Republicans As Enemies Of Affordable HealthCare And Higher Minimum Wage

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Business as usual for GOP candidates

[Commentary: Elections 2016]

Last month’s opening debate was certainly a doozy.

They chose Cleveland as their debate site in part in an effort to reach out to minority communities that they have typically ignored over the years…With all of the fanfare of their minority outreach rollout, we expected the candidates on stage to at least make an effort to mirror that outreach. 

But the rhetoric and ideas advanced on stage erased any pretense of broadening their appeal to African Americans, Latinos, women, young people, or anyone else who would suffer as a result of their disastrous policies.

On the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, you didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates talk about expanding ballot access or even mention voting rights. In fact, just yesterday John Kasich touted his endorsement from a Georgia politician openly derided efforts to expand ballot access in that state for minority communities.  No surprise coming from a governor whose own adviser said the exact same thing and whose ballot restrictions are being challenged in court.

You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates fighting for quality affordable health care – they’re more interested in restricting access to care for women. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates fighting to increase the federal minimum wage – John Kasich is the latest Republican to make absolutely clear that he does not support such an increase. 

You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates commit to enact paid family leave – or increase overtime pay. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates tout their commitment to protecting our planet so that current and future generations of Americans have healthy and flourishing communities to grow up in. You didn’t hear Republican presidential candidates discuss how to make higher education more affordable for young Americans trying to get ahead.

And you won’t hear it tomorrow night, nor will you hear it throughout the duration of the Republican nomination process because on all of these issues – issues that disproportionately impact African American families – Republican candidates choose to cling to policies that are outdated, out of touch, and favor the wealthiest and most powerful. 

They would rather look out for their allies and special interests than work to lift up all Americans.

Michael Tyler is DNC Director of African American Media 

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