Not for Turning

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Rep. James Lankford (R., Okla.), a freshman, has been quoted a few times in recent weeks saying that he is not “spooked” by the backlash against Medicare reform. So I thought I’d check in with him and see if he still feels that way after the special election in New York. Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: “That [election] is its own unique anomaly that does not bother me. . . . We’re going to try to do the right thing the right way. I’m not interested in running a campaign that walks into nursing homes and tries to scare people. . . . The Medicare house is on fire and the Democrats are standing there complaining that we’re using the wrong hose to put it out.”

He doesn’t think his colleagues are panicking, either. “I have yet to talk to a Republican who is wavering from that position. I haven’t run into anyone who is backing off that position. I hear that more from the media.”

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