A number of prominent journalists shared a deceptively edited video that purported to show Republican Michigan Senate candidate John James fumbling his response to a question about protecting patients with pre-existing health conditions.
“I don’t see a full health care plan on your website. What do you want to replace it with?” anchor Devin Scillian of Detroit’s Local 4 News asked James during an interview on Sunday.
“So here’s the thing. I’m not a politician,” James begins his response, at which point the video ends.
During the rest of his answer that was not included in the clip, James goes on to outline his vision for health care and the proposals he believes could replace the Affordable Care Act.
“Health care is unaffordable for too many Americans, and I believe that by increasing competition, increasing choice, increasing quality of care, lowering costs, I think we can do that with some of the ways I proposed,” James said.
The Michigan Republican said he proposes “broadening the risk pools across state lines,” as well as reforming the tort and regulatory hurdles that raise costs and allowing business association health plans “so people can make their own choice.”
“Those are the types of things through a legislative requirement that must protect preexisting conditions,” James said.
The video was put out by Michigan Democrats and subsequently shared by several prominent journalists and others with large Twitter followings.
CNN White House correspondent John Harwood shared the video, as did Emily Singer and Oliver Willis of the American Independent and veteran broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien. Several former government officials and entertainment personalities also shared the video along with Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s communications director and incumbent Gary Peters, James’s opponent in the Senate race.
The Michigan Senate race is now considered a toss up between James and Peters, according to RealClearPolitics.
James has been advocating for replacing Obamacare since his first unsuccessful run for Senate in Michigan three years ago.
In November 2017, James called the Affordable Care Act a “monstrosity” and declared Washington needs “someone who will go and work their tail off” to repeal and replace it.
“Our failure to repeal and replace Obamacare is the surest sign that we need new conservative leadership in Washington,” James said at the time.