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MN08: Chip Cravaack’s Snake Oil Pitch, Part Deux

by keewatinrose on August 27, 2011

Chip Cravaack was criticized for presenting the agenda of the Tea Party at his so-called town meetings earlier this year, so he introduced what he insisted was a “new hot off the press power point presentation” in Deer River earlier this month.

But that wasn’t true and unfortunately it’s not the only lie Cravaack has told his constituents.

The snake oil salesman’s shill may change his name, buy new clothes and get a haircut, but he is still a shill. Likewise, snake oil salesman Cravaack’s shill, the power point presentation, may have undergone a name change and gotten a slight makeover, but the message is still the same: sell the Ryan budget.

On Wednesday, approximately 200 citizens crowded into the Skyline Room at the Duluth International Airport for a town meeting Cravaack announced only the day before. Like those who attended the meeting in Mountain Iron, this group was subjected to a 25-minute presentation and forced to view slides with such familiar phrases as “who owns our debt” “the crushing burden of debt” “an unsustainable path”.  And Cravaack continued to push the lie that the Ryan Medicare plan is the same as the Clinton plan.

Pushing this Tea Party agenda was not the only similarity to the town meeting in Mountain Iron; Cravaack’s behavior was similar as well.  While Chip was able to maintain his glib exterior while he was in control and lobbed soft-ball questions, that melted away fairly quickly when challenged. Tea Party Chip was again not able to defend his positions on his own, repeatedly referring back to the power point slides. But there was no sign of the deer-caught-in-the headlights look observed in Mountain Iron. This time when pinned down, his smooth snake-oil salesman persona gave way to that of a caged animal, attacking by snapping questions back at the constituent and playing dead by feigning acquiescence and referring the matter to staff.

Cravaack did add a twist to this meeting, however. In response to a college student’s plea for more financial aid, he introduced yet another premise of the Ryan Budget: the needs-based Pell grant program causes tuition to increase. So, the 8th district now has a congressman who believes that poor kids are responsible for the dramatic rise in tuition.

Isn’t that special?

Joel in Duluth August 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

I could not attend the Cravaack town hall, but I did attend Sean Duffy’s town hall in Superior a month or so ago.  It sounds like Cravaack’s powerpoint is identical to the one Duffy had.  When Duffy was forced off message at his meeting, it became clear that the guy actually knows nothing about either economics or economic policy.  Unlike Cravaack, though, Duffy’s strategy when forced off message is to become even “nicer” in a kind of swarmy student council sort of way.  I’d go so far as saying that Sean Duffy is a twelve year-old trapped in a forty-year old body.  I’m curious who is actually responsible for authoring this ubiquitous powerpoint.

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