With Obamacare waning as a political tool and polls showing the presumed-dead Sen. Mark Pryor anything but dead, the Republican campaign and Tom Cotton have grown grown increasingly shrill and desperate in their attacks. And the world has noticed. From the Washington Post

* KARL ROVE: His Super PAC is credited with a “creative cut and paste” to make it sound like Mark Pryor wants to shred the Social Security/Medicare safety net. It’s a lie, of course. But it won’t stop Rove’s group from spending $700,000 on TV ads to claim otherwise.

* TOM COTTON: And speaking of safety nets:

Meanwhile, the Crossroads ad claims that Pryor’s hostility towards Medicare is evident in the fact that “he was the deciding vote for Obamacare.”

And there is probably no one more gung ho for Obamacare repeal than Tom Cotton. He talks about it all the time. So he obviously would roll back the Arkansas version of the state’s Medicaid expansion, right?

Well, he has consistently refused to say. And in a new interview this week, Cotton was pressed on this question, and he served up pure gibberish:

REPORTER: What happens to those people who enrolled either on Obamacare or on the private option in Arkansas? They gonna be stranded?

COTTON: We’ll see what we can do in terms of reforming it, and potentially protecting some of the people who have already received some of the benefits. But what we want to do is ensure people have control over their own health care choices…that’s why we start over in health care reform, broadly speaking, not just with Obamacare, and get those decisions out of the hands of Washington.

So, we’re going to repeal Obamacare and “start over,” but we’ll make sure “some” of those who are benefiting from it will continue to do so, and you know, maybe we’ll just “reform” the state’s Medicaid expansion. By the way, thanks in part to that private option, no state in the country has shown a steeper drop in the rate of uninsured than Arkansas has. Cotton wants to have it both ways: He needs to be for Obamacare repeal, but he also has to fudge madly on the question of whether he would take its benefits away from people. But there’s no getting around it: Repeal of Obamacare means repealing the state’s Medicaid expansion and the law’s benefits for the newly insured.

Emphasis supplied.

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Greg Sargent calls the Rove ad “hilariously dishonest.”