The newest member of Congress, Rep. David Jolly, said the message for Republicans from Florida's special election Tuesday centers on the debate over big government versus small government, with Obamacare simply a manifestation of the issue.
"This is a big government-small government debate . . . Obamacare is simply a manifestation of that," the Florida Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday. "I would say for Republicans, you know, that is an important lesson to hold onto."
Jolly beat Democratic opponent Alex Sink in a special election to replace the late Bill Young.
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Republicans and Democrats alike watched the race closely for possible implications heading into November's midterm elections.
Obamacare illustrated what people viewed as "big government in their lives," Jolly maintained. He said the message resonated among voters, but also suggested Republicans couldn't "just be the party of 'No.'"
Jolly pledged to find ways to work with Democrats and President Barack Obama on issues "where we can find areas of agreement," but said he wouldn't alter his core beliefs to accomplish that.
"I, obviously, bring some pretty core convictions. And, I need to stay true to those convictions," he said.
While Democrats often took a "keep what is working and fix what is broken" approach on Obamacare, Jolly said they didn't talk specifics about solutions. He said Democrats, when challenged, "don't want to talk about what is really broken."
Jolly's suggestion for working to restructure Obamacare focused on finding a "true less government solution." Specifically, he outlined a term health insurance plan similar to the concept of term life insurance.
"Let's talk about less government, allowing somebody to purchase a policy, and portable across state lines. Reduce regulations on employers, and let them simply reimburse it," he said.
Voters looked at Obamacare as an issue where "Washington can do better," Jolly explained. He said lawmakers "really messed up, and they are not owning up to it."
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