Saturday’s Kennedy-King Dinner at the Kitty Night House in Georgetown played host to series of endorsements for Dr. John LaFerla to turn Maryland’s First District blue in November.
Senator Ben Cardin led a pack of local Democrats who spotlighted LaFerla’s commitment to women’s health issues, the environment, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
Cardin wasted no time pouncing on Republican incumbent, Dr. Andy Harris, for rejecting a farm bill that would help the Shore’s drought stricken farmers. He read off seven letters that he said would move the bill towards passage after the November election.
“Let me just spell his name, L-A-F-E-R-L-A,” Cardin said—reminding voters that LaFerla is a write-in candidate. “The Farm Bill passed the Senate with strong bi-partisan support, but we just can’t seem to get it out of the House of Representatives.”
Cardin’s 20-minute speech drew praise for President Barack Obama’s herculean efforts to clean up the aftermath of the Wall Street collapse and the huge deficits he says were caused by a misguided $1 trillion war with Iraq and massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Cardin reminded the audience of better days during the Clinton administration when job growth was the “envy of the world” and Democrats had balanced the budget.
“Bill Clinton and the Democrats did something you have only seen once in your lifetime—and that is a balanced the federal budget,” Cardin said, noting that not one Republican voted to balance the budget during the Clinton years. “We got it done and we got our economy growing. I say this because I don’t want to hear any more lectures from our Republican friends on fiscal responsibility.”
“Our economy went off a cliff [in 2008] and we were losing almost 800,000 jobs a month when Barack Obama became President,” Cardin said. “That’s the hand President Obama was dealt and Bill Clinton laid that out clearly” at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte.
Cardin compared the legacies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton with how both parties showcase their former presidents.
“You saw Bill Clinton at our convention, but did anyone see George W. Bush” at the GOP convention, Cardin asked the audience.
“President Obama took the reigns and changed the direction of America,” Cardin said. “Let’s give him credit for his record. We now have 30 consecutive months of job growth in private sector jobs.”
Cardin said 4.4 million private sector jobs have been created under Obama of which 500,000 are in manufacturing.
“George W. Bush’s policies cost us jobs,” he said. “President Obama has us headed in the right direction.”
Cardin warned the a Mitt Romney presidency would be a throwback to the Bush years with more tax cuts for the wealthy at a high cost to the middle class—and without a balanced budget.
“Mitt Romney’s plan cuts education, he cuts the Medicare program for seniors and he cuts environmental programs,” Cardin said. “He does this not to balance the budget, but to give another round of tax cuts to the wealthiest in our country.”
He said Romney’s budget plan would cost middle-income families an additional $2,000 a year.
Cardin closed by saying there is a huge money disadvantage for Democrats going into the Nov. 6 election, which has created a swath of campaigns ads against Obama that are factually untrue. He worried that a misinformation campaign by GOP funders could sway independent voters.
“We’re going to hear statements that are going to shock us, but they will have an impact on those undecided voters,” Cardin said.