NEW ORLEANS -- A resounding cry to repeal and de-fund the Affordable Care Act at the opening day of Redstate Gathering 2013 held in New Orleans. Gov. Bobby Jindal and other conservative Republican speakers were driving home the issue on Friday at the political conference.
"We are right now in the midst of what I think is going to be the biggest and the most important issue this Congress will face and that is the battle to defund Obamacare," said Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Those words earned a round of applause for Senator Cruz as he addressed the crowd inside the Westin in New Orleans. Cruz is one of 11 Senators joined by David Vitter who recently signed a letter informing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that they will not vote for a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare.
A few hours later, Governor Jindal also took to the podium criticizing the Health Care Reform Act.
"I know there's a debate in Washington, D.C. about Obamacare and about elections. Look we don't need to stop fighting. We need to do everything we can to repeal this awful law and replace it with a conservative solution," said Jindal.
The governor also talked about Louisiana's economy and the need to grow the private sector and trim government. Another talking point for the governor: what he called the state's successful education reform strategy including school vouchers.
"Here in New Orleans 80 percent of our kids are in charter schools in five years. They doubled the percentage of kids doing reading and math on grade level," said Jindal.
UNO political scientist Ed Chervenak says conservative groups continue to rally around overturning Obamacare for one main reason.
"That's there defining issue because they feel that represents everything that's wrong with big government. Here's the federal government telling people what they need to do. They believe that that power should reside at the level of the states," said Chervenak, who adds attempting to defeat the affordable care act is a losing battle.
"Today, the House voted for the 40th time to repeal Obamacare, and obviously that's not going to go anywhere. You have a democratic Senate and you have Obama who would veto anything that comes out of the legislature," said Chervenak.
As for what the republican party will look like come 2016 and who will fight for the White House? Chervenak says its too early to tell with clear rifts within the party.
"What we're witnessing right now is a Civil War within the Republican Party between the tea partiers and the establishment faction of the party. Its really difficult to know who is going to come out on top," said Chervenak.
The Redstate gathering runs through Sunday. On Saturday, Congressman Steve Scalise and Senate candidate Rob Maness are scheduled to speak.