Cotton on Capitol View: Immigration, Health Care and More

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Sen. Tom Cotton joined host Jessi Turnure in studio to discuss his RAISE Act, health care, North Korea and other issues affecting Arkansans. 

The senator stood next to President Trump earlier this month as he announced his support for the RAISE legislation, which is estimated to cut legal immigration into the country in half. 

Democrats have called the bill a non-starter, while some Republicans, including Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Marco Rubio, continue to be critical of it. Turnure asked Cotton why they’re all wrong. 

“Many of my colleagues are emotional and opinionated yet uninformed on the matter of immigration in general and our legislation in particular,” he said. 

“If you have the kind of job where you take a shower after work, not a shower before work, you’ve been struggling a lot in recent decades,” Cotton continued. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve had a major surge in unskilled and low-skilled immigration in those same years.”

In regards to the failed Better Care Reconciliation Act Cotton helped craft, Turnure asked the senator if he would do anything differently, knowing how the vote turned out. 

“I might go back in a time machine and tell some of those Republican senators that were reluctant to vote for it exactly what it meant when it said we wanted to repeal Obamacare,” Cotton said. “That’s ultimately the problem we had.”

After Trump said North Korea’s missile strike threats would be met by “fire and fury the world has never seen,” many of Cotton’s colleagues criticized how such comments could hurt U.S. diplomacy efforts. 

“North Korea is a different kind of country,” the senator said. “President Trump is trying to speak in the language Kim Jong-un will understand.” 

“Throughout history, we’ve seen time and time again that war often comes not from taking an aggressive posture towards dictators but encouraging dictators to think they can get away with provocative behavior,” Cotton continued. 

GOP strategist Bill Vickery and Skip Rutherford, the dean of the Clinton School of Public Service, weighed in on Cotton’s comments.  

You can watch the full episode above. 

This week’s Capitol View was taped Thursday so Turnure could not ask Cotton about Saturday’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Cotton wrote about the violence in the following statement:

“I’m currently traveling in the Balkans, where the long, violent history of ethnic supremacism still stalks the land and is a reminder of how unique America is. White supremacists who claim to ‘take America back’ only betray their own ignorance of what makes America so special: our country’s founding recognition of the natural rights of all mankind and commitment to the defense of the rights of all Americans. These contemptible little men do not speak for what is just, noble, and best about America. They ought to face what they would deny their fellow citizens: the full extent of the law.”

Capitol View airs Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. on KARK-TV before NBC’s Meet the Press. 


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