At a craft brewery in Hampton, New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton called out her Republican presidential opponents for sacrificing American jobs to appease the billionaire Koch Brothers and talk radio Tea Party extremists. In particular, Clinton criticized Republicans who want to dismantle the Export-Import Bank, which supplies loans and provides insurance to facilitate the sale of U.S. exports to international buyers.
A number of Republican presidential contenders have gone on record in favor of killing the Export-Import Bank, a move that could potentially eliminate a significant number of American jobs in the process. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have pledged to shut down the Export-Import Bank. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also have publicly expressed opposition to the Export-Import Bank.
Clinton argued at the Smuttynose Brewery that the Republican hopefuls were pursuing a job killing policy simply to placate extremists in their party, from the wealthy Koch Brothers to the loud voices on right-wing AM talk radio.
She contended that the Republican candidates were afraid to stand up to the Tea Party and talk radio. She added:
It is wrong that candidates for president, who really should know better, are jumping on this bandwagon. It’s embarrassing.
Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling dismissed Clinton’s comments by arguing that if she cared about small businesses and jobs she would be a supporter of “trade promotion authority, pro-growth tax reform, the Keystone pipeline and real regulatory relief”.
Whatever one thinks of the Import-Export Bank, Hillary Clinton hit upon a theme that will probably become a defining motif during her campaign. Republican presidential candidates are so busy pandering to wealthy donors or vocal Tea Party activists, that they refuse to enact common sense policies that benefit ordinary American workers.
Republican candidates are so fearful of losing support on their right flanks that they cower in submission to the dictates of their billionaire backers, or to the angry voices on talk radio. Presidential candidates who are afraid to do the right thing, because it might offend the “wrong people”, probably should seek another line of work. America needs a President who can lead, not one who only knows how to follow.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.