DNC, Buttigieg signal Trump won’t get a pass in rural America
The Democratic National Committee held a press call this week featuring former South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg that signaled the Democrats will not avoid campaigning against President Donald Trump in rural areas, even though polls generally show that most farmers still approve of the president and intend to vote for him for re-election.
The press call followed the launch of a new television and digital ad entitled “Played,” which maintains that “Trump lost his foolish trade war against China and betrayed American workers and farmers who are now struggling to stay afloat.”
“Farmers manage uncertainty for a living,” Buttigieg said on the call. “The middle of the country is not stupid. They were willing to give a hearing to anyone promising changes. But Trump has failed.”
Buttigieg said he is looking forward to former Vice President Joe Biden being elected, “to move the country forward” by investing in “making the country more competitive” and having “someone who actually knows what he is doing when he confronts China.”
“[Trump] was rolled by China, fooled by [President] Xi Jinping, and duped into making them strategically better off,” Buttigieg said on the call.
“The deal that he got is so much worse than where we started out before the reckless trade war. At the end of the day, he sold out American workers, he sold out American farmers, and he sold out American values.”
“Trump’s reckless trade war with China has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and has decimated family farms,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez.
“Donald Trump said he’d get tough on China, but he didn’t. He clamored for a trade war with China and said that it would be easy to win, but he lost,” Perez said.
“His go-at-it-alone tariffs inflicted pain on American workers, not China. Instead of forcing China to the table to negotiate a trade deal that protected us, China sensed Trump’s desperation and played him like a fiddle.”
Perez and Buttigieg were joined on the call by farmers from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, two key swing states.
“Prices have been on a precipitous fall here for the last three years, when Mr. Trump imposed the tariffs” said Wisconsin farmer Craig Myhre.
“And once the coronavirus hit, that just put more salt in the wound,” Myhre said. “The tariff has driven China away from our markets. … I really fear that this is going to be a market that we’ve lost and is never going to come back, “I just can’t have another four years of terrible trade policy and more tariffs. … We just cannot continue down this road and expect family farms like me to survive.”
“I’m a third generation on this family farm — it was bought in 1949 by my grandfather,” said Pennsylvania farmer Rick Telesz.
“And there have been some challenging times in those decades, generations, but nothing has been any tougher than the last three years under this administration,” Telesz said.
“As far as Trump’s promises to the American farmers, ‘go out and buy more land, more equipment,’ this guy has no credibility. Everything he says, it’s almost like he’s in his own world. I have not heard him make one statement, as far as farming, that actually he lived up to. It’s a very trying time.”
Telesz said he is afraid that U.S. farmers have lost markets through Trump’s trade war, although he acknowledged that most farmers back Trump. “They are brand loyal but if they analyze the situation” they will realize “they are fooling themselves,” Telesz said.