Tom Cotton, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, announced his endorsement by Mitt Romney yesterday before speaking via Skype to the Delta caucus at the Clinton Library. Cotton got raked over the coals by questions about his opposition to the farm bill, nutrition assistance, various categories of highway spending, paycheck fairness and the Delta Regional Authority.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor will speak in person today. And he’ll bring in Bill Clinton via remote to talk to the group.
Bill Clinton or Mitt Romney? Which one do you think is more on the side of programs of importance in rural Arkansas?
Meanwhile in the Senate race, the Karl Rove Super PAC creation Crossroads GPS announced today it would spend almost a half-million on TV ads saying Mark Pryor gave you Obamacare. It won’t be the last ad buy of this sort.
UPDATE: In his own remarks, Pryor supported the things Cotton said he opposed — paycheck fairness, the farm bill, the food stamp program, the Delta Regional Council. He decried partisanship in Washington and vowed he’d listen to people. He said Obamacare needed improvements, but he’s not calling to repeal it. He’ll fight to protect Social Security and Medicare, which Cotton would voucherize and effectively kill.
Tom Cotton does give one a sense that he doesn’t listen because he already knows everything. And if he doesn’t, the Club for Growth does.
Pryor’s release on the event slams Cotton for being out of touch:
Less than 24 hours after Rep. Tom Cotton’s baffling appearance before the 2014 Delta Grassroots Caucus — in which he doubled down on wanting to eliminate funding for economic development in the region — Sen. Mark Pryor spoke before the same group this morning to stress his support for important Delta priorities: rural economic development, job creation, infrastructure investment, expanding education opportunities, and support for the agriculture community.
In addition, Pryor stressed his bipartisan work on behalf of Arkansas families and his commitment to continue working closely with the Delta Grassroots Caucus on revitalizing the Delta.
Pryor criticized Cotton’s vote to eliminate the DRA saying, “It is an example of how Congressman Cotton has lost touch with Arkansas and does not represent our state. I don’t know why he would say the Delta Regional Authority is not a good investment when you look at the work they’ve done all over the state of Arkansas.”
Pryor took his opponent to task for recklessly voting to undermine the economic future of the Delta. Pryor pointed out that Cotton championed the government shutdown, voted to eliminate the Delta Regional Authority and voted against the Farm Bill.
“The priorities for the Delta are really the same priorities for the United States of America,” added Pryor. “The things that we need to focus on in Washington are job creation, opening all kinds of opportunity for people, and making the right kind of investments infrastructure and education, and all that is true for the Delta.”
Yesterday, as Cotton was pressed to defend his votes against the top priorities of the Delta Grassroots Caucus, he also failed to explain his opposition to paycheck fairness for women or why he skipped a key vote on the Delta Queen to attend a campaign fundraiser.
“One of the things in the race that is very clear is the sharp contrast between my opponent and me and I don’t think there is any one bill that demonstrates it clearer than the Farm Bill,” Pryor said. “If there is any one single piece of legislation that helps Arkansas it’s the Farm Bill. There is no doubt that the Farm Bill is critically important to Arkansas and it’s important to the Delta because 25% of our state’s economy is related to agriculture.
“Folks I talk to are sick and tired of the drama in Washington, the partisan bickering,” Pryor said. “It’s time for us to take off the red jersey, take off the blue jersey, and put on the red, white, and blue jersey. Let’s get it done for America. Let’s work on these solutions together.”
At that, the room broke out in applause