They called it the “Weekend with Bernie.”
Senator Bernie Sanders criss-crossed Montana for a rapid-fire series of events over the weekend to boost Rob Quist, the folk-singing Democrat on the ticket for Thursday’s special election to replace now-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, for the state’s seat in the House of Representatives.
“Rob and I are going to do everything we can to bury that horrific, disgusting piece of legislation that passed two weeks ago,” Sanders bellowed, referring to the recent House passage of the American Health Care Act, during the duo’s final stop together in Bozeman on Sunday morning.
From Missoula to Butte to Billings and Bozeman, the primary rallying cry for this race was health care—and the skyrocketing costs for care that could result if AHCA is signed into law.
During the second-to-last stop of the tour in Butte on Saturday, a union stronghold that was formerly a copper boomtown throughout the end of the 19th century, some 2,500 or more poured into the Butte Civic Center in the late afternoon.
To the bane of Congressional Republicans, the Congressional Budget Office score on the GOP’s new health care bill will be released next Wednesday. On Thursday, the polls will close in Montana’s closely watched congressional race between Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte.
Hoping to get a boost from the inevitable Democratic outrage over the health care news next week, Quist is releasing his last few political ads; with two of them focusing entirely on health care.
In his ad, “Half,” Quist addresses the pre-existing condition rates in his state. Serving as his own narrator over b-roll of a picnic with the stunning Montana skyline painted behind them, Quist says, “Did you know half of all Montanans have a pre-existing condition? One out of every two.” Quist goes on to tell the story of a few other people attending the picnic, including one woman who survived breast cancer, and a man who made it through a major back surgery. “One thing I can tell you,” Quist says, “we’re all thankful to be here.”
“Greg Gianforte says he’s thankful for the new healthcare bill,” he continues. “The one that eliminates protections for pre-existing conditions and raises premiums on every Montanan who has one. I think Greg’s thankful because he gets another big tax break at our expense.”
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