RNC Chair Priebus: Obamacare a late campaign issue

Posted at 5:19 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 23:31:26-04

Any way you look at it --- Donald Trump has dramatically changed the nation's political landscape and the party of Lincoln.

Republican Party Chairman Reince Preibus said that isn't a bad thing.

Chairman Priebus was back in his home state talking presidential politics with Stevens Point voters.

He talked one on one race with TMJ4's Charles Benson. Priebus said he's trying to get Wisconsin Republicans on the same page despite deep divides within the party.

Benson: Do you think Donald Trump has made the party today, that the party is better than it was four years ago?

Priebus: I think the party is different and I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that bringing people into the fold that haven't be involved before, having 25,000 people at every rally in Florida is a good thing.

Priebus also said Republicans were ready for the election to be a referendum on Obamacare after news Tuesday showing health insurance premiums jumping double digits.

Priebus: If there's no method for the shopper know what the price is of a particular product in health care than there is no way to actually drive down cost, that's the problem.

Benson: But do you think Republicans have lost the chance in this election to win that argument?

Priebus: No, I don't think so because if its a referendum on Obamacare, no not at all, it's hitting right now. There's two weeks to go, Charles.

Benson: But the polls suggest that's not going to work?

Priebus: Yeah but the election is on November 8.

When asked to respond, Wisconsin Democrats fired back. 

"The fact is that the Affordable Care Act has insured nearly 20 million Americans and Donald Trump wants to take coverage away from them," said Brandon Weathersby with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Priebus is not taking sides in the political feud between Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump recently called Ryan weak and ineffective.

The two have not campaigned together and Priebus is OK with that.

"I was on the bus with Mitt Romney and I was on the bus with Paul Ryan four years ago," Priebus said, "And I can assure you John Boehner wasn't hanging around the bus. He was worrying House races. He was doing his job as Speaker. That's what Paul Ryan is doing."

Priebus called Ryan a great leader a predicted the party will come together by election day.

Not so, say Wisconsin Democrats. 

"Reince Priebus is just trying to distract the voters from his disaster of a presidential candidate who continues to run a divisive and hateful campaign," Weathersby said.