Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, who angered conservatives by suggesting it was more "responsible" to fix Obamacare than to let it fail, said Wednesday that he really meant the healthcare law ought to be junked altogether.
Kingston, who's running for the Senate nomination in Georgia against seven other Republicans, was heavily criticized for questioning
whether the GOP tactic to let Obamacare fail was "responsible," an apparent break with party strategy.
"By saying that's not a responsible thing to do, I meant to say, if it's teetering, you have to push it over the cliff," he told The Hill
In his original remarks to The Hill, the lawmaker said of push back to a bill he had proposed to fix Obamacare, "And there's some criticism, 'Well, are you helping improve this law when you make that change? And should we be doing that?'"
"A lot of conservatives say, 'Nah, let's just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.' But I don't think that's always the responsible thing to do," he said.
He told The Hill his comments had been misinterpreted, and that he meant that "if it's teetering over the edge, we shouldn't just sit back with our fingers crossed. We need to push it over the edge."
Kingston has proposed several bills to fix or change aspects of the law, and he's touted one that would change the definition of small businesses to exempt them from Obamacare. He said that, however, was part of an effort to dismantle the law.
"If you exempt large groups of people from the law, it's going to hurt it financially," he said. "This whole thing is a card house, and anytime you move one of the cards, you're accelerating the collapse of the whole law."
Kingston said that rather than sit back and watch the law fail, "we should be shaping the debate and accelerating its demise."
Kingston's initial remarks to The Hill had conservatives reeling, with RedState.com
noting: "Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law."
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