BEDFORD —Now that the Republican presidential hopefuls have had their day in New Hampshire, ending with Mitt Romney’s primary victory Tuesday night, it’s the Democrats’ turn.
That was the message of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaking at the Saint Anselm College Eggs and Politics forum Wednesday morning.
“Yesterday’s primary couldn’t have happened soon enough for (Mitt Romney) because his support was rapidly eroding,” Schultz said, arguing that the more people got to know Romney, the less they liked him.
Romney’s campaign has been focused on Barack Obama rather than his primary opponents, and Schultz’ brief speech at the Bedford Village Inn suggested an oncoming counterattack.
Thirty-nine percent was a poor showing for a man who has essentially been campaigning in the Granite State for seven years, and who is a part-time state resident, said Schultz, a congresswoman from South Florida.
Romney “left New Hampshire voters wondering whether he understands the needs and the concerns of working and middle class families and what they’re going through in this country,” she said.
Romney, who’s viewed by many as the likely GOP nominee for President in November, recently said he too has feared receiving a “pink slip,” an attempt to demonstrate his understanding of people’s struggles.
“For New Hampshire voters and voters across the country, not only did this statement ring untrue, but it suggested a disconnection with middle class Americans,” Schultz said.
During his tenure at Bain Capital, Romney “made a profit at any cost, outsourcing jobs, closing plants, and bankrupting companies… deliberately,” she said
Schultz praised the work of President Obama since he took office in 2008.
Schultz, a survivor of breast cancer, said the health care reform act signed into law by Obama gave her calm.
“I can’t tell you the appreciation and the value that that’s brought to my life, knowing on the day I was diagnosed that I was one job loss away from being uninsured and uninsurable.”
Obama delivered on his promise to end war in Iraq, Schultz said, ensured that Wall Street plays by the same rules as Main Street, and provided Americans with a consumer protection watchdog to save them fromt predatory lending.
She said the President saved and created 1.4 million American jobs. “Had Mitt Romney or any one of those Republican candidates had their way, they would’ve simply let (the automobile industry) go bankrupt.”
Obama cut taxes on 17 different occasions, she said, resulting in tax breaks for 95 percent of Americans. Over the course of the next 10 months, Schultz said, this would be the message.
Serving Broward and Miami-Dade counties in Florida, the chairwoman said she has rich constituents who express a willingness to pay more in taxes.
Those people probably wouldn’t be forced to sell their second homes or eat fancy dinners less often, they tell her, but “if everybody’s paying their fair share, we’ll have the best education system in the world,” she said.
Schultz said Democrats have seven offices in New Hampshire, an arm of the “largest, most dynamic grassroots campaign in the history of American politics.”