Coming back from Thanksgiving, we had a lot to be grateful for this week here at the DNC. From equality for LGBT Americans, to Obamacare, to DACA, we can thank President Obama for the strides we’ve seen under his leadership. This morning we learned even more positive news: November's jobs report showed 211,000 new jobs created, and the unemployment rate held at 5 percent. Our nation’s 69 straight months of private-sector job growth – the longest stretch on record– demonstrates progress that lifts up American workers and their families. We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to strengthening the middle class, but it’s clear that the economy has undergone a remarkable turnaround from where we were seven years ago.
Although we have a lot to be thankful for, we also have heavy hearts this week. We stand in solidarity with victims of the mass shootings that our country has seen. Those affected by the most recent mass shootings—from Colorado Springs to San Bernardino—are in our thoughts. However, thoughts are not enough. Thoughts won’t reduce gun violence. Our nation’s leaders must take action to enact reforms to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill, and those on national security watch lists. The Republican presidential candidates were given a chance this week to vote to make our country safer, but instead, they decided to vote with the NRA against universal background checks and against blocking terror suspects from purchasing guns. We’re grateful for Democrats who have led the charge to push for gun safety, and we urge Republicans to follow their lead so our nation can pass common-sense reforms.
2016 Republican Presidential Candidates
Ted Cruz gets the award for “Most Tone-Deaf 2016er of the week” by holding a 2nd Amendment-focused event in Iowa after two horrifying mass shootings rocked the nation. Also this week, Ted Cruz took mansplaining to a whole new level. He actually tried to convince the crowd at his town hall that Democrats completely made up the Republicans’ push to limit a woman’s access to health care and contraception, because according to him, you can always get a condom from the vending machine in the bathroom. You can’t make this stuff up. Cruz went as far to say that he’s “never met anybody, any conservative, who wants to ban contraceptives.” Maybe he never looks in the mirror – he believes corporations should be able to deny contraceptive coverage for their employees. He even supports personhood legislation, which could make the use of contraception illegal. Ted Cruz was right about one thing: Republicans are ‘completely puzzled’ when it comes to women’s health—and that could have devastating effects for the millions of women who deserve access to quality health care.
As per usual when it comes to the 2016ers, Marco Rubio’s reaction to recent acts of gun violence was out-of-touch. When asked about the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, Rubio said on WKXL in New Hampshire that “the vast majority of shootings happen when a criminal is shooting another criminal.” Instead of offering up real solutions in the wake of preventable acts of gun violence, Rubio appealed to the darkest elements of the Republican Party and devalued the lives of everyday Americans lost on our country’s soil. In fact, Rubio put his backwards ideas to action last night in the U.S. Senate. Just twenty-four hours after one of the worst mass shootings this country has ever seen – and possibly an act of terrorism – Rubio, along with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham voted against legislation that could prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. They also voted against legislation that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases and help keep guns out of the wrong hands. And contrary to their calls for action on mental health, the legislation being debated by those same presidential candidates would repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a law that expands critical access to mental health care. Shame on Rubio and the other GOPers for ignoring the pleas from their constituents who agree that enough is enough.
Although Donald Trump’s comments seem to become more outrageous by the day, it’s important to keep in mind that Trump is just like the rest of the Republican field. His policy proposals and offensive rhetoric come from same out-of-touch, tired GOP playbook—filled with ideas that would drag our country backwards. Not only are his ideas the same as the other GOPers, but the NRSC has been encouraging their party’s senatorial candidates to embrace Donald Trump’s outrageous and offensive tactics on the campaign trail by “grab[bing] onto the best elements of [his] anti-Washington populist agenda.” The RNC chairman has gone so far as to called Trump’s candidacy “a net positive for everybody.” See the similarities between Trump and the rest of the GOP presidential hopefuls on our Factivists site here.
Huffington Post: Birth Control Access Is Far From An 'Utterly Made-Up Nonsense Issue'
New York Times: Tough Talk and a Cowardly Vote on Terrorism
- A recent study from the National Council of La Raza found that the economy is almost equally important to Latino voters as immigration heading into the 2016 election.
- A recent CNN/ORC poll showed that Donald Trump is again leading the Republican field, with 36 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents supporting him. Ted Cruz is his nearest competitor, trailing 20 points behind.
What People are Writing in the States
- New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Lizzy Price released the following statement afterChris Christie called a New Jersey police officer a “pig” this week: “It’s typical of Chris Christie to lash out at people who criticize him – but this time, he actually lashed out at a New Jersey police officer who dared to critique Christie’s relationship with the law enforcement community in his home state. Insulting the police by calling an officer a ‘pig’ and questioning his service is downright shameful, especially for someone actively seeking the position of Commander in Chief.” Read more of this post here.
- Iowa Democratic Party Chair Dr. Andy McGuire issued the following statement after state Senator Mark Chelgren, a Republican running for Congress in Iowa’s Second Congressional District, said he supports executing undocumented immigrants: “Mark Chelgren’s reported comments are vile, hateful and downright deplorable. We have heard Steve King and many Republicans running for President demean and insult immigrants and advocate for callous policies that would tear immigrant families apart. Mark Chelgren’s call for executing undocumented immigrants represents a dangerous new low for the Republican Party.” Read more of this statement here.
View this post on our Factivists site here.