Excerpts of remarks by DNC Chair, SCDP Chair, and SC State Rep. previewing the State of the Union
January 11, 2016
WASHINGTON — When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tomorrow night, we’ll hear about the progress our nation has seen with a Democrat in the Oval Office. We have had 70 months in a row of private-sector job growth, the unemployment rate has fallen to five percent, and more than 17 million Americans now have access to health care. Yet all of the progress we’ve made will be placed in jeopardy if any of the Republican presidential hopefuls has their way.
Today, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison, and South Carolina State Rep. Carl Anderson hosted a press call to preview President Obama's State of the Union and the GOP’s response. Below find excerpts as prepared for delivery:
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
“We’ve made remarkable progress since President Obama took office seven years ago. . . It’s easy to forget, but when President Obama took over from a Republican president, our country was losing 800,000 jobs a month, unemployment signs littered streets across America, and too many people had to choose between bankruptcy and getting the healthcare they needed.
“And just last week the President took executive action to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and to begin to turn the tide against the gun violence affecting so many of our communities.
“But as we enter this election year, we are faced with Republican presidential candidates who would take back the gains we’ve made. Who’ve promised to start rolling it all back on day one. We can’t let that happen. There’s still more work to do to have an economy that gives everyone in America a fair shot.
“Tomorrow night, the voice of the Republican Party will be the Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, who will deliver the response following President Obama’s speech. Haley’s failed record, gives her no credibility whatsoever. In fact it exemplifies exactly why the last thing we need is a Republican to make the same mistakes at the national level.”
South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison:
“The Republican establishment would have you believe that Gov. Haley is a success story for their party. But people who live in South Carolina know that she is just one of many failed Republican governors who care more about politics than people.
“Also like the Republican presidential candidates, Governor Haley is no stranger to investigation and scandals.
“In 2013, dozens of children died in unsafe homes because of a dysfunctional Department of Social Services.
“She warned a senator participating in the oversight investigation not to embarrass her or hurt her chances of getting reelected. When children’s lives were at risk, Governor Haley was concerned with politics, rather than fully concentrating on keeping the states most vulnerable children safe.
“Time and time again Governor Haley has put politics over the well-being of her constituents and her duty as an elected official. From refusing to invest in the states crumbling infrastructure to championing draconian voter id legislation to disenfranchise voters, this is not the record that should be heralded, particularly from someone considered to be a vice presidential candidate.
“Nikki Haley epitomizes the doom and gloom you hear from the Republican presidential candidates, and like her counterparts, is absolutely disconnected from reality. To hear them tell it, the Republican stewardship of the economy, highlighted by the Bush recession, was some kind of golden age. We all know it was an absolute failure.
“Tomorrow night, President Obama will discuss his vision for the next year—a vision grounded in optimism and fueled by the hard work of the American people.
“We’re going to be reminded tomorrow night that America must continue to move forward, continue to progress, and not be dragged backward by radical political ideologues.”
South Carolina State Rep. Carl Anderson:
“One of the most important issues facing South Carolinians right now is access to healthcare. As you may know, Governor Haley has refused to accept the federal funds from the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid for South Carolinians leaving nearly 200,000 South Carolinians without access to healthcare.
“This funding is desperately needed to improve health outcomes in our state. According to the UnitedHealth Foundation, South Carolina ranks 42nd out of 50 for overall healthcare among the states. Our uninsured rate of 15.4% is among the highest in the nation.
“If Gov. Haley accepted the funding for Medicaid expansion, an estimated 23,000 South Carolinians would receive cholesterol screenings, 6,500 more women would receive mammograms, and 9,700 more women would get cervical cancer screenings each year. In addition, Medicaid expansion would save nearly 200 lives in South Carolina each year. There are people hurting all across our state and yet Governor Haley would rather play politics than have a healthy workforce.
“But I also want to echo something important Jamie discussed, which is the doom and gloom we’re hearing from the Republican presidential candidates. They’re using fear to divide. They’re pitting Americans against one another, and tearing at the fabric of our great nation.
“Tomorrow night President Obama is going to remind us that America succeeds when all 320 million who call this great country home get to participate. That we’re stronger together than when politicians try to divide us for their own gain.
“…tomorrow night, Governor Haley will be introduced to the nation as the voice of the Republican Party. But like the Republican presidential candidates she’s shilling for, Governor Haley cares more about politics and getting ready to audition for Vice President than she does about building an America worthy of our children.”