Friday, August 29, 2014

TOP STORY >> Cotton rallies Cabot voters

Leader staff writer

Rep. Tom Cotton (R- Dardanelle), who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in the general election in November, made a campaign stop Friday at the Days Inn in Cabot.

The Fourth District congressman was introduced to dozens of Republican supporters and voters by state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).

“Tom, we can promise you this with confidence. We are going to give you a victory in Lonoke County November 4th,” Williams said.

Cotton said he calls his tour the Arkansas First Tour, because “Mark Pryor says he likes to put Arkansas first, but it’s not true. He put Barack Obama first.”

Cotton said they’ve traveled around state and tried to find a person who agrees with Obama 93 percent of time. Cotton said he has to go Washington to find Mark Pryor.

Cotton said Pryor’s record has had a negative impact on the working families of the state on issues.

“That’s why it’s time to retire Pryor,” Cotton said.

“Take Obamacare. The President and Mark Pryor promised it was going to drive down the cost of health insurance. It’s driven it up for so many Arkansas families,” Cotton said.

The freshman congressman said thousands of Arkansans are going to lose their health plans. People will lose access to their favorite doctor, especially seniors because of $700 million in cuts to Medicare.

Asked for comment late Friday, Pryor campaign spokesman Erik Dorey said, “Mark Pryor has said from the beginning that this law isn’t perfect, but the fact is Congressman Cotton wants to return to the days of insurance company abuses where Arkansans were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, families faced lifetime caps on coverage and folks could be kicked off of their plans when they get sick.”

Cotton also said the price of food has increased by “imposing more regulations on farmers and ranchers, whether making every pond, stream or even puddle on a farm subject to EPA regulations; expanding critical habitat designations for endangered species, those lovable characters mussels, muckets or bats to half of the land in Arkansas, or maybe trying to outlaw pesticides that we’ve used safely for decades in the U.S.”

Cotton said liberals like Pryor voted to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants living here without securing the national border.

He blamed Pryor for voting with President Obama’s spending, adding in trillions of dollars to the national debt.

“It is an immoral burden that we are placing on the next generation of Americans before they even get out of school, before they are even born—$50,000 or more in debt for every man, woman and child. It is immoral, and I won’t stand for it as your next United States senator,” Cotton said.

Cotton said the military is being cut by trillions of dollars at a time when Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says “the world is exploding all around us.”

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin is invading the Ukraine, providing advanced weaponry to rebels there who are shooting down civilian aircraft.

Cotton said al-Qaeda, which the U.S. fought in Iraq, has regrouped as ISIS in Syria and western Iraq. They are the most well-financed and well-armed terrorist army in the world.

Cotton, an Army veteran, said he supports the military and said he would be “a tireless advocate for the Little Rock Air Force Base.”

He said LRAFB is major part of the local economy in central Arkansas.

Dorey, the Pryor spokesman, pointed out that “Tom Cotton voted to cut civilian employees from Little Rock Air Force Base. Congressman Cotton was one of the cheerleaders of shutting down the government. (He) supported sequestration cuts, and he wanted to make them worse.”

Cotton also spoke on increased regulations. He said the President’s EPA administrator has tried to ban the use of coal, which has increased electricity rates.

“Burning coal gives us more than half of our electricity here in Arkansas,” Cotton said.

Cotton said gas prices have more than doubled since Obama took office, because Democrats don’t want to take advantage of the gas and oil available in the U.S.

Dorey said, “Here again, Tom Cotton is shamelessly misleading Arkansans about Mark’s record. Mark Pryor supports an all-of-the-above energy strategy including drilling, where he bucked his party, and Mark supports building the Keystone pipeline now — against the wishes of President Obama because Mark knows that means good jobs and energy security for our nation.”

Cotton said, “Those are the stakes here in Arkansas. They couldn’t be any higher. You have a chance to repudiate the Obama agenda and turn our state and country around.”