“…those folks who have the single issues of guns, or abortion, or same sex marriage, those folks who have a problem with those, being only single issue voters, well, look around. We’re all single issue voters as well. And our single issue is middle class families. And we have to start fighting for that single issue…”
Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley, the Democratic Party candidate in the 4th Congressional District,
at the Johnson County Democratic Central Committee and Democratic Club meeting in Warrensburg.
Teresa Hensley, Cass County Prosecutor and the Democratic Party candidate in the 4th Congressional District, attended a meet and greet event in the afternoon and then later spoke at the monthly dinner meeting of the Johnson County Democratic Central Committee and Democratic Club in Warrensburg this evening.
Teresa Hensley (D): ….When we look at what the House Republicans and Vicky Hartzler have done just this year, not to mention last year, but just this year, still passing again the [Republican House Budget Committee Chairman] Paul Ryan budget. And every time I say, the Paul Ryan budget you should feel free to boo. [voices: “Boo!”] Because it is just a terrible, terrible thing for them to think that they could be proud of it. And they are. Have you noticed that they’re not ashamed at all about the Paul Ryan budget? They don’t hang their head, they don’t walk around acknowledging that they would rather give more tax breaks, more federal subsidies to billionaires and big oil companies and still make cuts in things like Medicare, and Social Security, and food stamps, and Pell Grants, the very things that mean everything to us as a middle class…
…You know, I grew up with a dad who’s a plumber, my brother’s an ironworker, I understand what the middle class means. That’s how I grew up. My parents are seventy-six years old. They can’t possibly survive without Medicare and Social Security, the very things that they earned their whole life, the very guarantees that we had made to them.
And so, to have young people right now who can’t see a future of going to school because there may not be Pell Grants, there may not be money available to them, to see Head Start one of the preschool programs that we tend, say is one of the best programs, really that has come out for years, to be watching those things be cut, to be watching them not care that those are important issues, and then not hang their head about it, not be ashamed that they would rather help billionaires? And so, the Paul Ryan budget [voices: “Boo!”][laughter] is something we have talk about.
We have to tell our neighbors. You know, we have lots of friends and family and neighbors who are listening to the wrong things. They listen to the wrong news. And it is our responsibility to get out and talk to them about how mean the Paul Ryan budget is. [voices: “Boo!”] [laughter] And so, I would encourage you very much to really start talking to your friends and talking to folks. You know, I know it’s difficult because we seem to always get the brunt of the labeling. And so what I’ve been talking about, you know, they, the folks who have single issues, those folks who have the single issues of guns, or abortion, or same sex marriage, those folks who have a problem with those being only single issue voters, well, look around. We’re all single issue voters as well. And our single issue is middle class families. And we have to start fighting for that single issue. Just like they have mislabeled us, we need to not mislabel them, we need to remind them that they are mean. When you’ll pass the Paul Ryan budget [voices: “Boo!”] and you’ll take billionaires over middle class families there’s something wrong. And we need to make them hang their head. We need to address that with everyone we talk to and everyone we see.
That’s what we are. You know, as Democrats we are about the middle class. We’ve always been about the middle class. That’s how we got Social security, that’s how we got labor unions, that’s how we got the middle class. It is because of us as Democrats and the labor unions that there is a middle class, that there is a forty hour work week, that there is a decent wage, although it is a good argument right now, we haven’t had a decent wage in thirty-eight years. [voice: “They should have to live on minimum wage.”][voice: “That’s right.”] Absolutely. [voice: “They won’t, that’s all they’ve earned, actually.”] In fact folks can’t live on right now on minimum wage. [voice: “Not right now.”] Minimum wage doesn’t pay the mortgage and the gasoline in their car and food on the table.
And so, again, it is about us starting to talk the talk that they’ve been talking for a long time. They’ve talked about how all that we are, for the issues that we stand for as Democrats, but we need to make them hang their head on Paul Ryan’s budget. [Voice: “Yes.”] [voices: “Boo!”]
I really appreciate getting to be here tonight….so let’s, one more time talk about how mean and how awful the Paul Ryan budget is [voices: “Boo!”] Thank you very much. I’ll take that over applause any day. [laughter] [applause]