Southern Fried Smackdown: Mark Pryor Shreds Koch Candidate Cotton In Arkansas Senate Debate

mark pryor tom cotton debate

Sen. Mark Pryor tore through Koch candidate Rep. Tom Cotton in tonight’s Arkansas Senate debate. Cotton’s only response to every question was to avoid specifics and blame Obama.

Note: This is a rush recap of tonight’s debate.

Sen. Pryor began his opening statement by saying he has taken Arkansas ideas to Washington, then hit Cotton right away with the big cash that he has taken from out of state billionaires. He pointed out several Cotton House votes on Medicare, and raising the student loan interest rate.

Rep. Tom Cotton used the standard Republican line that Washington isn’t working, without admitting his role in breaking Washington. In less than two minutes, Cotton mentioned Obama four times and said that voters need to quit apologizing for America and attack ISIS before they attack us here.

The first question was about keeping the Fort Smith 188th flying. Cotton used his rebuttal to again name drop Obama and claimed that Pryor doesn’t take military security seriously because he supports President Obama. Rep. Cotton’s strategy is painfully obvious. He is going to link Pryor to Obama.

Pryor was asked about Walmart dropping health insurance for part-time employees. Sen. Pryor pointed out that Walmart workers have a private insurance option in Arkansas. Pryor explained how people with preexisting conditions have benefited from the ACA. Sen. Pryor said he wanted to make changes in the law, but he doesn’t want to go back to the bad old days.

Cotton blamed the changes at Walmart on Obamacare and called the ACA government run healthcare. Cotton used the phrase Mark Pryor and Barack Obama twice in his answer. Pryor pounced and told voters Cotton didn’t say. He didn’t offer a solution. Rep. Cotton claimed that people were happy with their high premium/low coverage junk insurance.

Rep. Cotton had to do a song and dance over his vote to slash food stamps in the Farm Bill. Cotton used the standard GOP line that country is in debt, without pointing out the deficit was shrinking. Cotton again linked Pryor and Obama. Pryor responded by nailing Cotton for saying one thing in Arkansas, but doing another in Washington. Pryor said, “He’s not listening to you. He’s listening to his mega-donors who are trying to buy this election for him.” Cotton responded by saying the name Barack Obama three times in thirty seconds.

Pryor again drilled Cotton for being bought and paid for by outside billionaires. Sen. Pryor was asked what was his definition of the middle class. Pryor said that Cotton wanted build the economy from the millionaires down while he wants to build the economy from millionaires out. Cotton responded by name dropping and blaming President Obama, and claimed that repealing Obamacare would help the middle class.

A later question was for Cotton, who was asked what happens to the 200,000 Arkansans who signed up for Obamacare. Cotton used Obamascare tactics and described turning Medicaid into a block grant program. Cotton offered no solution. Pryor accused Cotton of using fuzzy math, and said that the state legislature and governor deserve credit for getting 240,000 residents insurance. He said that Cotton insists on taking that coverage away from them. Cotton stuck to the bogus Republican talking point that Obamacare is harming Medicare. Pryor said, “Congressman Cotton has no answer for the people that he would kick off of these health insurance programs.”

It is easy to see how Pryor has held off Cotton. Tom Cotton is the model Koch candidate. Rep. Cotton’s only strategy is to offer no details while linking Sen. Pryor to Obama.

On student loans, Pryor blasted Cotton for trying to cut student loans while using Stafford Loans to go to Harvard. Cotton responded with the laughable claim that Obamacare nationalized the student loan program. Cotton mentioned Obama another three times.

Rep. Cotton’s whole line of attack was centered on defining Sen. Pryor as a big government, Obama supporting Democrat. On infrastructure, Sen. Pryor specified which state projects are his priorities. Cotton danced and dodged around any infrastructure specifics.

Pryor was asked about his record of spending cuts and said that in the last three years he has voted for three trillion dollars in spending cuts. Pryor called for the focus to be on jobs, the economy and growing the middle class. Cotton responded by linking Pryor and Obama. It is unfathomable why the Republican Party touted Cotton as a good Senate candidate.

Rep. Cotton failed to put Senator Pryor on the defensive, and his dozens of attempts to link Pryor to Obama fell flat. Cotton repeatedly portrayed himself as a Washington outsider, even though he is part of the House majority that controls 1/3 of the legislative process.

Cotton had to play defense on the government shutdown, and voiced the House Republican delusion that it was the Senate’s fault that the government was shut down. Cotton was asked what proposals he would support to strengthen Social Security, and he said Pryor was robbing Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Cotton completely dodged the question because he supports privatizing Social Security. Cotton claimed that Pryor can’t be trusted on Social Security. Pryor gashed Cotton for following his billionaire backers and used the AARP study that said Cotton’s voting record would result in immediate cuts to Social Security. Cotton kept repeating the Obamacare/Medicare cuts lie.

Cotton’s closing statement was, “A vote for Mark Pryor is a vote for Barack Obama.” Cotton clearly had no agenda for Arkansas. Cotton tried to frame the Senate election as a referendum on Obama.

Pryor replied in his closing statement by saying, “He’s running against one man, and I’m running for three million Arkansans.” Pryor said I listen to you; he listens to his mega-donors.

Mark Pryor is a prime target of Republicans in 2014, but he has a good chance of winning reelection because the Republican candidate looks like he is hiding something — because he is. Cotton is banking everything on linking Pryor to Obama. So far, that strategy hasn’t worked, and it fell flat in tonight’s debate.

Any Democrat who watched this debate should feel better about Sen. Pryor’s chances in what should be a very close Arkansas Senate election.

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17 Replies to “Southern Fried Smackdown: Mark Pryor Shreds Koch Candidate Cotton In Arkansas Senate Debate”

  1. It’s not surprising that Rep. Cotton tried to tie Sen. Pryor to Pres. Obama because that’s the tactic the RNC told all GOPTPers who are running for Congress this year to use. Few, if any, of them have plans/policies they can talk about and explain. Cotton trying to portray himself as an outsider while he’s been instrumental in creating unprecedented gridlock in Congress is ludicrous. GOPTPers don’t understand that they’re NOT running against the president. He already has a job and is not up for reelection. What they’re banking on in the midterm elections is the same thing they’ve depended on for the last five years–blaming the president for their own failure to govern effectively. The Constitution gives members of Congress greater powers than any other branch of the federal government. The founders made congress-members, especially in the House, more responsible for governing the U.S. than either the executive or judicial branches, something millions of Americans ignore.

  2. What? No Benghaziii, IRS, Fast and Furious, Birth Certificate and before I forget New Black Panthers working with Acorn to give abortions on demand and you wont be able to protect your pure women because the Kenyan took away your guns?

    That teahadist is out of his cotton picking mind for not bringing it up

  3. The Republican opponents are looking like a deer caught in the headlights at these debates. All they have are talking points and lies, which the Democrats will turn to shreds with a rebuttal!
    The Koch Brothers are trying to buy this midterm with candidates that make Barney Fife seem sophisticated. What a waste of money.

  4. You can sum up the context of every republican candidate’s strategy for every debate conducted this year with the following:

    “Obama did it and I’m an obedient Kochsucker”

  5. Jason Easley has gotten this all wrong, Pryor kept accusing Cotton of his rich donor, but in March at a dinner sponsored by Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, a noted lefty fundraiser, gathering in oodles of ultra-lib California cash to bring back to Arkansas. I live in Arkansas close to the capital city and have not seen Pryor do any town hall meeting to listen to what Arkansas wants. Pryor version of middle class during the debate was $150,000 which is a very good example how out of touch Pryor is with Arkansas where the average family do well to earn $40,000. Pryor rich donors may think the middle class is $150,000 but not in Arkansas. Pryor talked about Cotton voted no on the Farm Bill, yes, because Tom Cotton read the fine print of the bill and said the Farm bill and the Food stamp of this bill need to be separated into two separate bills.

  6. While it’s been said Pryor stands for nothing, Cotton is the biggest D-bag on the planet. Such a political choice.

  7. People on here quoting the Republican talking points and pretending to live here are crazy. If you live here and you make 100,000 a year (in NWA, anyway), you don’t feel rich, income may be low down south but housing is expensive here…… $40,000 a year will hardly buy a house up here, so quit quoting from some statistic to make you feel better about Pryor’s numbers. Mark Pryor ain’t all that but Tom Cotton is worse.

  8. I’m seeing the same tactic with Mitch Mcconnell’s political ads. I’m in SW Ohio, but see the ads going back and forth between Mcconnell and Grimes in Kentucky. In every Mcconnell ad, he tries to tie Grimes to Obama. It’s ridiculous!

  9. It’s hilarious these Republican candidates can offer no solutions during these debates. They just spout talking points and attack President Obama. Then you have people making comments defending them by attacking little bits of what the Democratic opponent said, but no real defense as to why the Republican keeps dodging the questions. The Republicans keep dodging the questions for one of two reasons, they either don’t have any real answers or the answer they do give would send the voters running to the Democrats.

  10. While I am beyond happy that Sen. Mark Pryor smacked down Tom Cotton, I don’t get why is so bad to be tied to the President.

    From what I understand, the President is only asking that every American be given the same chance. What the hell is wrong with that!!!!!

  11. Part of what the GOP sent me this morning:

    GOP
    Judith,
    This week’s two Arkansas Senate debates had one clear loser: Mark Pryor.
    Congressman Tom Cotton held Pryor to his record on the issues that are most affecting Arkansans – Pryor’s out-of-touch idea of what Arkansas’ middle class earns, and his support for ObamaCare and the Medical Device Tax. And he pointed to Pryor’s clear misrepresentation of Arkansans in the Senate.
    Pryor claimed the middle class, “most of Arkansas,” earns up to “$200,000” annually.
    THE TRUTH: The median income in Arkansas is in fact $40,000 — and a household making $200,000 would actually be in the top 2% of earners in the state.
    Pryor claimed he disagrees with Obama “on a whole variety of things.”
    THE TRUTH: Pryor in 2009 said Obama “is exactly what we need right now,” and in the Senate, Pryor has voted with President Obama 93% of the time.
    Pryor claimed he is “supportive of repealing ObamaCare’s Medical Device Tax.

  12. I must have missed the “shreds” part of your story.. Looks to me like Cotton is up by 7 points..and we will soon see the last of obama’s buddy..Mark Pryor !!!!

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