The Corner

The Repeal Debate in PA-12

Tim Burns, the Republican candidate to succeed the late Rep. John Murtha (D.) in Pennsylvania’s Twelfth District, is pouncing on his Democratic opponent for “playing both sides of the issue” on health care. Murtha aide Mark Critz refused to take a position on the health legislation during the congressional debate over it, but came out against it after it passed–even running an ad highlighting his opposition. But when Politico asked whether he would support repeal, he said no.

In a phone interview today, Burns said that Critz’s opposition to repeal also calls into question his professed pro-life stand. “I find it disingenuous,” Burns says, given the legislation’s “government-funded abortions.”

Burns shrugs off Vice President Biden’s visit to the district. “I think it just reinforces the idea that [Critz] is someone who will go to Washington to go along with the Obama-Pelosi agenda,” which he does not think is an attractive quality to most people in the area. “I think we’ve got the momentum.” The special election is on May 18.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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