Excerpts from DNC CEO at Roundtable with Southern Caucus Chair and South Carolina Women

Today, Democratic National Committee CEO Amy Dacey and DNC Southern Caucus Chair SC State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter held a round table discussion with South Carolina women on the issues that matter in the 2016 election. As Donald Trump and Marco Rubio prepare to campaign in South Carolina this weekend, the roundtable focused on important issues that the Republicans too often forget—including equal pay, paid family leave, increasing the federal minimum wage, expanding Medicaid in South Carolina, and making education more affordable. Below find excerpts as prepared for delivery:
DNC CEO Amy Dacey
“In just over two months, the nation will descend on South Carolina for the First in the South primary.  That puts everyone here in a unique position to hold presidential candidates accountable and to remind your fellow citizens about what’s at stake in this election for you, your neighbors, and your families.
“While we continue to make progress under President Obama’s leadership, the Republicans looking to replace him are offering an agenda that is completely out of step with the priorities of women in South Carolina and across the country.
“They’ll be onstage again Tuesday night talking about repealing Obamacare and dishing out tax breaks for billionaires and wealthy corporations.  But you know what they won’t be talking about? They won’t be talking about requiring paid family leave, or expanding Medicaid here in South Carolina, or increasing the federal minimum wage, or making education and college more affordable for our kids.
“But that’s no real surprise.  Take paid family leave for example.  As President Obama noted during his State of the Union this year, “we are the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.” That’s simply unacceptable.  Strong families mean stronger communities, a stronger economy and a stronger country.  No one should have to choose between a paycheck and spending time with a newborn or a sick relative – that’s not a choice at all.
“But not a single Republican presidential candidate supports requiring paid family leave. Marco Rubio voted against an amendment to allow all working Americans to earn paid sick time and has said that he doesn’t think mothers of newborns deserve paid leave. John Kasich voted against family and medical leave multiple times in Congress. Jeb Bush has not responded to requests for comment on paid sick leave legislation and has said that he opposed federal paid maternity leave legislation. Ted Cruz voted against an amendment to allow Americans to earn paid sick time and has said on maternity and paternity leave: “I don’t think the federal government should be in the business of mandating them.” And Carly Fiorina actually said that paid leave policies “hurts women.”

“This isn’t leadership.  These statements and these positions are what hurt women, their families, and the millions of Americans across this country struggling to get ahead.”