From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage –
Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Thursday night accused Joe Miller of lying about her position on health care. Miller, for his part, said she supports abortion rights and other things that aren’t in the Constitution. They appeared together on the KAKM/KSKA “Running” program, the only time most Alaskans will have a chance to see them debate before Tuesday's Republican primary.
They had a chance to ask each other questions. Murkowski went first, asking Miller why he keeps claiming that she isn't enough against the federal health care bill. Murkowski said she voted against the bill in committee and on the floor, and voted to repeal it on March 24th, right after the president signed it.
"My question to you, is that as recently as Aug. 4th, you have stated that…’she refused to vote to repeal Obamacare.’ The question I would ask you Mr. Miller, is how you could continue to make those statements when the public record is extraordinarily clear.”
“The concern that we have is the statement you made on March 30, which was unequivocal on KTUU where you said that you were opposed to repealing Obamacare.”
(Murkowski told the KTUU television station at the time that “repealing this is not the answer in my opinion, because if you just repeal and you do nothing, we will not have addressed health care reform.” She went on to tell KTUU that some health care reforms are needed and the Democratic plan has flaws but needs to be replaced with other initiatives.)
Miller said Thursday night that what Murkowski calls her repeal vote was only “procedural.”
“What I want Alaskans to know is we have a difference of perspective about the need for government health care. You indicated that you wanted a government health care plan that works, my view is the central government has no role in providing for a government health care plan, let alone one that has the stamp of Obamacare,” Miller said on the "Running" program.
“It’s absolutely clear on its face that I voted to fully repeal, fully repeal the Obama health care plan the day after it was signed by the president into law. Now you have suggested that somehow or other this vote doesn’t count. I would direct you to the Congressional record…the sponsor of that amendment, and I am quoting again (said) ‘Mr. President, this amendment is very straightforward, it would repeal the Obamacare bill.”
Miller later had his chance to question Murkowski, saying she should explain where in the Constitution authorizes Roe versus Wade and “where in the U.S. Constitution permits federal funding for human embryonic destruction in laboratory research…where in the Constitution is the Troubled Asset Relief Plan, or TARP, the bank bailout bill…and finally your cap and trade bill you co-sponsored.”
Murkowski’s response was that the nation would be in a difficult place if it only funded things that were explicitly authorized in the Constitution. “I’ll give you a very specific point. In our Constitution it specifically provides for funding for a Navy and an Army, but it does not specify Air Force. Are we to suggest that perhaps we should not be funding our Air Force because it’s not included in the Constitution?”