Rucho: Health law more harmful to US than Nazis

Posted December 16, 2013

Sen. Bob Rucho

— State Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, has garnered national attention with a tweet slamming the Affordable Care Act.

"Justice Robert's pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined," Rucho wrote via Twitter, the social networking site. 

Rucho's reference to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a call back to the court's June 2012 vote to find the bulk of the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Roberts, a conservative jurist appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote the majority opinion in the case.

On the phone Monday, Rucho said that he was referring to the economic damage done by the Affordable Care Act versus the economic damage of other events.

"I was concerned about the fact that there are 6 million people who have lost their health care due to Obama," Rucho said, referring to those in the private insurance market who have had to get new insurance policies as a result of the health care law.

Rucho said there will be millions more who could see changes in health coverage when additional requirements for employers kick in next summer.

It's not exactly a surprise that Rucho opposes the law. He was a primary sponsor of a bill last year through which North Carolina rejected the expansion of Medicaid in the state – a key feature of the federal plan. Rucho is a top lieutenant of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, chairing the chamber's Finance Committee and playing a leading role on initiatives such as this year's tax rewrite. 

Rucho Obamacare Tweet

However, the references in his tweet are loaded. In Internet discussion forums, references to Nazi atrocities is viewed as particularly vitriolic, not least because Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews and others and was the instigator in World War II. According to the Congressional Research Service, 405,399 members of the military were killed during World War II. The references to terrorism raises the more recent history of 9/11 and the terrorist hijacking of four planes that crashed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

Again, Rucho stressed he was talking about the economic, not moral cost, of events. 

His comment has drawn attention from his hometown newspaper as well as national liberal groups such as Think Progress and national media organizations such as New York Magazine. Response on Twitter has run from people cheering him on to approbation. 

"I think we're putting something out on that today," said Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, when asked about Rucho's comments. He described his fellow state senator's comments as "outrageous," but asked to defer further comments. 

Nesbitt later added via email that Rucho's "comments this weekend illuminated a very troubling world-view. It should be clear that Bob Rucho is not a fringe outlier in the Senate, but a vocal member of Republican leadership. This is the man responsible for gerrymandering legislative districts, shifting North Carolina's tax burden onto the backs of working families, the reckless and wasteful seizure of Charlotte's airport, and a voter suppression law that has made North Carolina the target of a Justice Department lawsuit.

"Governor McCrory and Republican leadership have stood with Bob Rucho on the rest of his ludicrous agenda, so I think it’s fair to ask where they draw the line?" Nesbitt wrote. 

Claude Pope, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, also condemned the tweet.

"The tweet is highly offensive and he should apologize," Pope said.

Rucho was far from apologetic Monday morning. Asked why he didn't try to make his larger point in an opinion piece in a newspaper, Rucho responded, "It would be nice if someone would accept some of those op-ed pieces."

Twitter famously limits the amount of verbiage allowed in each post. "You've got 140 characters and you do your best to explain your situation," he said.

Later in the day, on WBT radio in Charlotte, Rucho was asked about Pope's call for him to apologize for his comments.

"There's no way I'm going to apologize for saying the truth," Rucho said.


This blog post is closed for comments.

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  • scvmcdoc Dec 19, 2013

    WRAL keeps this story up for a week but doesn't mention the comments of Dear Leader's aide John Podesta. Keep it up WRAL, you are the biggest water carrier of all and the furthest for from fair reporting.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Dec 19, 2013

    Rucho wins a gold star.

  • tllight Dec 19, 2013

    No way he is going to apologize for the 'truth'?? How asinine...McCory should publicly reprimand him - if not - he has no guts.

  • junkmail5 Dec 19, 2013

    First and foremost, it forces people who do not believe in murdering the unborn to pay for abortion, abortion pills and birth control.- Danny22

    Well, no, it doesn't do that at all.

    As has been repeatedly explained to you in the past.

    If you do not want to purchase any of those items or procedures, nobody is "forcing" you to do so.

  • Danny22 Dec 18, 2013

    He is exactly right bc obamacare is all about gov't control and tyranny. First and foremost, it forces people who do not believe in murdering the unborn to pay for abortion, abortion pills and birth control. This is TYRANNY.

  • IndependentAmerican Dec 18, 2013

    Rucho - 7+ terms in the senate.... time to go. Term limits by the voters.

  • goldenosprey Dec 18, 2013

    lessis, where to begin?
    Obama will help some people who have never had affordable access to care. Helps my spouse have surgery covered that was before a "pre-existing condition" that would not get covered.

    The repetitive rants about socialism are misplaced. The vast majority of those able to work want to work hard and advance. Obamacare is a market driven for-profit act written and implemented by conservatives and republicans. That's what is wrong with it. I've had about enough of regressive critics bashing the ACA while offering exactly 0 ideas of their own.

    The right wing fantasy construct of half the country able-bodied but sitting idly with their hands out does not pass any plausibility test. If anyone has enslaved this countries it is the omnipotent corporations you worship, which have depressed wages and plunged us into near 3rd world status with less economic mobility than France or Pakistan.

  • junkmail5 Dec 18, 2013

    85% of Americans don't want Obamacare.- lessismore

    Why do you keep making up lies easily debunked?

    The polling numbers against the ACA have been anywhere close to 85%

    .explain how Obamacare will help Americans- lessismore

    The roughly 14% without healthcare now have a greater opportunity to get it.

    Those with pre-existing conditions can now get affordable coverage.

    There's whole websites devoted to stories of all the specific people it has ALREADY helped.

    It's not a great solution... but it's demonstrably better, for more people, than the previous system.

    Over half the population of this country are drawing some government welfare or entitlement - lessismore

    Sure, if you count stuff like social security as "welfare" I guess.

    Socialism does not work, it always collapse when government runs out of mone- lessismore

    Funny thing about that... specific to HEALTHCARE, the actual facts show that universal care is MUCH cheaper than the US system.

    By a LOT.

  • oldaltar Dec 18, 2013

    When it comes to power in the U.S that there are only two. One is the power of the people and the other is the power of money. Forget about democrat, republican and independents. As it stands now based on the U.S history for the last 30 years and what I am reading on this blog, money power, be it in the form of corporation or plutocratic control, is winning over people power. Many of us are to blind to see that regardless of race, gender or culture we are in the same boat.

  • lessismore Dec 18, 2013

    Every time a liberal gives something for nothing, more welfare, more entitlements...our lives are worse off. Socialism does not work, it always collapse when government runs out of money...and Obamacare is no different. Over half the population of this country are drawing some government welfare or entitlement and democrats love it....keeps them in office. Work has become an evil word. Obama believes no one should have to work if they don't want to. Long live the welfare president....that is how he will be remembered...he has absolutely no accomplishments that make this a better country. Welfare has enslaved tho majority of Americans, nod the democrats love it.