In his high-profile political role as vice president of the Democratic National Committee, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was tapped to provide the official Democrats’ response to Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate in Iowa.
He didn’t think much of their efforts, focusing his eye-rolling on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, without mentioning Minnesota’s own congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, by name.
“With just a few weeks to go before the Iowa Caucus, tonight’s debate was the GOP presidential field’s last big opportunity to tell Republican voters in Iowa exactly what they think they’ll want to hear — and that’s precisely what the Republican candidates did tonight. For the Tea Party extremists who will help crown the next Republican nominee, they got their fill of right-wing buzz words and out-of-touch policies from Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the other candidates tonight. We all heard more promises to provide deep tax breaks to the very wealthy and big corporations and more support for extreme economic policies that would end Medicare as we know it, slash Social Security benefits, and cut critical investments in education, job training, research and development, and just about every other initiative important to job growt
“Unfortunately, if you’re one of the millions of middle-class families in America still struggling to make ends meet, the Republican candidates had only one message for you tonight: you’re on your own. Mitt Romney’s economic plan offers a mere $54 for the average working family — yet he continues to dismiss a payroll tax cut putting $1,500 back in their pockets as a ‘little Band-Aid.’ Just five days ago, he casually offered to make a $10,000 bet — which is more than what most middle-class families bring home in four months. And tonight, when Romney came under fire for his endless list of flip-flops on virtually every major issue, he failed to explain how his metamorphosis from liberal candidate in Massachusetts to the so-called “conservative” we see today was anything but cravenly political. Instead, he ducked the questions and desperately tried to move to the right of Newt Gingrich — America’s original Tea Partier who has endorsed the devastating ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Plan, which would cause our economy to bleed jobs and make immediate and devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These are failed policies that haven’t worked before and won’t work now – and quite simply, America’s middle-class families cannot afford to go down that path.”