Last Friday in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Eric Hovde, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said he was “sick and tired of reading sad stories about people struggling in the recession,” and that he “wants to see the media focus more on the debt and the larger problems afflicting the country,” according to Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post. But someone had better tell Hovde that people’s struggles are one of the largest problems afflicting our country, that he wouldn’t only be representing rich people if he took office, and that when he says things like this he looks like an out-of-touch jerk who doesn’t deserve to be elected.
From Amanda Terkel‘s report:
…pointing to a reporter in the audience, Hovde said he would love to see the press stop covering sad stories about low-income individuals who can’t get benefits and start covering issues like the deficit more frequently.
“I see a reporter here,” he said. “I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray. Stop always writing about, ‘Oh, the person couldn’t get, you know, their food stamps or this or that.’ You know, I saw something the other day — it’s like, another sob story, and I’m like, ‘But what about what’s happening to the country and the country as a whole?’ That’s going to devastate everybody.”
Apparently Hovde does not realize how many Wisconsinites are already devastated, as we speak, by financial difficulties.
Like my friend Margaret, a Wisconsin taxpayer. Margaret, an otherwise healthy individual who exercises and eats right, was told by a doctor that she needed an MRI a few weeks ago, but she doesn’t have health insurance. When she told hospital staff that she didn’t have health insurance they asked her, “Don’t you work?”
Margaret explained that, yes, she works two jobs, one full-time, one part-time, but between student loans, regular bills, and the fact that she doesn’t earn a living wage, she can’t afford to pay the $400/month plus a $3,000 deductible required to get the insurance. When told that an MRI costs $2-5,000, Margaret had to decide whether to take on the debt, or take a chance with her health.
Margaret’s story is not the exception, it’s more like the rule, and it’s not a “sob story,” it’s a true story; it is the unfortunate reality for many Wisconsinites.
For Eric Hovde to not know this, or worse, to put his hands over his ears and say he doesn’t want to hear it, is despicable. And it proves that he is not qualified to represent average Wisconsinites.