Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) on Wednesday sought to clarify earlier comments that it wasn't the "responsible" thing to let ObamaCare fail, saying he meant the GOP should take an active role in dismantling it.
"By saying that's not a responsible thing to do, I meant to say, if it's teetering, you have to push it over the cliff," he told The Hill.
Kingston, who's running for Senate in Georgia against seven other Republicans for his party's nomination, has taken heavy fire from his opponents for comments he made last week that appeared to break with his party's strategy on ObamaCare.
"And there’s some criticism, 'Well, are you helping improve this law when you make that change? And should we be doing that?' " Kingston said of pushback to a bill he proposed to fix ObamaCare.
"A lot of conservatives say, 'Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.' But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do," he added.
But he told The Hill his comments had been misinterpreted, and he meant that "if it's teetering over the edge, we shouldn't just sit back with our fingers crossed. We need to push it over the edge."
Kingston has proposed a number of bills to fix or change aspects of the law, and he's touted one that would change the definition of small businesses in the law to exempt them from ObamaCare.
But he said Wednesday that wasn't meant to be a fix — rather, it was part of an effort to dismantle the law.
"If you exempt large groups of people from the law, it's going to hurt it financially. This whole thing is a card house, and any time you move one of the cards, you're accelerating the collapse of the whole law," he said.
Kingston added that rather than sitting back and watching the law fail, "we should be shaping the debate and accelerating its demise."