DNC chair, speaking in Park City, makes case for the middle class (with video)
The chair of the Democratic National Committee, appearing in Park City on Saturday, said President Obama’s re-election last month was a "crowning achievement" for the Democrats.
Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, speaking to the party’s executive committee at the Montage Deer Valley, said it seemed to some that the contest between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney was tight as Election Day approached.
"Guess what, it wasn’t close," she said, noting that Obama won some of the swing states by wider margins than had been anticipated.
Wasserman Schultz praised the Democratic grass-roots campaign effort, which stretched through the 50 states. They rallied voters on a door-to-door basis and organized phone banks, she said. The party supporters "knocked on doors until their knuckles bled," Wasserman Schultz said.
Romney offered what she labeled a repeat of trickle-down economics. Obama countered with long-range economic ideas, she said.
Wasserman Schultz, meanwhile, told the Democrats the president is supporting the middle class in the negotiations about the nation’s fiscal situation. She said Obama bases decisions on what is best for the middle class.
"We must give the middle class the certainty they deserve," she said about taxes, urging the crowd to keep pressure on the Republicans.
Wasserman Schultz was appearing in one of the nation’s most heavily Republican states. Romney easily won Utah on Election Day, and voters picked the GOP candidate in three out of the four congressional campaigns in the state. They also re-elected Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The Democratic National Committee was especially focused on the 4th Congressional District campaign between Congressman Jim Matheson, a Democrat, and Republican Mia Love. Matheson narrowly won in the new district.
In comments to reporters after her remarks to the group, Wasserman Schultz said the 4th Congressional District campaign was closely watched by the national party, more so than the campaign for the 1st Congressional District, where Park City and surrounding Summit County reside. Rep. Rob Bishop, the Republican incumbent in the 1st Congressional District, dismissed Pinebrook Democrat Donna McAleer by a wide margin.
The Wasserman Schultz appearance will likely cap a year of high-profile political visits to Park City by both of the major parties. Others this year included a summer fundraising trip by Vice President Joe Biden and a summit hosted by Romney, also held in the summer. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, made a local stop as well. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and Wasserman Schultz’s counterpart at the GOP, visited Park City last winter.
In her comments to reporters, Wasserman Schultz touched on topics like the nationwide Democratic campaign efforts, the fiscal cliff and Obama’s successes with a diverse group of voters. She said she had been to Park City before, including a visit for the Sundance Film Festival. She called Park City a vibrant hub for Democratic activism. She said the Democrats are committed to "rebuilding our economy from the middle class out."
Some of her remarks to reporters included:
"We have an opportunity, for example, right now, the Republicans in the House of Representatives can put the bill that makes sure that we extend the middle class tax cuts on the floor of the House of Representatives. We could have passed it this week and sent it to the president’s desk, give the certainty that the middle class needs, but they refuse to do that."
"I hope they get it, but it doesn’t appear that they have gotten the message of the election, that the American people had two paths and two choices that they could make. The trickle-down economic vision is the one that they chose not to support. They chose Barack Obama’s vision of rebuilding this economy from the middle class out."
"President Obama is and Democrats in Congress are focused on making sure that we, as a result of the reflection of the sentiment of the voters, that they expressed in this election when they re-elected President Obama and elected Democrats across the country, that we can pass a balanced approach to deficit reduction"
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Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt died Friday from injuries sustained in an off-duty accident earlier in the week, the agency announced.