Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) was right to be afraid about holding a town hall in Duluth. He knew the liberals would show up, not buy his snake oil pitch and ask tough questions. Despite holding it at the last minute and during the day so that most working people couldn’t attend, 200 or so people showed up to ask him some tough questions. He also reduced the number of questions his opponents could ask by giving a lengthy presentation and only answering a few questions before fleeing.
Cravaack used a litany of slides and federal budget data projecting that Social Security, Medicare and interest on the national debt paid to foreign nations will bankrupt the country over the next three decades if government spending isn’t curbed.
(Duluth News Tribune)
This video is telling of the mood of the crowd:
As keewatinrose mentioned in her post, he only had Paul Ryan’s medicare-slashing, social security-slashing snake oil to sell.
UMD student Fiona O’Halloran-Johnson confronted Cravaack over his claim that Pell grants raising the cost of education, she told him he was spreading lies. She finished by saying the following:
- “I am this future you keep talking about. This future you keep talking about piling debt on. And this is the future speaking, asking why you aren’t raising taxes on people who can afford it.”
Think Progress notes the following about Cravaack’s Pell grant claim:
Cravaack’s claim about Pell grants comes from analysis put out House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in support of the GOP budget, which cuts funding for the education program. As ThinkProgress has noted, the study Ryan cites to support his claim actually finds the opposite, concluding, “we find little evidence” that the grants increase tuition costs.
MPR notes that the people at the forum mentioned that Cravaack’s solution for new jobs, trying to get more mining jobs, would help the Iron Range, but wouldn’t help Duluth. Cravaack doesn’t seem to know that Duluth isn’t on the range.