Sal Pace blasts Tipton campaign’s insensitivity to working Americans
Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District race made national TV last week when MSNBC’s Ed Shultz featured Democratic congressional candidate Sal Pace’s response to a callous comment on the plight of ordinary working Americans by the Congressman Scott Tipton’s campaign.
In an interview with the right-leaning Colorado Observer, Tipton’s campaign manager Michael Fortney was feeling confident about Tipton’s re-election chances. “With gas prices doubled, the national debt doubled and unemployment has barely moved, we feel good,” he told the interviewer.
This interpretation of the lingering recession as an enhanced political opportunity stood for two days on the Colorado Observer website. Only after Sal Pace demanded that Tipton apologize for the statement, an Etch-A-Sketch editor at the Colorado Observer transformed the original statement into an innocuous anti-Obama rant.
“Congressman Tipton owes the people of Colorado an apology,” Pace said. “I know far too many people who have lost their jobs and homes in this tough economy. Our struggles are real, and it’s appalling to imagine that your campaign might want even more people to suffer for political advantage.”
The Tipton camp seems convinced their strategy has worked, since they have made no further attempt to respond to criticisms. However, since many print and web reports publish both the original and the edited version, their ploy simply calls attention to the Tipton campaign spin that distorts the original comment.
The revised quotation says, “Voters in the Third District are rejecting Obama’s policies that have led to gas prices doubling, the national debt doubled, and unemployment has barely moved. We feel good about our chances.”
It is clear that the “we” of the original version refers to the Tipton campaign “feeling good.” In the revised version it is “voters” who are said to be the source of these remarks.
“It’s laughable how much the quote’s changed. It’s completely different,” Chad Obermiller, Pace’s campaign manager, told the Colorado Independent.
Next to Tipton himself, Fortney’s is the most authoritative voice in the campaign. Unless Tipton distances himself from the original comment, he owns it.
As Stephen Carter of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put it, “While high gas prices, high unemployment and bad economic news may be sunshine and lollipops for Congressman Scott Tipton, the rest of Colorado needs leaders who actually want to improve the economy instead of keep Colorado down for political gain.”
This latest Tipton campaign gaffe might not have attracted so much attention if it had not so perfectly supported Democratic charges that congressional Republicans have suppressed legislative efforts to improve the economy for working Americans.
As Sal Pace points out, neither of the quotations from Fortney addresses the real question: Is Tipton “trying to push policy in Congress that hurts the economy?”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said just prior to the 2010 election, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Looking beyond the expected GOP gains in 2010, McConnell called on “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job” in 2012.
To many observers, Republican senators’ use of the filibuster routinely to obstruct legislation designed to relieve unemployment and stimulate the economy is a plan to sacrifice the economy in order to weaken President Obama before the election.
Recently, when asked if the Republicans were obstructing legislation that might improve the economy, Sen. Bernie Sanders replied, “Well, I think if you’re asking me are the Republicans prepared to do anything they can to torpedo the economy in order to defeat Obama. I think the answer is pretty clear. They have shown that time and time again.”
Sanders cited the failure of the transportation bill in the House as a recent example of the Republican obstructionism that has paralyzed Congress and prolonged the recession.
Tipton clings dogmatically to the failed economic policies of the past that caused the recession and continue to prolong it.
Pace maintains, “The everyday challenges we all face balancing our family budgets and filling the gas tank aren’t a political advantage. They are real issues that need to be addressed.”