CONCORD — The chair of the Democratic National Committee Thursday joined with a young former New Hampshire GOP leader who recently switched to her party to criticize Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as he headed to the Granite State to speak to a conservative youth group and the state Republican Party.
On a media conference call U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Jake Wagner, the former chairman of the New Hampshire College Republicans, called potential 2016 presidential hopeful Paul an out-of-touch “Tea Partier” who has no offered no new ideas. They also took aim at New Hampshire GOP candidates Scott Brown, Marilinda Garcia and Frank Guinta.
The conference call was held shortly before Paul was scheduled to appear at a “mix and mingle” event sponsored by Generation Opportunity, a 501c-4 issue advocacy group that is part of the political and advocacy network of Charles and David Koch – known as The Koch Brothers. The event was slated to be held at the Sam Adams Pub at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium Thursday evening. Paul is scheduled to address a NHGOP unity event and endorse Brown tomorrow.
State Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn criticized Wasserman Schultz and Wagner for politicking on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks and focused on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
“Senator Shaheen’s Washington allies are so desperate, classless and morally bankrupt that they could not even restrain themselves – for even one day – from launching more dishonest attacks on this solemn anniversary. This inappropriate behavior reminds Granite Staters that Jeanne Shaheen is willing to do any say anything to distract from her record of voting with President Obama 99 percent of the time,” Horn said.
Wagner caused a stir last week when he flipped his party affiliation to Democratic, writing that the primary reason was the Republicans’ lack of action in helping young people afford a college education and retire college debt.
Wagner said he that after spending three years traveling the state recruiting young people to become active with the GOP, he eventually “came to the realization that the Republicans have failed to present the kind of solutions this generation needs.”
Paul, he said, “exemplified all the problems that made me want to leave the Republican Party.”
“He voted against Bank on Students, a common sense piece of legislation that would have helped millions of young borrowers refinance their student loans,” Wagner said. “In New Hampshire alone, this would have helped 129,000 young people reduce the burden of student loan interest. Why’d he vote no? Probably because it would have been funded by a tax on millionaires and billionaires. Given the choice between students and the uber wealthy, he made his choice resoundingly clear. He talks a big game about innovation and liberty, but here’s the honest truth: Rand Paul’s policies are bad for young people.”
Wasserman Schultz said Paul “has a disastrous record” for young Americans, including his “opposition to immigration and to allowing ‘DREAMers’ to come out of the shadows.”
She called New Hampshire GOP congressional nominees Frank Guinta and Marilinda Garcia “two far-right ideologues,” who would “push the Tea Party agenda that led to the government shutdown” and are concerned with protecting the interests of the wealthy, such as the Koch brothers.
She called GOP Senate nominee Scott Brown a “failed carpetbagger” and said that he and Paul have a history of shifting their positions.
“It’s no surprise that Rand Paul would endorse Scott Brown while he’s in New Hampshire,” said Wasserman Schultz. “Both have shown a troubling pattern of having a position, getting questioned about how unpopular that position is, and then changing their positions – even denying they ever held the original one in the first place. On election night, Scott Brown said he was running for the Senate to be a change agent – but the only things he’s ever changed are his positions and his home state.”
“Rand Paul and Scott Brown will do anything they can to try to pull the wool over the eyes of voters in New Hampshire and across the country. But voters are smarter than that,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“Voters know when one party stands with the Koch brothers and the special interests in protecting corporate tax breaks for companies who ship American jobs overseas. Voters know when one party blocks commonsense measures to raise the minimum wage or ensure equal pay or lower costs for young people who have student loans. Voters know when phony candidates change their positions with the shifting political winds, and they have even less respect when those politicians deny their actions.
“So Rand Paul may be in New Hampshire to show Republican ‘unity,’ but voters are well aware of what the GOP is united behind: an agenda that hurts the middle class, hurts young people, hurts seniors and hurts women and their families.”