing and a weaving,” he said. “It’s really difficult to get a direct answer from him.”
Audio of both call-in shows with Labrador and Minnick is available on KBOI’s website.