Heitkamp Blasts Berg, Schafer at ND Dem-NPL Convention
On the surface, North Dakota Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Heidi Heitkamp does not appear too worried about the Republican opponent she will face. “I am so proud to be a North Dakota Democrat…We are as strong today as we were 20 years ago when we first elected Team North Dakota,” said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp says North Dakota needs a senator who would put politics aside, put country first and do what’s right for North Dakotans and the American people. “I got into this race because Washington is a mess. We have too many senators and congressmen taking care of themselves, taking care of their powerful friends, and blaming someone else when they fail. Meanwhile, we are falling deeper into debt, millions, millions of our own Americans cannot find work. Many people in our country struggle to pay the bills and energy prices keep soaring. For too many Americans, everyday is a struggle to survive,” said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp says North Dakotans have had it, Americans have had it and she has had it. “I’m running for the United States Senate because we need more people in Washington who will stop worrying about their political careers and start worrying about the future of this country,” said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp spelled out a few of her campaign themes at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL state convention in Grand Forks this weekend and took some jabs at her potential Republican rival U.S. Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND). “This country needs more people like Kent Conrad and fewer people like Congressman Rick Berg,” said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp says in the U.S. Senate she would fight for North Dakota energy. “We need a real energy policy. One that doesn’t rely on slogans. One that utilizes all of our natural resources: coal, oil, wind, bio-mass, geothermal, hydro, and I could go on and on, and a lot of it, guess where it is. It’s right here in North Dakota,” said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp also says she would fight for North Dakota innovation and ag interests. “I’m not going to Washington to just be another voice that says I’m right and you’re wrong. I’m going to Washington to find a few good people who are committed to finding the waste, closing the loopholes, growing the economy and leveling the playing field for our middle-class Americans,” said Heitkamp.
While discussing the topic of agriculture, Heitkamp even took a jab at former Republican North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, who served as U.S. Ag Secretary in the Bush Administration. Heitkamp credits Democrats for the current farm bill which is set to expire. “Let’s talk about, a little bit, just a little bit, about the history of that farm bill. Do you know who opposed that farm bill? Speaker of the House John Boehner. Yup. Do you know who vetoed that farm bill, twice? George W. Bush. And do you know who was the Secretary of Agriculture when George Bush vetoed that bill twice? Ed Schafer. Now, just a hint, this year that bill will expire. What will replace it will depend on the leadership that we send to Washington, DC. Make no mistake, if we send Rick Berg to the United States Senate, we’ll get the policy of John Boehner, the policy of George Bush and the policy of Ed Schafer. And they will say no to North Dakota agriculture,” said Heitkamp.
Schafer takes exception. “I think Heidi Heitkamp, you know what, it might have sounded fun and good when she was standing-up there in front of the convention, to take a shot at Ed Schafer and George W. Bush, and to tie Rick Berg with the bad things that happened in Washington. The bad things that happened in Washington were why that bill was vetoed and now it’s coming home to roost. People are waking-up to the fact that the reasons for George W. Bush’s veto are the very reasons that are going to reform the farm bill today,” said Schafer.
Heitkamp also took jabs at Berg’s voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives. “Now, you might have seen Congressman Berg’s tv ads where he talks about the North Dakota way. It’s a nice slogan but that’s all it is, a slogan. Let me tell you this. It is not the North Dakota way to vote against tax relief for middle-class families and then give tax breaks to out-of-state, to countries who ship their jobs out of the country. That’s not the North Dakota way. That’s the Washington way,” said Heitkamp.
The attacks on Berg did not stop there. “It is not the North Dakota way to vote to raise your own pay and then vote against raising a minimum wage for working class families. That’s not the North Dakota way. That’s the Washington way. And it is not the North Dakota way to vote for tax breaks for multi-millionaires, like yourself, and then vote to end Medicare as we know it. That’s not the North Dakota way. That’s not the North Dakota way. That’s the Washington way and the Washington way is Rick Berg’s way,” said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp even took some time to send a message directly to Berg. “If Congressman Berg is listening, and I know his campaign is up here somewhere videotaping me, they have more videotape of me than my mother does, let me tell you! I hope Congressman Berg hears this: We do things differently in North Dakota. It starts with standing-up for our own and working together to get things done. That’s the North Dakota way,” said Heitkamp.
North Dakota Republicans will nominate their U.S. Senate at their convention in a little under two weeks. Berg is competing against Duane Sand for the Republican nomination. I’ve reached out to the Berg campaign for comment and will get that to you as soon as I can.Tags: Ed Schafer, Heidi Heitkamp, ND Dem-NPL, North Dakota News, President George W. Bush, Rick Berg