For a full report on this issue, please see the Xpress article, “Keever and McHenry spar over Social Security, Medicare.”
Here’s the press release and statement from the Patsy Keever campaign.
Asheville—Rep. Patsy Keever held a press conference this afternoon at which she sharply criticized Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate and drew stark contrasts between herself and her opponent, Congressman Patrick McHenry.
“By choosing Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has embraced the most extreme posture of the most extreme parts of the Tea Party Republicans,” said Keever. “Bizarrely, Patrick McHenry even found a way to be more extreme than Ryan and his fellow Tea Party Republicans. On the same day he voted for the Ryan budget, McHenry voted for a budget that would have, among other things, raised the Social Security retirement age to 70. More than 100 of his fellow Republicans, including Paul Ryan, did not vote for this budget … but Patrick McHenry did.”
She went on to say that her campaign will be presenting policy alternatives to those of her opponent on a regular basis. Keever began today by addressing the two candidates’ different positions on the retirement age requirement for Social Security. Keever believes the retirement age should stand at 65, and Patrick McHenry voted to increase it to 70.
The full text of Rep. Keever’s statement is below.
Rep. Patsy Keever (NC-115) is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District. Keever taught in the public schools for more than 25 years and served on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners for 12 years. In 2010, Keever was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives from NC District 115.
PATSY KEEVER STATEMENT, AUGUST 14, 2012
Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan is bad for North Carolina and bad for America.
On March 29, 2012, Paul Ryan, aided and abetted by my opponent, Patrick McHenry, passed a budget in the U.S. House of Representatives that betrayed every man, woman and child in North Carolina.
The Ryan/McHenry budget would have destroyed Medicare, cut agriculture by $60 billion, cut taxes for the super rich and increased the budget deficit by $3 trillion dollars. That would have hurt every person and business in North Carolina. (Republican Fiscal Year 2013 budget offered by Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. Vote on March 29, 2012)
By choosing Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has embraced the most extreme posture of the most extreme parts of the Tea Party Republicans.
Bizarrely, Patrick McHenry even found a way to be more extreme than Ryan and his fellow Tea Party Republicans. On the same day he voted for the Ryan budget, McHenry voted for a budget that would have, among other things, raised the Social Security retirement age to 70. More than 100 of his fellow Republicans, including Paul Ryan, did not vote for this budget … but Patrick McHenry did.
The conventional wisdom about my campaign is that this district is so Republican that I will struggle to be competitive. That changed when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Paul Ryan is too extreme to be elected in North Carolina … and Patrick McHenry is more extreme than Paul Ryan. Democrats, Independents and mainstream Republicans in North Carolina’s 10th District all share one thing in common … they are not extremists.
Beginning today, my campaign will focus on the hijacking of the Republican Party by radical ideologues, including Paul Ryan and Patrick McHenry. Mitt Romney may be willing to embrace an extremist to win an election, but I don’t think Democrats, Independents and mainstream Republicans of North Carolina will.
I am going to present alternatives to the extremist policies of Ryan and McHenry. I am going to make the argument that these are serious times, and we need serious people to address serious problems. Neither Paul Ryan nor Patrick McHenry can be taken seriously because of the extreme positions they have adopted.
I love these mountains and the hills that sweep down into the piedmont. I love the people who inhabit the cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods all across the 10th District. It has been my pleasure to be of service to them as a teacher, a member of the Buncombe County Commission and a member of the state legislature. I owe the people a debt. A debt of gratitude. A debt of honesty. A debt of fearlessness.
I stand now against the extremists, like Paul Ryan and Patrick McHenry, who have hijacked a once great political party. I stand for the seniors, the working people, the teachers, the small business owners, the farmers and their children and grandchildren. I stand for the Democrats, the Independents, and, yes, I stand for the Republicans who look at these extreme policies and say, “These are not my values.”
Patrick McHenry can run but he can’t hide. I will expose his extremism. I will expose his betrayal of our values. I will not rest until the truth is known.
In my heart I hope that those who hear and read these words will decide to stand with me. I hope that reporters and editors who read my words, on this and in coming days, will make a decision to hold Patrick McHenry accountable. To stand silently in this dire moment for our republic, is to give in to the fear and despair that has given rise to these extreme policies.
I see a better day for America. I see a bright sunrise that ends this season of darkness. I believe the policies of the Democratic Party will hasten us toward this sunrise and that the policies of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Patrick McHenry will deepen the gloom at the expense of the people whom I have served as a teacher and elected official and whom I seek to serve in Congress.
Perhaps I will win this election. Perhaps I will not. The record will show, however, that Patsy Keever stood firm against the madness in 2012 and said, “Enough is enough.”
So let us begin.
Patsy Keever versus Patrick McHenry Policy Difference #1
Patsy Keever believes the Social Security retirement age should stand at 65 and Patrick McHenry voted to increase it to 70. If you want the retirement age raised to 70, then vote for Patrick McHenry. If you want it at 65, then vote for Patsy Keever.
In response, Patrick McHenry released the following statement:
“I’m fighting for solutions to our nation’s challenges, while, sadly, my opponent is only offering negative attacks. Patsy Keever supports the most extreme parts of President Obama’s agenda, as she’s made clear. This extreme agenda included cutting $716 billion from Medicare to fund Obama’s government takeover of our health care system, Obamacare. Now, with Medicare set to go bankrupt in 12 years, Keever and Obama have no plan to preserve Medicare for the future. In fact, President Obama’s budget was so extreme, it didn’t get one single vote, Democrat or Republican, in Congress. I am proud to stand with common sense leaders, who are working to find effective solutions to reduce wasteful spending and turn our economy around.”